When you are accepted to enroll in a University of Dallas program and you have demonstrated that you have sufficient funding for your studies, an I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status will be issued and sent to you.
The following instructions and suggestions for applying for the F-1 visa are of a general nature and apply to consular visa processing anywhere.
Timing - When Should I Apply for My Visa?
You are permitted to apply for the F-1 visa up to 4 months before the start date of your program. You should not delay applying for your visa. Depending on the time of year and your home country, sometimes it is difficult to get an interview appointment. In some cases the procedures require that you leave your passport and get it back with your visa by local postal service 2 - 3 weeks later. Sometimes you are asked to return to the visa office a second time to pick up your passport. In the case of some countries, there may be lengthy security clearances that delay your visa a month or more (see next section on security clearances).
You may be subject to a Security Clearance depending on your Field of Study or Country of Citizenship. If this is the case, typically you will be advised that your visa is delayed for "Administrative Processing."
Field of Study: If your area of study is on the U.S. federal government's "technology alert list," the U.S. consulate may be required to complete a security clearance prior to granting you the visa. This process can delay your visa application by anywhere from one to three months. Up to now no UD student has been subject to Security Clearance on the basis of Field of Study.
Country of Citizenship, Nationality or Birth: A security clearance may also be required by the U.S. consulate if a visa applicant is born in or is a citizen or a national of certain countries. The list of countries is not published, but seems to include the following: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and the territories of Gaza and West Bank.
If you are advised that your visa is subject to Administrative Processing, it means that a Security Clearance must be received before they can actually issue your visa. It does not mean that your visa will be denied. On the contrary, most of the time, the visa is granted after a delay of 1 - 2 months.
If you have applied for a visa and you have been waiting for more than one month for the results of a security advisory opinion, please contact the International Office to inform us of the delay.
Applying for the F-1 Visa at the Visa Office
Suggestions for The Visa Interview
Applying for F-2 Dependent Visas for Spouse and/or Children
If you have advised us that you are married and that your family (spouse and/or children under 21 years of age only) will come with you to live in the U.S., dependent I-20's have been provided for them with which they can apply for F-2, dependent visas. (Please note: Dependent I-20's must be signed by you, the F-1 student. Dependents do not sign I-20's.) Take copies of your marriage certificate and/or the birth certificates of any children to the visa interview. You must also show proof of sufficient funds to support any dependents, at least $8000 per year for your wife and $3500 per year for each child. Dependents can travel with you or can travel to the U.S. at a later date with the F-2 visa and dependent I-20.
If you get married during your studies and wish to have your spouse come to the U.S. to live with you, contact the International Student Office for information about getting the dependent I-20 and F-2 visa procedures.
Travel to the United States
You must enter the U.S. no later than the program start date in Item 5 on the I-20. However, you are permitted to enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior that date.
Refer to the " Government Regulations and Documents" section of the arrival planning booklet for descriptions of the Immigration process at the US Port of Entry.