Applying for a U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa Stamp at a U.S. Embassy

The following steps are intended to prepare you for your visit to a U.S. Consulate or Embassy when requesting a new visa stamp or extension of an existing visa stamp. Be aware that you may be asked for additional information.

  • Visa fee charge. If you are charged a fee, it is approximately the same as that which is charged by your government to a United States citizen for a similar type visa. You can check this link for reciprocity rates: http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_1341.html
  • Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months longer than your intended period of stay in the United States.
  • You will need to fill out a Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form 156. A separate application is required for each traveler, regardless of age and whether or not more than one person is included in the same passport. You may also be asked to complete a Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form 157. Department of State now requires security clearances of males and females of certain countries who are between the age of 16 and 45. Security clearances will cause delays in the visa processing time. Apply as soon as possible so that you will be able to arrive at Fletcher on time. Security clearances are taking between 1 and 4 months to complete. The U.S. Embassy reserves the right to request a security clearance of anyone, prior to issuing a visa. You will also be required to pay the SEVIS FEE of $100.00 prior to your appointment with the U.S. Consulate/Embassy. Submit Form I901 and payment. You will need to present a receipt for the payment when application is made for the visa.
  • You will need a recent photograph 1-1/2 inches square (37 X 37 mm.) with your usual signature written on the REVERSE. See details here.
  • Financial Documentation. If you are responsible for financially sponsoring yourself, you will need to present a bank statement. IF your stay in the United States is going to be financed by a parent or by family funds, you will need a letter outlining their intent to support you, as well as an official bank statement verifying that the funds are available. If your financial sponsor is The Fletcher School, you will need to send a copy of your documentation to cover the difference between the amount of the award and the amount required to cover your educational living expenses for one academic year (10 months).

Nonimmigrants ONLY

As a rule, the law presumes that each alien applying for admission to the U.S. is intending to immigrate unless the applicant can establish that he or she is a bona fide nonimmigrant under one of the nonimmigrant categories (such as F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, H-1, H-4, TN etc.) The burden of proof rests with the alien applicant to demonstrate eligibility for a non-immigrant visa or entry. Nonimmigrants must demonstrate that they have a residence in a foreign country that they have no intention of abandoning and that they are coming to the United States temporarily for some specific purpose.

Inspection at the U.S. Port of Entry

A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The bearer of the visa is subject to inspection at the port of entry by U.S. Immigration officials who have authority to deny admission. Therefore, students should carry evidence submitted to the consular officer when the visa was obtained for presentation to immigration inspectors at the port of entry into the U.S. Do not pack this documentation in your suitcase because you will not have access to it when needed.

SEVIS Tracking System

The tracking system is referred to as the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). All U.S. academic institutions are required to use SEVIS. Students have been issued a student visa document that is linked to the USCIS datatbase. While a student you must maintain certain academic conditions in order to remain in legal status with USCIS. The International Student Advisor will advise you on these requirements when you arrive at Fletcher. Please also consult the SEVIS website for more information.

Registration and Monitoring of Certain Nonimmigrants

Certain international non-immigrants are required to make specific reports to USCIS. Please check the Special Registration page for detailed information.