Visas & Arrival

International students must have the appropriate visa to study in the United States. Most of Georgetown EFL students apply for a student visa (F-1) to attend our programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am already in the U.S., and have a visa

Question: I am already in the U.S., and have a visa; can I attend your program?
Answer: Please visit this website to see if your visa type allows you to study in the U.S.


I am from a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating country

Question I am from one of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) participating countries (see full list) and have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval; may I attend your classes?
Answer No, unfortunately, you may not be enrolled at one of the Georgetown EFL programs if you enter the U.S. without a visa.


How do I apply for an F-1 visa?

Question How do I apply for an F-1 visa?
Answer Please see below for a step by step guidance


STEP ONE: Apply to Georgetown EFL

STEP TWO: Be admitted to Georgetown EFL

  • Georgetown EFL gets very many applications for a limited capacity. For this reason, we carefully review our applicants’ transcripts and select students who show a strong base for succeeding in an intensive program. If you are selected for our program, you will be notified by e-mail; please be sure you have a valid e-mail address on your application.

STEP THREE: Wait for the form I-20 to be issued

  • Within 10 days of admission confirmation date (by e-mail), the form I-20 will be issued from Georgetown EFL and be sent to your mailing address on your application. We will send you a tracking number by e-mail when it’s ready to be shipped.

What is an I-20?  -  It’s a form you need to bring to your F-1 visa interview and to the border inspection when entering the U.S.  When received, check to see your name and date of birth are correct and match the information in your passport

STEP FOUR: Pay your SEVIS fee (I-901) online:

  • I-901 SEVIS fee is required for all F-1 students by U.S. government
  • See exception:
  • You must pay this fee before making an appointment with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
  • You have to pay online with a credit card: Make sure you have a printer before starting the process. You will need to print a copy to bring to your visa interview.
  • In order to pay your fee, you will need a school code and your SEVIS ID. Georgetown University’s school code and your SEVIS ID are on top of your I-20.
  • Any questions about this fee? Please go to:

STEP SIX: Apply for an F-1 visa

STEP SEVEN: Arrive in the U.S.

  • Be sure to arrive before the class start date on your I-20
  • Be sure to arrive no earlier than 30 days before the class start date on your I-20.
  • Make sure you have your I-20, SEVIS fee receipt, and your financial documents with you when entering the U.S. besides your passport and F-1 visa.

STEP EIGHT: Come to EFL on the class start date