Be sure to read, sign, and date your I-20 Certificate of Eligibility. You should carefully read and study the regulations for F-1 student visa holders on page 2 of the I-20. You are responsible for obeying the rules listed. To apply for your F-1 student visa take the I-20, your passport, your financial documentation, and a copy of the 901 SEVIS fee payment confirmation to a United States State Department post—the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your country.
NOTE: (You must also travel with all of these documents at all times. Make sure you do not pack these documents in the checked luggage). Males between the ages of 18-35 who are applying for student visas will also be asked to fill out an additional form.
The $200 I-901 SEVIS fee funds the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Information
(i.e. tracking) System. The I-901 SEVIS free is paid on-line at www.fmjfee.com. (To pay online follow the instructions on the homepage: select “I-20” then enter the SEVIS number found above the bar code on your I-20 and the school code beginning with MIA214 on the left side of the I-20.) Print out the confirmation after you have submitted the fee payment by credit card or Western Union moneygram.
Remember to take the confirmation when applying for your visa. The visa appointment date must be at least three days after you have submitted the I-901 SEVIS fee payment.
State Department posts will issue a student visa only within the 120-day period before you are to begin school here. U.S. Customs will allow you to enter the U.S. only within the 30-day period before school begins. Everyone should plan extra time for flight connections within the U.S. Often the Consular Officer gives you the F-1 visa and documents in a sealed envelope to be presented at U.S. Customs when you arrive. Do not open the envelope! It is the responsibility of the Customs Officer to open this envelope.