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Immigration and Visas

F-1 Student Visa

The F-1 Visa (Academic Student) allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Status Maintenance

Once you receive acceptance to Lindenwood University, Office of International Students and Scholars will give you a document called a Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status." The Form I-20 is a paper record of your information in the database called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Check your Form I-20 against your passport information to make sure that your name and date of birth (DOB) are correctly listed and spelled. If the information on your Form I-20 does not match the information on your passport, contact the Office of International Students and Scholars who sent you the Form I-20, and ask them to correct the information for you.

I-901 Payments

The regulation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency requires all prospective F-Students to pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee before the Department of State issues you a visa.

Who has to pay the fee?

  • All prospective F-1 students from countries where a visa to travel to the United States is mandatory.
  • All prospective F-1 students from visa waiver countries (before seeking admission at a U.S. port of entry).
  • Any nonimmigrant in the United States applying for a change of nonimmigrant status to F-1 students (before applying for a change of nonimmigrant status).
  • An F-1 students applying for reinstatement of student status because of a violation of status (before applying with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
  • An F-1 students who has been absent from the United States for more than five months and wishes to re-enter the United States to return for further study in the same course of study (before re-entry into the United States).

A dependent of an F-1 students who will be applying for an F-2 visa does not have to pay an I-901 SEVIS Fee.

How do i pay the I-901 fee?

A prospective F-1 Students with a country of citizenship or country of birth of Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria or Gambia must pay by money order, Western Union Quick Pay or certified check drawn from a U.S. bank. All other prospective F-1 students also have the option to make a credit card payment on

I-901 Fee Payment Tutorial:

To get a student visa, you must present proof of your I-901 SEVIS Fee payment at your visa interview. The printed confirmation will serve as proof of payment for the I-901 SEVIS Fee.

Visit to the Embassy

The Department of State issues visas at U.S. embassies and consulates. A visa allows you to travel to the United States for a specific purpose. To identify the U.S. embassy or consulate that is most convenient for you to visit, go to the website of the embassy or consulate and follow the instructions on the site to do the following:

  • Pay your visa fee
  • Obtain acceptable photographs
  • Complete your on-line DS 160 visa application
  • Schedule an appointment for your visa interview

You should make your appointment for your visa interview as soon as possible after receiving your Form I-20 and paying the I-901 SEVIS fee. When you come for your appointment, a consular official will electronically scan your fingerprints. You must bring the following documentation to the interview:

  • Form I-20 issued by Lindenwood University
  • Printed Form DS-160, “Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application,” confirmation page
  • Passport valid for at least six months after you plan to enter the United States
  • Two-inch by two-inch photo of yourself (learn more about photo requirements)
  • Receipt for your $160 visa application fee payment
  • Receipt for your I-901 SEVIS fee payment

The visa interview is your opportunity to tell the consular officer about your plans while in the United States and what you will do when you have completed your studies. You should be prepared to show the following:

  • You have received acceptance to Lindenwood University. Your Form I-20 verifies this.
  • You have the financial ability to pay for school costs plus living expenses (the amount shown on Form I-20). You may want to bring copies of financial documents you provided to the Lindenwood University. These documents are evidence of the preparations you have made to finance your stay (e.g., bank statements).
  • You are prepared for the academic program in which you plan to enroll. You may want to bring copies of any standardized test scores, academic transcripts, diplomas or certificates from previous study you provided as part of your application to the school where you want to enroll.
  • Your stay in the United States is temporary (i.e., you are not permanently immigrating).
  • The interviewing official may be interested in how you intend to use the education you receive in the United States when you return home.

Words of caution

  • Proofread all of your travel-related documents (i.e., Form I-20, Form I-901 SEVIS fee receipt and visa) to ensure they are correct. Especially make sure your name and birth date are written exactly the same way on all of your documents. If you find an error in a document, have it corrected by Lindenwood University before you apply for the next document in the process.
  • Proofread your visa when the consular official returns your passport to you – mistakes in the visa information cannot be corrected once you travel. If you find a mistake in your biographical data or your visa type, contact the embassy or consulate to ask officials to correct the error.
  • Be skeptical of anyone who claims the ability either to provide a document that you need or to get you a visa other than as this guidance suggests. If you are deliberate and prepare carefully for each of these steps in obtaining travel authorization and F or M nonimmigrant student status, you can succeed by yourself!

For more information on submitting a student visa application, visit Travel.State.Gov, the official Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Notice of Availability of the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

Lindenwood University is committed to assisting all members of the community in providing for their own safety and security. The annual security and fire safety report is available on the Lindenwood University Office of Public Safety and Security website. 

If you would like to receive a hard copy of the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report which contains this information, you can stop by the Office of Public Safety & Security on the 4th floor of the Spellmann Campus Center or you can request that a copy be mailed to you by calling (636) 949-4687.

The report contains information regarding campus security and personal safety including topics such as: crime prevention, public safety authority, crime reporting policies, fire safety, disciplinary procedures and other matters of importance related to security on campus. The report also contains information about fire statistics in Lindenwood Residential Facilities and crime statistics for the three previous calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Lindenwood; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

This information is required by law and is provided by Office of Public Safety and Security.

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301