Student Visa Application Process

If you are coming to Loyola University from outside the U.S., you will need to have a F-1 student visa or J-1 exchange visitor visa to enter the U.S. You cannot study full-time at the university on either a B-2 tourist visa or the visa waiver program.

Visa procedures vary from one consulate or embassy to another, so it is very important that you check the website of the U.S. consulate or embassy in your country for specific instructions.

How to obtain a U.S. Visa

Three main phases are involved in the visa application process:

1. Gain admission to Loyola
2. Receive the immigration document
3. Apply for a visa

Once you have gained admission and received your immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019), you can apply for a U.S. Visa.

Standard items required for the visa application:

  • A current passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the U.S.;
  • A form I-20 for the F-1 visa or a DS-2019 for the J-1 visa;
  • Evidence of financial support for the period of time and the amount indicated on the I-20 or DS-2019 form;
  • An application Form DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa application is available on the State Department website;
  • Proof of SEVIS fee payment (if you are from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon or Kenya you will need to remit payment by cashier's check, money order or Western Union transfer);
  • A receipt for visa processing fee (see the website for the U.S. Consulate in your country for specific instructions on paying this fee.)
  • One 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format explained on the State Department website.
You should also be prepared to provide:
 
  • Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended;
  • Scores from standardized tests required by the educational institution such as the TOEFL, SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc.;
  • Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bankbooks and/or statements. If you or your sponsor own a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements;
  • Proof that you have a residence abroad that you have no intention of abandoning.
  • A short interview will be required.

After You Apply for a Visa

  • The consular officer will place a visa in your passport. If you receive a multiple-entry visa, you may use it to reenter the United States up to the date of the visa’s expiration as long as you have a valid I-20 or DS-2019.
  • If this is your first time attending school in the U.S., your student visa must list Loyola University New Orleans as the school that you will be attending.
  • You can enter the U .S. no more than 30 days before the beginning of the program.

If you encounter any problems obtaining your visa, contact Center for International Education, cie@loyno.edu or (504)864-7550.

Related Links

NAFSA's Preparing for an F-1 Visa Interview

Helpful Video on Applying for a Student Visa

NAFSA's 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa

U.S. Department of State Visa Wait Times

Student and Exchange Visitor Visa Center: Call 202-663-1225 with inquiries about individual student or exchange visitor visa cases.

What to do About Visa Denials: Why denials are given and what can be done about them.