Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport
Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
Please follow the following 5 steps:
1) Complete the SEVIS form online and pay fees.
2)complete Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160.
3) print the application form confirmation page and bring it to your interview.
4) Schedule an interview in the Consulate
5) Photo –You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Please bring 2 photos to the consulate when you come for the interview- Requirements.
Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation
Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:
- Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
- Application fee (100,000CFA)
- Photos – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring two printed photos.
- Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students, Form I-20 or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status for Vocational Students, Form I-20 – Your school will send you a SEVIS-generated Form I-20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the Form I-20. All students, their spouse and minor children if they intend to reside in the United States with the student, must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Each person receives an individual Form I-20.
Additional Required Documentation:
Additional documents are requested to establish that you are qualified:
- Your academic preparation, such as:
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended; and
- Standardized test scores required by your U.S. school;
- Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study; and
- How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs.
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 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment
You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview, generally, at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.
Wait times for interview appointments may vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa well in advance of the stand of the academic year . Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply:
Appointment Wait Time
Approximate time: 7 days.
Interviews on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only by appointment only.
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.
Step 5. Submit Your Passport and Visa Application Forms
Submit the completed DS-160 confirmation sheet, forms listed in Step 2, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months, and a valid passport, to the Consular Office one week before your scheduled interview date.
Step 6. Pay the MRV Fee
On the day of your interview, please pay the following nonrefundable visa application fees: $ 160 for Student (F-1 /M-1) and Exchange Visitor (J-1) visas.
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. Interview for your visa with the Consular Officer
Once you arrive to the consulate, you will need to leave your electronic devices in the first guard gate. No phones are allowed inside the embassy.
In the first window, you will be required to make the payment for your visa. $160 or equivalent in CFA
In the second window our staff will confirm with you that the information introduced in the form DS-160 is correct or will complete missing information in our system.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process.
Finally the applicant will be interviewed by a consular officer.
During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
After your visa interview, your application may require further administrative processing. You will be informed by the consular officer if further processing is necessary for your application.
When the visa is approved, you will be informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you.
Step 8. Pay the Visa Issuance Fee
If your visa is approved, you may also pay a visa issuance fee, depending on the type of visa issued. Citizens of Togo are not required to pay this fee. To learn whether citizens of your country must pay a visa issuance fee, you may visit the U.S. State Department’s reciprocity page and search for your country.”
Step 9. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa
Many F1 visas take additional administrative time to be processed. You will be called when your visa is issued.