Once a new student, who is located outside the United States, has the I-20 or DS-2019, he/she can apply for a student visa at the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. For more information concerning the visa application process, please refer to the following pages:
All student applicants must have a SEVIS generated I-20 issued by an educational institution approved by DHS, which they submit when they are applying for their student visa. The consular officer will need to verify your I-20 record electronically through the SEVIS system in order to process your student visa application. Unless otherwise exempt, participants whose SEVIS I-20 was issued on or after September 1, 2004 must pay a SEVIS I-901 Fee to the Department of Homeland Security for each individual program. Refer to the following page for more information:
Be sure to pay the Sevis fee at least 3 days prior to the visa appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate, because the visa application requires proof of the payment, the SEVIS identification number to which the fee was paid.
Below is a video by the U.S. Embassy in London about the visa interview:
Please refer to the following document for visa process and the total estimated time needed to obtain a visa: