Additional student visa documentation
To study in the United States, the school or exchange program must first accept you into the program. They will then apply for the appropriate documentation to the U.S. government officials on your behalf. These documents, refered to as an I-20 or DS-2019, confirm that you are enrolled in a study program that has been approved to accept foreign students. You must have the correct documentation from the program or school to apply for the visa requested. The consulate cannot issue a student visa without this form. Please note: it is very important that you have the I-20 and (if required) visa in hand when entering the U.S. as a student otherwise you will be asked to return to your home country and re-enter with the correct documentation.
Student visas (F,M) often require additional documentation to complete the non-immigrant visas process, including:
Proof of funds demonstrating your ability to finance your education. Please provide proof of scholarship and/or a bank letter confirming the availability of funds equal to or greater than the total amount noted on the I-20.
An electronically issued approval form – either a SEVIS-type I-20 (Form I-20 A-B/I-20ID, Form I-20 M-N/I-20ID) or DS-2019 for the J-1 visa. Each dependent of the principal applicant must have an I-20 form or DS-2019 in his or her own name issued by the U.S. institution. Additionally, if you have an amended form, DS-2019, dated on or after July 19, 2007, you must also present form DS-7002.
Proof of payment of the SEVIS fee - SEVIS fee receipt (1-901). Please confirm with your U.S. institution if the I-901 has been paid prior to the visa application. If this fee has not been paid you must go to: www.fmjfee.com and follow the instructions or click here for instructions on how to complete this process.
Birth and marriage certificates for dependent children and spouse.
In certain situations you may be asked for evidence of your academic record (transcripts) to date.
Once you have gathered the above-mentioned documents you may now proceed to "How to Apply" to complete the non-immigrant visa process.
Students must now book an appointment on-line. You must book the appropriate slot otherwise risk being turned away at the guard building.
Please note: Bermudian citizens currently do not require a visa to attend school in the United States. Presentation of the I-20 for academic or vocational studies or the DS-2019 for exchange visitor's form plus proof of financial support to the U.S. Customs and Border Protections officer at the port of entry is sufficient for students to attend school in the United States. You will also need to present your SEVIS fee receipt (see item #3 above). However, many students report that obtaining a visa eases their transition into student life. For instance, it is required in order to obtain a U.S. driver's license or other documentation in many states.
In order for Bermudians to be eligible for this visa exemption they must be able to present a passport meeting all of the following three (3) criteria:
- A British passport with "Government of Bermuda" written on the front;
- On the data page under nationality have "British Overseas Territory Citizen" or "British Dependant Territories Citizen" listed; and
- Have a Bermudian status stamp that says "Holder is registered as a Bermudian", "Holder Possesses Bermudian Status" or "Holder is deemed to possess Bermudian status".
If any one of these three criteria is missing, you may need to go to Bermuda Immigration and have your documents amended. If you do not meet these requirements you must apply for the student visa.
The spouse and children (under age 21) of the student visa applicant are eligible to receive visas to accompany the applicant to the United States. The visas will be of the same category as the principal applicant's and the fees will be the same. Applicants will have to provide evidence of the relationship when applying for the visas (e.g. marriage or birth certificates). If the family applies for a visa without the principle applicant, they should bring a copy of the I-20 or DS-2019 on which accompanying family members should have been noted. If they are not noted on the principal applicant's I-20, then the family members must have their own I-20s. Though F-1 students may accept on-campus employment with INS approval, spouses may NOT engage in work or full-time study with dependent visas.
For more information regarding student visa information please go to: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html#3
Studying in the States
The above websites are a sample of helpful education links; for more, you may want to conduct an Internet search. The U.S. Consulate General in Hamilton, Bermuda is not responsible for the material found in these websites. For more information regarding this matter please view our privacy section.