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Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS): Steps for International Student SEVIS Compliance

Step 1: Register for a residency/skills lab/pre-practicum/BAYR event

Walden students who are not citizens of the United States (or citizens of a United States territory) should register for their intended U.S. residency 3-4 months prior to the residency start date to allow enough time to obtain the required SEVIS travel documents prior to travel. You must be registered for your intended U.S. residency before submitting the Form I-20 application.

View the Timing Requirements for your program

View the Calendar of events

View Register for Your Residency/Skills Lab/Pre-Practicum/BAYR Event

Wait times for visa appointments can vary based on your location. Check the U.S. Department of State website in order to view the estimated wait time for your local U.S. embassy. If you are unable to schedule a visa appointment in advance of your in-person residency event, we encourage you to register for a virtual residency option. 

Step 2: Obtain a Form I-20 issued by Walden University

In order to obtain a Form I-20, you must complete the Walden University Form I-20 application. This application gathers personal, financial, and academic information as required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The creation of your Form I-20 generates a data record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database.

It can take up to 30 days from the date of application submission to the date of Form I-20 delivery. Once the application has been processed, you will receive an email with your Form I-20 as well as next-step instructions and a letter of verification for travel. After receiving the digital Form I-20 through your Walden email, you should print a copy in order to bring to your visa interview and to enter the United States.

Form I-20 Application

Step 3: Pay SEVIS Fee

The SEVP filing fee for the Form I-901 is $350 for each F nonimmigrant student applicant.

The SEVIS fee is required for all students and can only be paid after you have received your Form I-20. If you do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, you will not be eligible to apply for an F-1 visa or to enter the United States. Visit the SEVIS I-901 website for detailed instructions and frequently asked questions about the I-901 fee.

On the SEVIS I-901 payment form, line 17, you are to select the option under letter A.

It is extremely important that you SAVE your payment receipt. You will need to present this receipt to the U.S. embassy or consulate during your visa interview and at the U.S. border upon entrance into the country.


Citizens of Canada or Bermuda, skip to Step 6 below.


Step 4: Schedule an F-1 Visa Interview (not required for citizens of Canada or Bermuda)

Schedule your visa interview at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate immediately, as the wait time can be several weeks. Please consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you intend to apply for details on pre-interview requirements.

Step 5: Successfully Interview for an F-1 Visa (not required for citizens of Canada or Bermuda)

To the visa interview, please bring the following:

  • Current passport
  • Printed Form I-20
  • Proof of financial support
  • Receipt of your SEVIS fee payment
  • Proof of ties to your home country. (Examples of proof of ties to your home country include proof of employment, home ownership, investments, and family that will stay in your home country. The U.S. Consular Officer is looking for proof that you will return to your home country after the residency and that you are not a danger to the U.S. public.)


Dress professionally and speak respectfully while interacting with all consular officers. Be open and honest. If you are denied a visa, ask politely for written documentation of the denial. This will help you figure out what to do the next time you interview and provide support for requesting a refund from Walden University if you are unable to attend the residency.

Step 6: Pass through U.S. Customs

As you pass through U.S. Immigration and Customs, please bring the following:

  • Current passport
  • F-1 visa (not required for citizens of Canada or Bermuda)
  • Printed Form I-20
  • Receipt of your SEVIS fee payment
  • Proof of ties to your home country

Step 7: Attend the Residency/Lab

For event check-in at the international student table, please bring the following:

  • Current passport
  • F-1 visa (not required for citizens of Canada or Bermuda)
  • Form I-20
  • Receipt of your SEVIS fee payment.

You will NOT be allowed to participate in the academic event if you do not have the above items. No exceptions can be made for anyone.

Attendance is required for ALL sessions in order to successfully complete your academic event and course. See Attendance Requirements for more information.