The Visa Process
Before the Interview
- Complete the housing and meal plan information
The form should be completed through CougarTrack. Columbia College firmly believes that you will benefit from living in a residence hall and requires freshmen and sophomores to live on campus. You can review the full housing policy through Residential Life, including residence hall options, off-campus living requests, and housing policies.
Schedule the visa interview:
- Complete the visa application form DS-160.
- Have a photograph taken and attach it to the DS-160 form. You must follow the Photograph Requirements.
- Complete the I-901 form and pay the US$200 SEVIS I-901 fee.
- Have on hand your SEVIS number printed on the upper right-hand corner of the I-20 form and the Columbia College school code: KAN214F00119000.
- Print the receipt. You will need this when you attend your interview.
- Schedule a visa interview appointment at a U.S. Consulate.
Prepare for the visa interview
- Contact an EducationUSA Advising Office regarding the interview; they have many helpful hints and resources.
- Carefully review the U.S. Department of State Visa preparation section.
- Be prepared to answer questions about why you chose Columbia College.
- Review the program information for your major or discipline.
- Know some facts about the city of Columbia and why it is such an attractive place to live and go to school.
- Visit the City of Columbia and Visitor’s Bureau Web sites.
- Review Columbia history and facts.
- Review Columbia College history and facts.
- Be sure to show non-immigrant intent and ties to your home country.
- Double check with the embassy that you are interviewing at to see if any extra documentation is needed.
The day before the Interview
Gather the following documents to take with you to your Visa interview appointment:
- Passport (valid for at least 6 months from the date of interview)
- I-20 form
- Receipt for the paid SEVIS fee
- Visa application fee receipt
- Interview appointment letter
- Application forms (DS-156,DS-157,DS-158)
- Supporting bank/financial documents
- Degrees, diplomas, certificates and/or transcripts
- English proficiency test scores, if available (TOEFL, IELTS)
- Admission test scores if available (SAT, ATC, GRE, GMAT)
The day of the Interview
- Collect all the materials you gathered the day before the interview.
- Arrive to the interview early to ensure you arrive on time.
- Follow the instructions provided at the consulate.
- Sit for your interview.
- Let your admissions counselor know how the interview went!
After receiving the Visa
- Visit an EducationUSA office for additional assistance and travel preparation.
- Schedule your trip to Columbia.
- Columbia College will pick you up from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (airport code STL) or from Columbia Regional Airport (airport code COU). Pick-ups require arriving on selected days and coordinating arrival information with the admissions counselor.
- Be sure to schedule your flight with enough time to arrive by the beginning International Student Orientation.
- Submit your travel itinerary to the Director of International Student Services, (include Britta’s e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org), including:
- Arrival Airport
- Final arriving flight number
- Date and time of arrival
- Please label the subject/title of your e-mail with your full name and “NEW STUDENT ARRIVAL.”