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How to Apply for U.S. Visa

1. Obtain

Obtain your certificate of eligibility.

Make sure you have sent a colored copy of your passport and receipt of IPF to the ISS email. NOTE: Canadian students do not need to pay the IPF.

ISS will process, generate, and mail your certificate of eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019)

*Processing time: Please allow sufficient time for us to process these forms. We recognize that many of you have deadlines, and we are working to moderate these delays as much as possible. Know that we are committed to processing your forms as quickly as we are able. You can help by reducing the number of inquiries being made about the status of your forms. Each call and email about application status takes time away from processing. If you would like to ask about the status of your request, please wait until it has been pending at least three weeks.*

Make sure you verify your address with ISS to make sure your document will be sent to the right place.

2. Apply

Apply for the DS-160, or Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and the required fee.

Instructions and more information on the DS-160 can be found on the DS-160: Frequently Asked Questions website.

3. Pay

Pay your I-901 SEVIS Fee. This is required for your visa interview. It is a separate fee from the online visa application fee.

*Note: You may pay your SEVIS fee after scheduling an interview with the U.S. Embassy; However, we recommend you do this step before scheduling. Please make sure it is paid at least three days before you attend your visa appointment.

4. Schedule

Schedule a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in the country where you live.

Read is the list of embassies, by country. Be aware of wait times for interview appointments and schedule your interview accordingly.

5. Arrange

Make travel arrangements. This could be done before or after receiving the visa, but you must be aware of flight availabilities from your home country to Hawaii. You may arrange a shuttle from the airport to campus through North Shore Express.

6. Prepare

Preparing for and attend your visa interview with all supporting documentation.

Make sure you prepare the following documents before your interview:

  • Passport 
  • DS-160 confirmation page 
  • Application fee payment (if applicable) 
  • Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) 
  • Receipt of SEVIS fee 
  • Proof of admissions  
  • Proof of funding 

Other supporting documentation may be required such as:

  • The purpose of your travel  
  • Your intent to depart the United States after your travel 
  • Your ability to pay all travel costs 

We wish you the best and hope to see you on campus soon!


For more detailed information regarding coming to campus, please see the New International Student FAQ page.