Applying for the F-1 Student Visa

The worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 virus currently presents many challenges to the process of obtaining a U.S. visa and traveling to Yale to begin your studies. We are hopeful that both visa issuance and air travel will return to normal so that you can arrive at Yale for the fall semester. It will be important to start the application for your student visa as soon as possible, as it can in some cases take several weeks and occasionally longer to obtain the visa. These wait times will likely be impacted during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Please know that both OISS and Yale University are closely monitoring the COVID-19 global health emergency and will stay in close communication with you about any updates or changes. You will find COVID-19 updates on the OISS COVID-19 webpage, as well as Yale University updates.

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!