Whether you are applying for your first student visa, or you are a continuing student who needs to apply for a new visa before returning to continue your studies, review this helpful information about the visa application process:
- You must have a valid I-20 or DS-2019 to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa. New students will receive an I-20 or DS-2019 from the appropriate admissions office after being admitted to Rutgers and submitting required supplemental documentation. For more information, review our Pre-Arrival Guide for newly admitted students.
- New students and returning students who received an I-20 or DS-2019 with a new SEVIS ID number must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa. This fee is only required for the primary student. Dependents (with an F-2 I-20 or J-2 DS-2019) do not pay the I-901 fee. Continuing students do not need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again, when applying for a new visa, but you will need a receipt showing that you paid the fee when you first applied for a visa.
- Complete your online nonimmigrant visa application, DS-160
- Follow the instructions about completing the visa application and interview process provided by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you are applying. Please note that there is a fee for applying for a U.S. visa.
- Review information about preparing to enter the United States.
Some visa applications require additional administrative processing beyond the consular interview. If your application is undergoing administrative processing, and you are unable to arrive at Rutgers in time for your program/session start date, please contact an international student adviser.
If your visa is denied and/or you decide not to start/continue your studies at Rutgers, please contact an international student adviser.
Please note that you cannot apply for a visa from within the United States.
- If you are currently in the United States and would like to apply for a Change of Status to F-1 or J-1, please review more information on our Change of Status page.
- If you are a continuing student, it is okay if your F-1 or J-1 visa expires while you are in the United States. You do not need to plan travel only to renew your visa, but next time you do plan to travel internationally, be prepared to apply for a new F-1 or J-1 visa before returning.