Applying For a Visa

To attend Wellesley College as an international student, you must do some extra planning to ensure a timely and smooth entry into the United States.

You must comply with institutional and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) procedures.

This is a brief and general overview of the steps you need to take to obtain a student visa once you have been admitted to Wellesley College. Immigration regulations change frequently. Please see the U.S. State Department embassy website for the U.S. Embassies in your country and Department of Homeland Security website for more detailed information on applying for a student visa. You must access your MyWellesley New Student Checklist to upload the required documents to obtain your student immigration document.

Following these simple steps will facilitate your visa application process and entry to the U.S.:

Step 1: Complete and Upload a Copy of Your Certification of Finances (COF) to your Entering Student Checklist.

You can download a copy of a COF from the checklist on Workday. Instructions on how to complete the COF are on the form. Please remember that we do not need the original documents. Keep your originals for your visa interview and upload the scanned copies. Be sure to sign the bottom of page 4!

Step 2: Upload a Copy of Your Passport ID Page

You must upload a copy of your passport identification page and expiration page to your Entering Student Checklist in order to ensure that the Form I-20 will be issued with the exact name indicated on your passport.

Step 3: Receive Your Form I-20 in your Welcome Packet

Once we have received the required documents and verified your financial support we will issue you a Form I-20 to apply for an F-1 visa. The Form I-20 and instructions on how to apply for a visa will be sent to you by express mail within one week of receipt of the completed documentation (COF, supporting financial documents, and copy of passport ID page).

Step 4: Pay the SEVIS Fee

You must pay the SEVIS fee at least three days in advance of your visa interview. For more detailed information about the SEVIS fee and how to pay it please our handout included in your Welcome Packet or visit

If you are receiving financial aid from the College, the College will pay your SEVIS fee and send you the receipt so that you can apply for your visa.

Step 5: Schedule a Visa Interview at the Nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in the country of your citizenship or permanent residency to schedule a visa interview. Interview scheduling times vary from country to country so please check the U.S. embassy website nearest you for details.