Visa Appointment & Interview

The information on this page is meant to help take some of the mystery out of the visa interview process. You can schedule your visa interview at any time.  However, you must have the I-20 or DS-2019 before the visa appointment.  Plan for enough time for the document to arrive.  Also, the actual visa cannot be issued more than 120 days before your program start date.   To apply for your visa, you will need to submit Form DS-160 and then schedule your visa interview.  Information and instructions are provided in the link.

We recommend you visit the "Helpful Links" below. The first one will take you to a website that lists U.S. Embassies and Consulates. You will want to find the one that has jurisdiction over your area of residence, as that is where you will go for your visa interview. Check the embassy or consulate website, as embassies and consulates can vary in their processes and requirements. The second link will direct you to wait times for your requested visa status at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The third link provides an overview of student visas. 

Please note that UAF issues the form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for students admitted into an academic degree program entering the U.S. in F-1 Student immigration status.  The form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for an Exchange Visitor  is issued for exchange and study abroad students who will be attending for a semester or a year.  These students enter in the J-1 Student immigration status.

You will need to apply for an F-1 (Non-Immigrant Student) visa, unless you are a Canadian citizen. Canadians are not required to obtain U.S. visas before entering the U.S. in any U..S. immigration status. A listing of U.S. embassies and consulates is included in the "Helpful Links" section below.

  • You may schedule your visa appointment as soon as your I-20 is issued.
  • You are required to pay the SEVIS fee NO LATER than three days before your visa appointment.

Please refer to the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply for your visa for the application process and current visa application fees as these may vary from office to office.

  • Currently, all visa applicants are required to have a personal appointment and interview. Depending on the embassy or consulate where you apply, you may be able to schedule this appointment in advance. You will need to complete and submit Form DS-160, which should be available from the embassy or consulate and online.
  • During the application process, you may be digitally photographed and fingerprinted.
  • Disregard all references to Form DS-7002 (Training/Internship Placement Plan) as it does not apply to you.

Note for Canadian Citizens!

Canadians are NOT currently required to have a U.S. visa to enter the U.S. as students. However, you are required to pay the $200 SEVIS fee at least three days before you enter the U.S. You will need to present your I-20 and your Canadian passport to the immigration inspector when you enter the U.S. You may also be requested to present original evidence that you are able to pay for your U.S. education and for your living expenses. Evidence of your financial ability might include: bank statements; affidavits of support, with documentation of your sponsor’s financial ability to support you; scholarship letters; or graduate assistantship offers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Helpful Links

Visa Wait Times - for Interview Appointments and Processing

U.S. Department of State - Embassy and Consulate Locations

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Study in the States

U.S. Department of State: Student Visas