International Services

Visa Interview Information

A student can apply for F-1 visa earlier than 120 days before the program start to allow for visa processing and security clearance delays. The Form I-20 will be issued to students who have been fully admitted to WCSU. Please contact the International Services immediately if any information on your Form I-20 is incorrect.

Make sure you have a valid passport. Pay your SEVIS Fee either by phone, by mail or online, and print a SEVIS fee receipt for your record. The fee must be paid at least three business days before your appointment at the U.S. Embassy.

  • Your SEVIS ID number (N00XXXXXXXX) is located in the upper left corner of your Form I-20;
  • WCSU’s SEVIS school code is the last part of School Information box on page 1.

F-2 dependents do not need to pay the SEVIS fee. Canadians Citizens are exempted from processing a visa to enter the United States, but still need to pay the SEVIS fee.

If your visa is approved, you are ready to travel to the United States to start school. Immigration regulations state that you should arrive in the United States within 30 days of the program start date in Section 5 of your Form I-20.

If your visa application is denied, please refer to the United States Department of State’s Website – Visa Denial. Western Connecticut State University cannot influence visa decisions made by U.S. Consular officials abroad.

NOTE: All individuals intending to be students at WCSU must enter the United States in F-1 student status. Entering on a B1/B2 visitor’s visa with the intention of attending school in the United States full-time is ‘unlawful’.

Required Documents

  • Non-immigrant visa application
  • Visa application fee
  • Passport pictures
  • Valid Passport
  • Form I-20 (issued by WCSU)
  • Admission letter from WCSU
  • SEVIS fee receipt (Form I-797)
  • Original Affidavit of Support


Schedule an Appointment

Book an appointment at the closest United States Consulate or Embassy to apply for F-1 visa (except Canadian Citizens). For more information on visa processing, refer to


Things to Know

Ties to Home Country

Under U.S. law, all applicants for nonimmigrant visas are viewed as intending immigrants. The burden of proof lies with the applicant. You must therefore be able to show that you have reasons for returning to your home country that are stronger than those for remaining in the United States. “Ties” to your home country are the things that bind you to your hometown, homeland, or current place of residence, for example:

  • job
  • family
  • bank statements, investments, properties.

If you are a prospective undergraduate, the interviewing officer may ask you about your:

  • specific intentions or promise of future employment
  • family or other relationships
  • educational objectives
  •  grades
  • long-range plans
  • career prospects in your home country

Each person’s situation is different, of course, and there is no magic explanation or single document, certificate, or letter which can guarantee visa issuance.


Anticipate that the interview will be conducted in English and not in your native language. One suggestion is to practice English conversation with a native speaker before the interview.

Know the Program and How it Fits Your Career Plans

If you are not able to talk about the reasons why you will be studying in the U.S., you may not succeed in convincing the consular officer that you are indeed planning to study. If you are coming to the United States solely to study intensive English, be prepared to explain how English will be useful for you in your home country. You should also be able to explain how studying in the U.S. will help your career in the future.

Be Concise

Because of the volume of applications received, all consular officers are under considerable pressure to conduct a quick and efficient interview. They must make a decision on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of the interview. Consequently, what you say first and the initial impression you create are critical to a successful visa interview. Keep your answers to questions short and to the point.

Supplemental Documentation

It should be clear, at a glance, to the consular officer what written documents you are presenting and why. Long written explanations cannot be quickly read or evaluated. Remember that you will have 2-3 minutes of interview time.

Not All Countries are Equal

Applicants from countries suffering economic problems or from countries where many students have remained in the United States as immigrants will have more difficulty getting visas. Statistically, applicants from those countries are more likely to be intending immigrants. They are also more likely to be asked questions about job opportunities at home after their study in the United States.


Your main purpose of coming to the U.S. should be to study, not for the chance to work before or after graduation. While many students do work off-campus during their studies, such employment is incidental to their main purpose of completing their U.S. education. You must be able to clearly articulate your plan to return home at the end of your program. If your spouse is also applying for an accompanying F-2 visa, be aware that F-2 dependents cannot, under any circumstances, be employed in the United States. If asked, be prepared to address what your spouse intends to do with his or her time while in the U.S. Volunteer work and attending school part-time are permitted activities.

Dependents remaining at Home

If your spouse and children are remaining behind in your country, be prepared to address how they will support themselves in your absence. This can be an especially tricky area if you are the primary source of income for your family. If the consular officer gains the impression that your family members will need you to remit money from the United States in order to support them, your student visa application will almost certainly be denied. If your family does decide to join you at a later time, it is helpful to have them apply at the same U.S Consulate where you applied for your visa.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Do not engage the consular officer in an argument. If you are denied a student visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you bring in order to overcome the refusal, and try to get the reason you were denied in writing.