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Visa Types

Student Visa

The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi accepts applications from individuals intending to travel to the United States for educational purposes who are U.A.E. nationals or holders of a valid U.A.E. residence visa and already possess an I-20 or DS-2019.

How to Apply: To apply for a non-immigrant visa, each applicant needs to follow the basic application procedure.

In order to apply for an F-1 student visa, the applicant must already have been accepted to an American college or university. Following admission, the educational institution in the United States will issue a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status (I-20 form) and provide that to the student.

Sponsoring academic institutions are required to enter accepted foreign students’ names into SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitors Information System.  Students should verify with their sponsoring academic institutions that they are entered into SEVIS before they apply for a visa.  Upon receiving the I-20 form, students are required to pay a SEVIS fee online at and bring a printed copy of this receipt to the visa interview.

Dependents of students studying in the United States may qualify for F2 or M2 visas.  These include the principal applicant’s spouse and all children under the age of 21.  Siblings and parents are not considered dependents, even if they plan to accompany an unmarried female student.  They would need to apply for a B1/B2 visa unless they plan to apply for their own student visa.

At the time of the interview, applicants must bring all of the following to the Embassy:

  • A passport that is valid for at least six months and has at least one blank visa page.
  • Previous passports (if available.)
  • DS-160 Online Application confirmation page;
  • One photograph;
  • Original I-20 Form from the school;
  • Proof of payment of SEVIS fee
  • Proof of financial ability (either bank statements or proof of a scholarship)

Emirati recipients of most U.S. student visas are also required to pay a reciprocity fee once the visa is approved. This fee is based on what the UAE government charges Americans who receive similar visas to study in the UAE.

Additional information about the visa application process can be found at

Students and exchange visitors – if you have not yet paid your Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) SEVIS I-901 Fee please read this important announcement.

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