Applying for the F-1 Student Visa

COVID-19 may still present some challenges to the process of obtaining a U.S. visa. It will be important to start your visa application as soon as possible to ensure that you can schedule a timely visa appointment and leave enough time for processing. 
 
Please know that we will continue to monitor the situation until your arrival, and you should continue to monitor your visa processing and anticipated arrival. You should bookmark Yale's COVID-19 page for the most up-to-date information. 

When to Apply

You must apply for your visa well in advance of your arrival, as it can in some instances take several weeks and occasionally longer, to obtain the F-1 student visa.

The U.S. Department of State has instructed U.S. consulates that they may issue an F-1 visa no more than 120 days in advance of the program start date. However, an application for an F-1 visa can be submitted more than 120 days in advance of the I-20 start date in order to accommodate long processing times but the visa validity will never be before the 120 day mark. Check the website of the consulate where you will apply for a visa for detailed instructions.


Pre-Application Checklist

Before you begin the visa application process, you must have the following documents:


The Application Process


Special Notes

When applying for your student visa, pay careful attention to the following.


A Final Note

If the U.S. consulate has any questions regarding your studies at Yale, please contact OISS. If your visa application is delayed or denied for any reason, please email your OISS adviser immediately. Safe travels and we look forward to meeting you when you arrive in New Haven!