Applying for a visa

How to apply for an exchange visitor visa (J-1)

An exchange visitor visa is required for foreign citizens to enter the United States and participate in an exchange visitor program.

  • Apply. Apply to the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • Pay SEVIS I-190 fee. There is a $180 fee for J-1 visa applicants
  • Complete DS-2019 form. OISS will provide you with the DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status that qualifies you to apply for a J-1 visa
  • Submit DS-160. Complete the DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application and pay $160 fee
  • Attend visa interview. Attend your visa interview at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate

U.S. Department of Homeland Security guide on applying for exchange visitor visas

How to apply for a student visa (F-1)

A student visa is required to attend college in the United States.

  • Apply to the University of Nevada, Reno. After you are accepted, you will be registered in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
  • Pay SEVIS I-901 fee. There is a $200 SEVIS fee for F-1 visa applicants
  • Complete I-20 form. OISS will provide you with the I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status that qualifies you to apply for an F-1 visa
  • Submit DS-160. Complete the DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application and pay $160 fee
  • Attend visa interview. Attend your visa interview at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate

U.S. Department of Homeland Security guide on applying for student visas

Nonimmigrant student visa application

All nonimmigrants coming to the United States must complete DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Applications. This form is submitted online to the U.S. Department of State and is used to determine your eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa. 

Documents required for nonimmigrant student visa application

  • Passport. A valid passport is required
  • Travel itinerary. Applicable if you have made travel plans to the United States
  • Dates of your last five trips to the United States. Your past history and purposes for traveling to the United States
  • Curriculum vitae or resume. An overview of your current and previous educational and professional work history
  • Other information. You may be required to provide additional information, such as your purpose of traveling to the United States
  • Application fee. There is a $160 application fee for nonimmigrant visas

Scheduling a visa interview

After submitting your DS-160, you are required to attend a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. The interview process will include digital fingerprinting and potentially require additional processing information.

Because wait times vary by location, visa category and embassy or consulate, it is important to start the visa application early.

Documents required for visa interview

  • Passport. You must ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of stay in the United States
  • DS-160 confirmation. You must present a confirmation page for your DS-160 application form
  • Application fee receipt. You must show a receipt for your visa application
  • Photo. You must upload a photo during your DS-160 application process. If you do not, you must bring a printed photograph to your visa interview
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status (F-1), Form I-20. If applying for an F-1 visa, OISS will work with you to complete the I-20 form
  • Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-1), Form DS-2019. If applying for a J-1 visa, OISS will work with you to complete the DS-1029 form
  • Additional information. You may also be required to present additional information during the application process, including transcripts, standardized test scores, degree or certificates and more

A student visa for new students can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your start date at the University of Nevada, Reno. However, you cannot enter the United States more than 30 days prior to your start date.

Canadian citizen exception

Please note that citizens of Canada are exempt from the visa requirement. Canadian admission to the U.S. is granted at the port of entry by presenting an I-20/ DS-2019 form, proof of funding, proof of payment of the SEVIS fee, admission letter and passport to the immigration officer. Canadian landed immigrants must, however, apply for a student visa at the U.S. consulate.