F-1 Visa Application and Entry to the United States

Oakland Community College will issue an I-20 immigration document [Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status] once your application and accompanying documents have been reviewed and accepted. OCC does not pay for courier service, but will mail the original I-20 to you using the U.S. Postal Service.  Your I-20 information is also entered in the SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) for USICE (United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

Once you receive your I-20 you must:

    • Make an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country to apply for an F-1 visa.
    • Pay the SEVIS fee at least 3 business days before your consular interview, unless you pay online and then print a receipt.
    • Take your OCC acceptance letter, original I-20, a valid passport, financial documents, and SEVIS fee receipt to the interview.
    • During your interview with a consular officer, you must:
      • Prove to the consular officer that you have a clear educational goal.
      • Provide appropriate evidence that you have sufficient funds to complete a program of study in the U.S.
      • Provide evidence that you are planning to return to your country when your program of study is complete.
  • Resources to prepare for interview:
  • When you travel to the U.S., carry your passport and I-20 with you on the airplane. Do not check it in your luggage.
  • You are allowed to enter the United States 30 days prior to the report date listed on the I-20 document.