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Coming to OU

To learn more about the process for newly admitted students, follow the links below. For answers to frequently asked questions, click here


Apply for your visa

NISO Experience

Step 2: Apply for your visa

After you have been admitted to OU and received your I-20 or DS-2019, please follow the steps below to apply for your student visa. For more information, see the US Department of Homeland Security website, Your Guide to Studying in the States.

Travel Plans

You cannot enter the US more than 30 days before the program start date shown on your I-20 or DS-2019.

COVID-19 Vaccine requirements

Starting Nov. 8, 2021, non-immigrant, non-citizen air travelers to the US will be required to be fully vaccinated prior to boarding an airplane to the US and provide proof of vaccination status. For information about which COVID-19 vaccines are accepted, please visit the Center for Disease Control website. If you are not already vaccinated, vaccines are free and widely available on the OU Norman and Tulsa campuses.

There are limited exceptions to this requirement: children under 18 years of age, people medically unable to receive the vaccine, citizens of countries with very limited vaccine availability, and people issued humanitarian or emergency exceptions.

Pay I-901 SEVIS fee

Pay the I-901 SEVIS fee at The SEVIS fee is not a university fee. This is a one-time fee to the US government and must be paid before you can apply for your F-1 or J-1 visa. 

Visa category Fee
F-1 $350 USD
J-1 exchange visitor $220 USD

For more information about this fee, including other options for paying, please visit the SEVP website. You should be able to retrieve a copy of your SEVIS fee payment receipt at regardless of your payment method.

If you have more than one I-20 or DS-2019

Only enter the information for the school you will attend in the US when paying your SEVIS fee and completing your visa application. Changing schools or documents will cause delays in obtaining a visa and entering the US.

Keep a copy of your SEVIS fee payment receipt

Print two copies of your SEVIS fee payment receipt. Keep one copy for yourself and use the other copy for your visa interview.

Apply for US visa*

Next, review the student visas page on, as well as the instructions at the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply for a visa. After you receive your visa, check to see that you received the right type of visa and that your name and date of birth are correct and match the information in your passport.

*Canadian citizens are not required to apply for a phyiscal visa. See more information here.

Required travel documents

You will need the following documents to enter the United States:

  • Passport
  • US visa
  • Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019)
  • Proof of admission to OU
  • Financial documentation
  • SEVIS fee payment receipt


Be sure that you do not pack the above items in your checked luggage.