When to Apply

The F-1 student visa can be issued tentatively 120 days prior to the start of the program, as mentioned in Form I-20. The dates may differ, as there are basically two dates that will determine how long will it take for the visa to be approved. First, the date of an F-1 interview, and then how long will it take after the interview.

Ideally one should apply for a visa as early as possible. Once the decision is made to take the plunge, there is no use of procrastination. If you do not get an early visa, you will not be allowed into the United States as an F-1 student more than 30 days before your course resumes.

For more on this and other information about the time visit: travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait.