The F-1 Process: How to Attend

These are the simple steps to follow when applying to Bellarmine University as an F-1 visa student:

Step 1

Apply to Bellarmine by filling out the online application

Step 2

Submit your marks and certificates to Bellarmine for evaluation. Bellarmine does an internal review of the records, which is much faster and less expensive than using an independent records reviewer (e.g. WES).

Step 3

Collect and supply the following:

  1. Official TOEFL, IELTS test scores (unless educated in an exempt country, have one year of education in the U.S., or graduated from a recognized English language program)  
  2. One letter of recommendation
  3. A Copy of your Passport ID page
  4. (After advised of the cost of attendance) A financial statement equal to or exceeding the costs for one year of attendance. (This amount will include cost of living and travel, among other items).
  5. If the proof of funds is not yours, you must submit a sponsor affidavit attesting to the fact that they will support your education (See FORMS).

Step 4

Receive the I-20 from Bellarmine IS.

Step 5

Once you receive your I-20, you should apply for your F-1 visa from your local U.S. embassy/consulate. When applying for an F-1 visa, there are a number of items you will have to complete. The first one is to pay your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee (Currently US$200). Make sure your current passport is valid for at least 6 months after your interview.

  1. Go to the SEVIS fee processing site.  
  2. Complete Form I-901 online (be sure to insert your name exactly as it appears on your I-20) and supply the necessary MasterCard, Visa, or American Express credit card information.
  3. Print a copy of the online receipt.
  4. We suggest that you keep a copy of your receipt with your other important immigration documents.

You can also pay by mail or Western Union Quick Pay. Check the FORMS page for instructions for this payment type. Pay your SEVIS fee at least three business days before your interview date so they can see your application in the SEVIS system. Remember to take your receipt (I-797) to the visa interview. Keep it with you for entry into the United States.

Check with the local U.S. Embassy/Consulate for interview costs (separate from the SEVIS fee) and time lag for the appointment. See NAFSA Ten Points to Remember for some helpful hints on the interview.

Step 6

Once your have your visa, keep all your documents with you (not in your checked luggage) and have them available for inspection at the U.S. airport or border.

Step 7

Arrive at BU and attend the orientation session where the rest of your questions will be answered.

Step 8

Separately, schedule a check-in appointment with the Bellarmine PDSO/DSO so your SEVIS file can be updated. Failure to check-in will cause your I-20 to automatically cancel and require you to leave the country.