Applying for a Visa Abroad
In order to apply for your visa you will need to take your Certificate of Eligibility form (I-20 or DS-2019) to an U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for your visa. Please make sure you sign this form as soon as your receive it. It is recommended that you apply for your visa with the consulate in your country of citizenship, which has jurisdiction over the region in which you live. Although you may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside your country of permanent residence.
If you may apply for your visa up to 90 days before the start date of your program. We encourage you to apply for your visa as early as possible. Please note however, that you may not enter the U.S. until 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019.
The procedures for obtaining a visa vary greatly around the world. Therefore, we encourage you to check with your nearest consulate on their required procedures to plan your application process accordingly. In some countries you must apply for your visa in person, and an appointment may be required. If this happens you may also be required to have an interview with an U.S. consular officer. While in some other countries, you can only apply by mail or you will apply in person and you will only nee to submit your passport and supporting documents to a clerk, who will return them to you once your visa application is decided upon.