Visa Application and Interview
Review the steps for details on applying for a visa.
What to Pack
Find out the items that are permitted and not permitted on the airplane if arriving by air and what documents to bring with you.
Travel and Entry into the United States
Know details on entry point and arrival in Orlando. What to expect from immigration inspection upon arrival.
Steps to Apply for a Visa
Please review the steps below for details on applying for a visa. Once you are done reviewing the information below, please refer to the Embassy Interview Checklist to help prepare for your interview.
- Find out how to obtain a visa by visiting, the U.S. Department of State.
- Review the Form 1-20 (this form is also known as “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student”
- Check your name, date of birth, and all other personal information for accuracy. If there are any errors, let us know immediately.
- Sign at the bottom where it says your name and date.
- Make a copy of this for your records to leave at home with a family member along with a copy of your passport.
- Make an appointment at your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please note that they get extremely busy around the holidays.
- Pay the SEVIS fee. Foreign citizens applying to become students must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee of $200 for F-1 visa applicants.
- Complete the DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- Find out if any additional security clearance screenings are needed. There are some countries that require additional security clearance screenings regardless of gender, field of study, or country of citizenship. If a security clearance is required, it could take several months, so plan accordingly. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for more information.
- Consulate Appointment. Make sure that you have the following items ready for your consulate appointment.
- I-20 signed and dated.
- Acceptance letter.
- Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay.
- Financial Support such as bank and/or sponsor letter.
- Any proof that you are planning to return to your country after you complete your studies.
What to Pack
Important Documents to Carry with You:
- Valid passport and visa
- Evidence of financial resources
- School registration forms or receipts
- Name and contact number of the school program advisor
Find out what is permitted and what is not:
It is very important that you understand the items that are permitted and not permitted on the airplane if arriving by air. Verify this information at your airline’s website or the Transportation Security Administration’s prior to arriving to the airport.
Here are additional suggestions of important items to bring with you:
- One carry-on bag with reading material and snacks for the plane
- Daypack for regular day-to-day travel
- Money belt
- Small umbrella
- Medical prescriptions for the duration of your stay
- Medical records (if you have any serious or chronic medical problems)
- Over-the-counter medications for headache, upset stomach, etc.
- Eye glasses and contact lenses
- Layers of clothing for the colder months
- Comfortable walking shoes
- At least one dressy outfit for special occasions
- Hat, sunglasses, bathing suit, beach towel, flip-flops, and sunscreen
- Laptop computer
- Do not bring any valuable jewelry
- Home food recipes
- Unique cooking tools
- Favorite food or ingredients from home (make sure to check what types of foods you are allowed to enter the USA)
Appropriate clothing for class:
You are expected to demonstrate professionalism and good judgment at all times related to your appearance. For this reason, if you are ever in doubt about the appropriateness of your appearance, please keep in mind that anything that could cause a disruption of the learning environment or intimidation of others in the learning environment will not be permitted.
Travel and Entry into the United States
Entry Point/Arrival in Orlando
- During your flight, you will be asked to fill out some forms. If you do not understand a form, ask for assistance:
- CF-6059 Customs Declaration Form
- I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Form for immigration. The Form I-94 should reflect the address where you will reside, not the school address.
If you are an initial student entering to attend school for the first time, you cannot enter the United States more than 30 days before the program start date indicated on your I-20.
Immigration Inspection Upon Arrival
- During your inspection, it is important that you tell the Customs and Border Protection Officer that you will be attending school as an F-1 student. Once your inspection is complete, the officer will stamp your SEVIS Form for duration of status (D/S), stamp the I-94, and staple it in your passport.
- In the case that your admission to the U.S. needs to be verified at the port of entry, be sure to have the name and phone number of the school’s program advisor on hand.
- You will go through the US-VISIT registration, which involves obtaining a scan of two index fingerprints and a digital photograph. It is conducted for all nonimmigrant visa holders.
- Some individuals may be asked to provide additional information under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System. Follow all instructions given by the Customs and Border Protection Officer.
Orlando International Airport
Students will arrive to the Orlando International Airport. Going through customs can add an additional hour on to your arrival time, so be prepared. After you go through customs, you will be required to pass through another security and baggage checkpoint. Here are some useful links to help you:
Due to college policy, Valencia cannot provide airport pick up. You can take a Taxi Cab to your accommodations if you do not have someone meeting you. Taxis use metered rates in Orlando. There are many rental car companies in Orlando, but you must be at least 21 years old to rent a car with most companies. Check the latest Orlando Travel Reports to see current delays.
Most hotels will provide airport pick up for free or additional cost. Contact your hotel for more information.
During your first few days in Orlando, you will be very busy getting settled into your housing, taking the placement test, attending orientation, and getting prepared for your courses. Below is a list of activities you will undertake during your first week. The order of these events may change but they are listed here to give you an approximate idea of what to expect.
|Week before class||
|First week of class||