One of the first steps to becoming a student in the United States is applying for a student visa. We have a friendly team of staff members who will help you navigate this process. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you apply for your student visa!
Documents you should prepare in advance for the Visa Application Process:
- Submit an Application to the University
The process of applying for a student visa requires participation from both you and us as a university! Once you have submitted an application to either an academic program or for an ESL program at our English Language Institute, ANU will be able to help you through the rest of the student visa process.
- Sponsor’s Letter
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires that international students will be responsible for their debts and expense. With your application to the university, if you are not funding your own education (or providing your own bank account for payments), you will need to submit a “Sponsor’s Letter” that explains how your financial needs (for housing, food, clothing, healthcare, tuition and fees, etc.) will be met.This letter may be typed but have a hand-written signature, and must be written by:
- A family member
- Sponsor from the U.S. or your own country
- Anyone who will be supporting your stay here
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States.
- U.S. Department of State Forms: After you have sent in your Sponsor’s Letter and have been admitted to the University, ANU will send you a SEVIS ID and School ID necessary to apply for the DS-160 form required by the U.S. Department of State. Once you have received an appointment confirmation letter for your visa interview, ANU will send you:
- Form I-20
- When I-20 has been issued, you will need to register and pay for the Certificate of Eligibility of Non-Immigrant Status (SEVIS form I-901) here: https://fmjfee.com/i901fee/.
These forms will determine your visa status either as an F-1 Student Visa (for academic degree programs) or M-1 Student Visa (for vocational non-degree programs).
** Remember, as a student with an F-1 or M-1 Visa, you are not allowed to work in the U.S. without permission from the Immigration Department.**
Flight Arrival Information
- You should not enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date listed on your I-20. You should plan to arrive in Roanoke at least one week before your start date, in order to allow enough time to get settled and secure housing.
- Please keep the International Admissions Office up to date on your travel itinerary so we can prepare for your arrival. Depending on when you provide notice of your arrival plans and schedule.
- There are several options to assist with booking flight arrangements. For example:
Booking your flight to Roanoke, Virginia
- You can book your flight directly to Roanoke Virginia; the airport code is ROA. The Roanoke/Blacksburg Regional Airport is located approximately 4.8 miles (7.7km) from ANU. Please make sure your admissions representative is kept up-to-date on your arrival plans and we will help you arrange for transportation. Transportation from the airport, however, is not guaranteed depending on timing of advanced notice schedule. Again, please contact us as soon as possible about your arrival plans.
- It is also possible to fly to Washington, DC Dulles Airport (The major airport closest to Roanoke) and travel by train to Roanoke. You can purchase your train ticket directly to Roanoke from Amtrak. If you decide to fly into Washington DC Dulles Airport you will need to transfer to a bus in Lynchburg which will take you directly to the Roanoke Bus Station. Depending on when you provide notice of your arrival plans and schedule, we will do our best to arrange transportation from the station.
- You can also call the following companies:
- City Cab (540) 815-5050
- Roanoke/Salem Taxi (540) 389-5555
- Yellow Cab (540) 345-7711
- Megabus | website
ANU International Admissions address:
International Admissions Office
American National University
1813 East Main Street
Salem, VA 24153 U.S.A.