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Preparing For Your Visa Interview

I-901 Visa Fee

Before you make your visa interview appointment you will need to pay the visa fee or I-901 fee. You can learn more about the fee and how to pay. It is very important that you print out your paid receipt and take it with you to your visa interview!

Make Your  Student Visa Appointment

You will need your Monmouth University I-20 with your SEVIS ID number  to make your visa appointment. The SEVIS ID number is on the top right corner of your I-20. You will receive an email from the Global Education Office with your SEVIS ID number so you can immediately begin the visa process by making your appointment. Your I-20 will be couriered to you with a tracking number. You do not need to physically have the I-20 to make the appointment although you will need it for the visa interview.

You will need to complete the visa application, select the F-1 student visa, and pay the application fee. Online services are available for you to make your visa appointment and provide your payment,  Print out the barcode and take it with you to your visa appointment, along with proof of payment.

Checklist of Documents to Bring To The Visa Interview

  • I-901 paid receipt
  • DS-160 visa application barcode and proof of payment
  • I-20
  • copies of the financial documents you submitted to Monmouth University which prove that you have enough money to pay for tuition and living / housing expenses for the first year, and the ability to pay for the remaining semesters.
  • copies of the affidavit support, and affidavit of room and board, if applicable, which you submitted to Monmouth University
  • passport
  • 2 recent passport size photos
  • Monmouth University’s acceptance letter
  • diplomas, certificates, TOEFL or IELTS score – if applicable. or any other standardized test scores

Make a copy of all of your documents to take to with you when you travel to the USA.

Visa Interview

Most international students are concerned about their visa interview. There are a few very important things which you need to know before arriving at your visa appointment. Most visa interviews are 2-3 minutes. It is within this very short time frame that the visa officer will make a decision to either issue or deny your student visa. Most visas are denied because the visa officer is not convinced that you will return to your home country after you’ve completed your studies – so be prepared to have  good, solid answers with regards to your return. For example, your family is expecting you to return or you may have a job waiting for you at home.

You may also be asked what is the reason you decided to attend Monmouth University or what is the reason you chose your major. Review our website, learn about your department and how you intend to use your degree in your home country once you have graduated. Best advice – be prepared ahead of time with your answers.

Remember – the visa officer is there to do a job so don’t ‘chat them up’ or offer more information than they request. Answer their questions with confidence, speak English and do not bring friends or family with you! Visit the website to learn more.  If you have questions or concerns contact the Global Education Office at

Bringing Your Spouse and Children

If you would like to bring your spouse and children with you while you study you are permitted to do so. They will need to apply for an F-2 dependent visa. You will need to show additional funding for each dependent that you wish to bring. Currently the additional funding is $7,000 per dependent. They will be issued an F-2 I-20 in order to accompany you while you study. You may be asked what will your spouse and children do in the USA while you attend Monmouth University – keep in mind that they are not permitted to work. Your spouse may volunteer, or attend school part time. School age children should attend school. Keep in mind, the visa officer may think your entire immediate family will be attempting to immigrate to the USA so you need to be prepared to answer to that.