Student Visa (F-1/M-1)
Before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an F or M student visa, you must first apply to and be accepted by a SEVP approved school. Visit the Department of Homeland Security Study in the States school search page to search for SEVP-certified schools.
When you are accepted by the U.S. school you plan to attend, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. The U.S. school will provide you with a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1/M-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students (Form I-20) to present to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview. If your spouse and/or children intend to reside with you in the United States while you study, they must obtain individual Form I-20s, but they do not pay the SEVIS fee. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I-901 Fee
Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1)
Before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a J-1 visa, you must first apply for and be accepted into an exchange visitor program through a designated sponsoring organization. Visit the Department of State J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program website to learn about program requirements, regulations, and more.
When you are accepted into the exchange visitor program you plan to participate in, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Most J-1 Exchange Visitors must pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee. Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, Form DS-2019. After your program sponsor enters your information in the SEVIS system, a SEVIS-generated Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (Form DS-2019) is provided to you. All exchange visitors, including their spouses and minor children, must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Each person receives a separate Form DS-2019. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I-901 Fee.
Step 1. Determine which type of visa you need
Use the visa wizard on travel.state.gov ’s visa pages to determine which type of travel authorization is appropriate for your purpose of travel. U.S. law prohibits pre-application consultations. We cannot determine your qualification or eligibility for a visa until you have paid the non-refundable visa application fee, and you have submitted your application in person to the adjudicating officer.
New Students – F-1 and M-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States in F-1 or M-1 status earlier than 30 days before your start date.
Continuing Students – May renew their visas at any time, as long as they have maintained student status and their SEVIS records are current. Continuing students may enter the United States at any time before their classes start.
Exchange Visitors – Exchange visitors beginning new programs may not enter the United States more than 30 days before their program start date.
Step 2. Complete and submit form DS-160
Complete form DS-160 for the appropriate non-immigrant visa category. One DS-160 is required for each applicant, including children and babies. It is important to select the correct visa class and correct Embassy location (Luxembourg). The DS-160 MUST be completed online before an interview can be scheduled online, a ‘confirmation page’ will be generated if the form was completed successfully. You should print this confirmation page and bring it to the interview. The U.S. Embassy cannot provide or accept paper applications. Nor can the U.S. Embassy assist you in the completion of your application.
The DS-160 allows the applicant to upload a photograph before generating the confirmation page. This does not mean that the photograph is acceptable for visa issuance. Please review information about photo requirements for U.S. visas. If it is not possible to upload the photograph when completing form DS-160, one photograph meeting the requirements must be submitted with the application (no CD/USB key). The application will not be considered if the photograph is not suitable.
Please note that submitting form DS-160 online does not mean that you completed the application process, you have to schedule an appointment at the Embassy as explained in step 4.
Step 3. Photo Requirements
Please review photo requirements and photo examples when completing the DS-160.
The following minimum requirements must be met or your application will not be accepted.
- Eye glasses are no longer allowed.
- The photograph must not be older than six months.
- The photograph must measure roughly 2 inches square (roughly 5 cm x 5 cm) with the head centered in the frame.
- The photograph of the applicant’s head should be between 2.5 cm and 3.5 cm when measured vertically.
- The photograph must be in color and taken against a white background, printed without borders or shadows.
- The applicant must face the camera directly, preferably with both ears visible.
The photograph must be an unmounted full face photo. A “full face“ photo is one in which the applicant is facing the camera directly. The applicant should not be looking down or to either side, and the face should cover about 50 percent of the area of the photo. Although variations in hair styles and in head coverings make it difficult to rigorously define the term “face,“ in general, the head of the applicant, including both face and hair, should be shown from crown of the head to tip of chin on top and bottom and from hair line side-to-side.
Step 4. Collect any Supporting Documentation
All Student Visa (F-1/M-1) and Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1) applicants must present following supporting documents at the interview:
· Student (F-1/M-1) visa applicants: Form I-20 and proof of SEVIS payment.
· Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa applicants: Form DS-2019 (and Form DS-7002 if participating in the J-1 Trainee and Intern categories) and proof of SEVIS payment.
Student Visa Applicants:
Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example:
· Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended;
· Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study;
· Your ability to pay all educational, living and travel costs.
Exchange Visitor Visa Applicants:
Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example:
· Your intent to depart the United States after your trip;
Your ability to pay all educational, living and travel costs.
Step 5. Make an appointment for an interview with a Consular officer
To schedule an appointment for an interview, please use the Embassy’s online NIV Appointment System. The barcode number on your DS-160 confirmation page will allow you to schedule an appointment. Applicants aged 16 or younger should be accompanied by one parent (who does not need an appointment). Please select Luxembourg as location where you will apply. It is not possible to request an appointment by calling or writing to the Embassy.
Visa applicants who do not appear for their scheduled appointment must resubmit a new DS-160 before scheduling another appointment.
Step 6. Application fee
On the day of your interview, please be prepared to pay the nonrefundable visa application fee in cash only: $160 or equivalent in Euros (exchange rate may vary). It is possible to pay in Euros or US$, but not a combination of both. It is not possible to pay by V-PAY or credit card.
For some nationalities and visa types an additional issuance fee may be required. Detailed information is available in fees and reciprocity tables.
Applicants for F1, M1 and J1 visas must pay the appropriate SEVIS fee online BEFORE they come to the interview at the Embassy. It is not possible to pay the SEVIS fee at the Embassy. The SEVIS fee does not replace the application fee ($160) or issuance fee if applicable.
NOTE: U.S. government sponsored exchange visitor (J visa) applicants and their dependents are not required to pay application processing fees if participating in a Department of State, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), or a Federally funded educational and cultural exchange program which has a program serial number beginning with G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7 printed on Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. U.S. government sponsored exchange visitor (J visa) applicants and their dependents are also not required to pay applicable issuance fees.
Step 7. Required documents and fees for your interview at the Embassy - Checklist
Before coming to the Embassy please make sure you’re able to provide all of items listed below. Visa applicants who are not able to present a complete file may not be admitted for an interview and will need to return to the Embassy at a later time. Processing of your visa will be postponed and you may face unnecessary delays.
* DS-160 confirmation page for each applicant (including family members) and correct photograph
* Visa application fee in CASH
* Supporting documents and proof of SEVIS fee payment
* A passport valid for at least six months. The passport must be in good condition and have at least one blank visa page.
* A self-addressed and prepaid envelope
Applicants must bring a self-addressed envelope with a FollowMe label to the visa interview to allow return of their passport by mail. It is not possible to purchase envelopes, stamps or labels at the Embassy. Only applicants who bring proof of imminent travel plans such as flight booking confirmation will be able to pick up their passport in person.
The best option is the prepaid padded envelope from the Post Luxembourg, size 162x229mm.
Please make sure to write your name and address correctly on the envelope to avoid delays and misrouting, as explained here.
Step 8. Interview for your visa with the Consular Officer
During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process during your interview. The consular officer will inform you if the application is approved, denied or if it requires further documentation or longer administrative processing.