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Getting a Visa

Getting a visa

Need help with your visa?
Please follow the steps listed below to ensure a smooth and accurate process.


If you have any questions, please contact:

Josh Ferchau
Assistant Director of Admission and Director of International Admission
Office phone: +1-800-678-KNOX (toll-free) or +1-309-341-7136
Skype: Knox.Josh

1. Sign Your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
Knox College issued you a Form I-20, which will allow you to apply for an F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant student visa. If you received Form I-20, you should read the “Instructions to Students” on page 2 very carefully and then complete section 11.

  • If you will not enroll at Knox during the trimester stated on the form, notify the International Student Service Office immediately by e-mail or by calling +1-309-341-7920.
  • If a third party (e.g. the Institute for International Educators, I.I.E.) has issued you a DS-2012, you’ll need to follow the directions on pages 2 carefully. Don’t forget to sign your DS-2012 on the first page.

2. Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charges a Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) I-901 fee for students beginning a new F-1 or J-1 program. You must pay this fee prior to applying for your F-1 or J-1 visa.

Most F-1 non-immigrants must pay a fee of $200. Most J-1 exchange visitors must pay a fee of $180. If you are a citizen of Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, or a British subject in the Bahamian, Cayman, or Turks and Caicos Islands, you will not need a U.S. visa to enter the country. However, you will need to present the SEVIS fee payment receipt at the U.S. port of entry.

How do you pay the SEVIS fee?
  • Complete Form I-901 online and submit payment using a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit card. Print the receipt.
  • Pay via Western Union in your home country. View the complete instructions. After three business days, check your payment status and print your receipt.
  • You must take the I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt to the U.S. consulate or embassy for your visa interview.

3. Secure a United States Visa
(Excluding students from Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and British subjects in the Bahamian, Cayman, and Turks and Caicos Islands)

Visit the U.S. Embassy site to locate the nearest American embassy or consulate and to view specific instructions about applying for a nonimmigrant student visa (F-1 or J-1 visa). At the visa interview, you will need to present:

  • DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application receipt. You should complete and submit the application prior to your appointment.
  • Your passport
  • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 issued by Knox College
  • One passport-sized photo
  • SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • Visa application (MRV) fee payment receipt number (visit your embassy or consulate website for more information)
  • Letter of admission to Knox College
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Proof of financial support for your studies at Knox College
  • Proof of your intention to depart the United States after the completion of your studies
  • Other documents detailed on the U.S. embassy or consulate website.

View additional information about the visa application process.

Please note that F-1 student visas cannot be issued more than 120 days prior to the program start date found in section 5, page 1 of Form I-20. Students admitted to the Knox College should not enter the country on a tourist visa (B-1/B-2 visa) unless you have discussed this with the Office of International Student Services. Students who enter the country on a tourist visa may not be able to enroll in their intended trimester.