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Guidelines for the I-20 for International Students

In order for a student to receive an I-20 Form and apply for an F-1 Visa, a student must first go through the application process, be accepted and enroll at Madeira. The following are steps that every student must follow after receiving their I-20 Form.

  1. Both parents and student must sign the I-20 form in the appropriate spaces.
  2. After an international student is issued an I-20 from Madeira, the student is required to pay a $200.00 SEVIS I-901 fee. The fee will need to be paid by the student (not by Madeira).  The SEVIS fee can be paid online with a credit card. For payment, log onto www.fmjfee.com.  After the fee is paid, a receipt will be generated. Your receipt is used as evidence of the fee payment when making the visa application at a US consulate, when entering the US, or making an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The fee must be paid before a student visa can be issued by the US Consulate Office.
  3. All non-immigrant visitors are required to have a valid visa in their passports for entry into the U.S. You will need to make an appointment for a visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad to obtain your visa. Visas cannot be obtained within the U.S.  For general information about visas, see the Department of State website.
    • Visa appointments are limited and take time. Consulates will generally accept appointments up to 120 days prior to the start of your studies. There may be long waiting periods for appointments, especially during May through August. However, consulates will give priority to F-1 and J-1 student applicants if requested.
    • When you go for your visa interview, in general, you will need:
      • Passport (valid at least six months into the future)
      • Signed I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Visa Student) or DS-2019 (J-1)
      • Acceptance letter
      • Evidence of financial support
      • Visa application forms and fees
      • SEVIS fee receipt

Note: Canadian citizens are not required to apply for a visa to enter to the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 but are still required to pay the SEVIS fee.