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The first step in obtaining a visa is to make an appointment with the U.S. Embassy or consulate responsible for issuing non-immigrant visas for your home country, which should be done as soon as you receive your I-20. Visa applications may be issued up to 90 days before your program start date.

The U.S. Department of Immigration requires international students to submit a Certificate of Finances (COF) form indicating ability to cover educational costs prior to issuance of the I-20 document used to secure a student visa.

Before Your Appointment

During Your Appointment

Be prepared to provide evidence (receipts, photos, passport, documentation, etc.) that you have completed all of the above. Each embassy or consular post has its own procedures and processing times, so it’s a good idea to consult the office where you will apply for specific details. The following requirements are standard:

During Your Consular Interview

Once You Have Your Visa

Note: If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not need a visa to enter the U.S. However, you will need to present your I-20 form and a valid passport at the U.S. Immigration border crossing or port of entry. You must also present proof of payment of the SEVIS fee. You should receive an I-94 card marked F-1 upon entry

Lowering Your Costs

Guilford College merit scholarships are awarded to incoming first-year and transfer students.

Consideration is based upon a holistic review of each student’s application for admission. We look at it all — grades, coursework, SAT and/or ACT scores or your writing portfolio (Guilford is test-optional), class rank when available, leadership and community service, and extracurricular activities.

The value of Guilford’s merit scholarships ranges from $60,000 to $108,000 over four years. There’s no application process, and students are notified of their award at the time of admission.

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