Applying for a Visa

All international students who come to the United States to study full-time must have an F-1 student visa. Here is a list of required documents that students need to apply for a visa. Students are required to schedule an interview at an America Embassy or Consulate in your home country and take these required documents to your interview.

  • I-20 (this document will be given to you by the ELI once you have been admitted into the ELI)
  • Admission letter
  • Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) I-901 fee receipt (see SEVIS Fees below)
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months beyond your expected stay in the U.S.
  • Financial documents (such as bank statements, account statements) that show you have enough money to cover tuition and living expenses during your time in the U.S.

The same documents need to be provided for spouses and children that will be joining you.

Please contact International Student Services as soon as you have your visa.

Visa Interviewing Tips

  1. The interview will be English so you should practice English conversation before your interview.
  2. Listen carefully to the questions the embassy official may ask you and make sure you understand the question. If you do not understand ask the officer to please repeat the question.
  3. Be ready to share why you want to come to the U.S. to study English.
  4. They will ask you where you are going to study so you should know information about Florida State College at Jacksonville and the English Language Institute.
  5. Embassy officials want to see evidence that you have strong economic and family ties to your home country and plan to return there.
  6. If you visa is denied, the officer will tell you the reason for this and should give you something in writing.
  7. You can try again if you have more information to support your case.


How to Pay the SEVIS Fee

You must pay the SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security before applying for a visa. Your parents or a sponsor can pay this fee.

  1. Go to
  2. Complete I-901 form.
  3. Submit payment for fee of $350.
  4. Enter name exactly the same way it is on the I-20 and the passport.
  5. Print copy of the online receipt for yourself and print a copy to bring with you to visa interview.

If you make payment online with credit card the payment will be processed right away and you can print receipt from your computer.

Information & Hours

Contact Information



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Fri.8 a.m.-3 p.m.