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To apply for your visa, you will complete the online DS-160 online visa application form and pay the visa application fee, which is $160 for yourself and/or your dependents travelling on F-2 or J-2 visas.
You can begin filling out the DS-160 online for up to 120 days prior to your entry to the US. On the DS-160, you will be asked to upload a digital, US-sized passport photo (use a proper photo following the instructions provided - i.e. not an informal Facebook photo). You should also save often, as the system times out after several minutes. Make sure you print out a copy of the DS-160 and bring it with you to your visa appointment.
Additionally, be sure to include all educational institutions you have attended since age 11 in the Education section, as well as your full criminal background if applicable. You must report all arrests even if you were not formally charged and obtain a police certificate from the Association of Chief Police Officers. See the US Embassy's video on reporting criminal offences and their website for more information.
Note: This page is meant to be a general guide to the visa application process. Local US Embassies are the official source of information on visas, and any information provided to you by the US Embassy supersedes information on this webpage.
For more information on visas visit the US State Department website. They have sections on
F Visas and J Visas. You may also want to review the information provided by the US Embassy in London. Additionally, talk with your US university or visa sponsor for further information. If you are not a UK citizen, we encourage you to also read the US Embassy London's webpage on visas for non-residents.