Visa and Immigration Information

Check Documents: 

Before applying for your Visa, you must make sure all the documents sent to you by Grand Valley are correct. Pay special attention to the spelling of your name, your date of birth, your major and your funding source.

SEVIS fee: 

This is a mandatory $350 fee imposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for F-1 students and a mandatory $220 fee for J-1 students. If you will be applying for an F or J non-immigrant visa, you must pay the SEVIS fee before going for your visa interview. You will pay your SEVIS fee at, either online or through Western Union.

Visa Appointment: 

Once you have the receipt for your SEVIS fee, you should visit the US Embassy website in your country and apply for a visa appointment.

Visa Application Questions: 

You must be prepared to answer questions relating to the following topics: -Family background: Your parents, your work and your previous studies -Academic background -Future academic goals -Financial matters -Grand Valley: Where we are located -What you plan to study at our university. You must be prepared to discuss and prove your intent to return home.

Visa Interview Tips: 

1) Prepare in advance. Make sure all of your original documents are in order and ready to give to the immigration officer if asked for. Do not give documents that are not asked for. The two primary reasons that students are denied a student visa are:

a) Lack of sufficient and continuing financial support - You need to make sure you have an ORIGINAL bank statement that shows more than enough financial support.

b) The consular officer feels you are an intending immigrant to the U.S. - You need to have ties to your home country, giving you reason to return. Remember, it is the assumption of the officer that you are an "intending immigrant" and by way of the interview and your documents, you need to prove to them that your intention is to get an education and return home.

2) Dress well. If it looks like you don't care, the officer will notice.

3) Speak clearly to the officer, look them in the eye, and answer all questions precisely. Hesitating or thinking about an answer may signal that you are unprepared for the interview or possibly not a serious student. Know why you chose the university, why you chose your major area of study, and also be prepared to tell what you feel you will do when you finish.

If your visa is denied, contact Libby Jawish or Astin Martin with the reason for denial to see if they are able to petition for reconsideration.

If you are granted your visa, contact Libby Jawish or Astin Martin and make arrangements to book tickets.

On flight: 

Be sure to have your immigration documents on your person, NOT in your checked luggage. Because the Grand Rapids International Airport is not a large airport, your connecting flights will be in other, larger cities. You will go through customs in these larger cities and will need all your documents with you.

You may not receive an I-94 on your entry to the US. In order to print your I-94, please follow these instructions: Get I-94 Number 


Sample Documents: 

DS-2019 Form 



Page last modified March 11, 2024