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Updated Student Information Page

The Department of State updated requirements for student and exchange visitor interview waiver applications. Some F, M, and academic J visa applicants may now be eligible for interview waiver until December 31, 2023. Including:

  • First-time F, M, or academic J (student, professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, specialist) applicants who are a national of a Visa Waiver Program and have traveled to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP); or
  • Applicants who were previously issued any type of visa and are now applying for an F, M, or academic J (student, professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, specialist) visa

 Please note: This announcement only affects those who have not been previously refused a visa and who possess no other ineligibilities. You must be a resident of Finland and present in Finland to apply by mail. This guidance does not apply to Au Pair or Intern applicants.

 The decision to allow an interview waiver will be made on a case-by-case basis. If the Embassy finds you do not qualify and still require an interview, you will be informed by email. Interview appointments remain extremely limited.

If you are eligible for interview waiver, please follow the directions at https://www.ustraveldocs.com/fi/fi-niv-visarenew.asp to mail your application to Embassy Helsinki with all necessary supporting documentation with your application. Failure to include supporting documentation will increase processing time. Supporting documents include:

  • Your passport
  • The DS-160 application confirmation page
  • One photograph: Two inches square (51mm x 51mm) color photograph, less than 6 months old, against a white background, full frontal view
  • Application fee receipt number
  • Interview waiver confirmation page (if available)
  • Information on your research or study plans in the United States, including the name and e-mail address of your advising professor and/or the head of your department in the United States or course list if applicable.
  • Evidence of financial support for your study or exchange program. Evidence may include: tuition payment receipts, evidence of scholarship or grant funding, bank statements showing sufficient funds for your intended length of stay, statements from your school, college, or university stating fees have been received by the institution, etc.
  • DS-2019 or I-20 form
  • Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee receipt
  • First-time VWP country nationals must provide proof of travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. This may include passport stamps showing entry into the United States or a copy of your I-94 travel history and passport numbers. Applicants can view their U.S. travel history at the following page: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/history-search
  • Spouses applying for dependent F2 or J2 visas please submit proof of relationship to the principal applicant such as a marriage certificate.

After the Embassy receives your documents you will be contacted by email if you still require a fee payment or fingerprint submission. If your visa requires additional fee payments or if you need to submit fingerprints with your application, the processing time for your visa issuance will increase. 

The Embassy will not accept applications dropped off in person. You must mail your application with a prepaid return envelope in order for your application to be considered complete. This announcement is the most current guidance for F, M, or academic J (student, professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, specialist) applicants. Please allow time for all platforms to reflect this update.