Visa Application

Important information about the visa application process.

Visa Application Process

Visas to the U.S. are only issued by U.S. Embassies and Consulates (you cannot obtain or renew a visa to the U.S. from within the U.S.). Each Consulate or Embassy has their own procedures and requirements; therefore, students are advised to contact the specific Embassy or Consulate that they plan to apply to review their requirements. You can find a list of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions click here. You can also find general information about the visa process from the U.S. Department of State here.


 The DS-160 Online Nonimmigration Visa Application is the application form for F-1 and J-1 visas. It is submitted electronically and combined with the personal interview to determine eligibility. You can find more information about the DS-160 here and the link to the application itself here.  

To complete the DS-160, you will need the SEVIS number from your I-20. The SEVIS number can be found on the top left-hand corner of the I-20 form or upper right-hand corner of the DS-2019.  

The University of Texas at Arlington’s school code (for F-1 applications) is DAL214F00806000. 

The University of Texas at Arlington’s program number (for J-1 applications) is P-1-05968. 

School official name and contact information is: 

Satu Birch 

c/o Office of International Education, UTA, P.O. Box 19028 

1022 UTA Blvd, Arlington, TX 76019 

Each applicant for an F-1 or J-1 visa must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. You can find more information, including the payment options here. Information about refunds and transferring the fee from one record to another can be found here.

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019 – You must print and sign the Form I-20.  All students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Your spouse and/or minor children, if they intend live in the United States with you, will each receive an individual Form I-20.

Any additional documents listed on the website for the specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you are applying.

Additional documents that may be helpful (or in some cases requested) could include:

  • Financial support evidence
  • Documents providing intent to return to your home country after completion of program (job prospects, family ties, property, investments, etc.).
  • Resume or CV
  • Transcripts from U.S. institutions
  • Previously issued I-20 or DS-2019 forms

Dependents go through a similar visa application process (dependents are not required to pay the SEVIS fee) and should bring their own copies of F-1 for J-1 documents and proof of the relationship such as birth or marriage certificates.

Schedule the visa interview through the website of the specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate that you plan to visit. In some cases, it is possible to apply for a visa in a third country, but you should verify that the Embassy or Consulate is serving third-country nationals. In general, it is recommended that you use the Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

Each visa applicant will meet with a consular officer who will determine if they are eligible for the visa. Each Embassy and Consulate may have slightly different procedures. The visa officer will be evaluating several factors: 

  • Non-immigrant Intent: F-1 and J-1 visas are nonimmigrant visas, which means that the applicant intends to return home after their program. It is important to be able to show ties to your home country such as proof of residence, property ownership, family ties, bank accounts, or job offers in the home country. 
  • Financial Ability: You must show sufficient funds to support yourself during your program. In general, the same documentation submitted to UTA for the I-20 or DS-2019 creation would be sufficient. 
  • Academic Plans: The visa officer may ask about your academic plans and why you would like to attend The University of Texas at Arlington. You should be able to discuss what you plan to study and why you chose UTA. 

Canadian Citizens do not need F-1 or J-1 visas to study in the U.S. When you enter the U.S. to study, you will need to provide the officer at the port of entry: 

  • Proof of identity and citizenship (a Canadian passport) 
  • The Form I-20 or DS-2019 printed and signed 
  • SEVIS I-901 fee receipt 
  • Admission letter  
  • Financial Support Evidence 
  • Proof of your ties to Canada 

If the visa is denied under 214(b) you did not sufficiently demonstrate non-immigrant intent. A new application would have to be made and additional ties to the home country would need to be shown. 

If the visa is denied under 221(g) the consular officer did not have all the information needed to determine your eligibility. In some cases, you can provide the missing documents without a new application.

You can find more information about visa denials here and here.

A group of students outside near the UTA water fountain

New Student Information

Click here for important information about the new student process.