New Student Arrival: Visa Application
This section is for prospective students who need to apply for a non-immigrant F-1 student visa. Whether you are applying for your first U.S. student visa or renewing a visa that has expired, you should do so at the earliest opportunity.
The application process requires personal interviews and "name checks" for all F-1 visa applicants and background verification of most visa applicants. As part of the visa application process, an interview at the U.S. embassy consular section is required in most countries. In some embassies the waiting time for the appointment may take from 2 to 8 weeks.
Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing time information for each U.S. embassy or consulate around the world is available on the Department of State Web site.
Please pay attention to embassy closures for a variety of reasons, such as U.S. and national holidays, suspicion of violence toward the embassy or anti-U.S. demonstrations. These events may delay your visa application process.
Where to Apply for a Student Visa
Applicants for student visas should generally apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. 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.
Consult a list of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country.
When to Apply for a Student Visa
Initial/beginning students: Please note that embassies and consulates are only able to issue your student visa 120 days or less before the start date indicated on your I-20.
Continuing students: You may apply for a new visa at any time, as long as you have maintained your valid F-1 student status and your SEVIS record is current.
When You Can Enter the United States
Initial/beginning students: If you are coming to the United States on a new I-20, you cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date indicated on the I-20. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S.
Continuing students: You may enter the U.S. at any time before your classes start. For additional information, please refer to the U.S. Department of State Web site.
Entering the U.S. — Port of Entry
Student visitors should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) has the authority to permit or deny admission. Student visitors must have their Form I-20 in their possession each time they enter the United States.
At the port of entry, a USCBP official will validate Form I-94, Record of Arrival-Departure, which determines the period of your authorized stay in the United States.
In addition to the US-Visit entry-exit program required for all visitors, students from some countries will also need to register their entry into and departure from the U.S. with the Special Registration program. For more information about Special Registration requirements, consult the Immigration section.
Statement about 120-day suspension of refugee programs and a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. (PDF)
140 FHDA international students accepted to UCLA, 94 to UC Berkeley, 344 to UC San Diego, 385 to UC Davis for Fall 2015; 72 to USC for Fall 2014! Our students were also accepted to MIT, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Purdue, NYU, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and more!

International student featured in International Educator magazine article on 2+2 transfer success

Received Export Achievement Award from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in 2012

Find out more about our Transfer Agreements(pdf).

Foothill is now an
iTEP Test Center.
Instead of TOEFL/IELTS,
Take iTEP for admission.