Before leaving for the US border

Immigration and Entering the United States:

Your Form I-20:

This official U.S. Government document is your Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status that enables you to apply for an F-1 student visa and entry into the United States. Upon receipt please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by email to confirm that you received this Form I-20.  

Look it over to make sure the information is correct.  If there is an error, contact the Admissions Office right away.  Do not sign the form at this time.  When you go to the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate, an Immigration Official will want to witness you signing the Form I-20.  

The U.S. Congress passed a law requiring international students to pay a fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security before a student visa is processed.  The purpose of the SEVIS I-901 fee is to cover costs of administering and maintaining SEVIS, the tracking database that ensures visa compliance.  The cost of this fee is $200 US for F-1 students (this fee is subject to change).  This is a one-time fee, as long as you keep your student visa current during your studies at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Pay SEVIS Fee:

Prior to going to the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate, you must complete Form I-901 to pay the required SEVIS fee. This form is available online at:

Read the instructions contained on this webpage and click on “Proceed to I-901 form and payment.”  Then click on “I-20” and “OK”.  Complete the form, pay by credit or debit card and print a receipt.  Completing the form online will help ensure that you provide all the information in the correct format.

Be sure to print and retain a copy of your receipt to take with you to the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. Having the printed receipt will speed up the verification process and allow processing of the I-20.  For additional information on the SEVIS I-901 fee payment and filing process, access the SEVP web site at  Please contact us if you have further questions.

Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate

You need to process your I-20 at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate closest to your home.  Since the process to obtain a student visa and the cost of this process may vary from country to country, we suggest you contact the U.S. Embassy or U. S. Consulate to determine the days and times they process I-20s and make an appointment if possible.  Remember to ask what you need to bring (Form I-20, Passport, Identification, SEVIS Fee receipt, University Letter of Acceptance, financial statements, etc.) and amount of money order(s).

In most cases, you will meet with a U.S. official for 5 minutes.  In that time, the official needs to determine your proficiency of the English language, your ability to support yourself while in the U.S. and the likelihood of you returning to your home country after completing your studies.  To better prepare yourself for your interview, please read the enclosure, "What Embassy or Consulate Officials Look For," that you received in your acceptance packet.

Before Leaving for the U.S. Border Crossing