- Visas – Application Procedures, Validity and Length of Stay
- Passport and Travel Documents
- Miscellaneous – Travel to the United States
- Visa Refusals
- Diplomats, International Organizations and NATO Visas
- Members of the Entertainment Profession and Athletes
- Members of the Media
- Students and Exchange Visitors
- Visa Waiver Program
How early can I apply for my visa?
Once you have been accepted by the school or program sponsor and you have been issued the I-20/DS-2019, you may schedule an appointment to apply for the visa.
Is there a way to expedite my application?
There is no visa expedite service available. However, student visa appointments are separate from the other appointments and are given priority when scheduling.
How long does it take between the interview and when I receive the visa and passport?
If your application is successful, the visa will take 2 – 3 workdays to process at the end of which, the passport will be handed to the courier service for delivery. A further 2 days should be allowed for delivery. As soon as the courier company takes delivery of your passport, they will send you an email with a tracking number. You may use that number to track the delivery online here.
My spouse and/or child will remain in the United Kingdom and visit me during my time in the United States? Do they require F-2/J-2 visas?
Spouses and/or children who will remain in the United States for the same period of time as the F-1/J-1 visa holder or plan to make frequent visits should apply for the appropriate dependent visa. If they intend to only visit as a tourist, they may be eligible to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program or apply for a tourist (B-2) visa.
Can I apply for both a J and F visa at the same time?
You may apply for two different visas at the same time if you can show that you will enter the United States on the first visa, leave and re-enter on the other. You are required to complete one visa application form DS-160 but pay two MRV fees; the second fee is paid to the Embassy cashier on the day of the interview. You are required to present the forms I-20A-B/M-N and DS-2019 together with evidence to show that you have paid two SEVIS fees.
Can I apply for two J-1 visas at the same time?
We are unable to issue you two consecutive J visas. If you want to participate in two J-1 programs without leaving the United States in between, you should book an appointment for a visa for the first J-1 program. If you qualify for the first J-1, you can choose to carry both DS-2019 forms for your two programs and two SEVIS fee receipts when you travel to the U.S. Port of Entry.
You can discuss both programs with the CBP officials at the Port of Entry and they may choose to take both into account when considering your authorized period of admission. Please note that we can offer no assurances in advance on whether this option will be successful. A second option you may consider in this scenario is to wait until you return to the UK from your first program. You can then make a second J-1 application at the embassy.
I would like to travel to the United States before my program begins; can I do that?
The holder of a J or F visa may enter the United States up to 30 days before the start of the program as indicated on the DS-2019 or I-20A-B/M-N. If you wish to enter earlier, you will be required to apply for a B-2 visa and apply to the office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for an adjustment of status prior to commencing your studies or program.
How long can I remain in the United States at the end of the program?
The holder of an J-1 visa my remain in the United States for up to 30 days at the end of the program; an F-1 visa holder, 60 days.
Can I travel to Mexico or Canada during the 30 days and return to the United States for my flight home?
The 30 days is for travel in the United States and preparation for departure. If you leave the during this time you cannot return using your F-1 or J-1 visa. You will be required to apply for readmission under the Visa Waiver Program, if qualified, or apply for a B-2 visa. Please note that the final determination on a person’s eligibility for admission rests with U.S. immigration at the Port of Entry.
Can I work in the United States?
F-1 students can accept up to 20 hours per week on-campus employment in term-time, and full time in vacations (if you’ll be continuing your course next term). After a year, you can apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permission to work off-campus. M-1 students may only accept employment in connection with Practical Training at the end of the course and with the approval of USCIS.