American student visa consultants are supposed to secure I-20 after completing the required procedure with the respective school/ college/ universities, the student can apply directly too if they have required expertise. Once the I-20 is issued student has to schedule the appointment at American Consulate in the respective area it falls. At American Consulate student is suppose to appear in person 15-30 minutes before the scheduled appointment time. The interview may be conducted by a single (generally) officer or may be by more than one officer.
After you receive the I-20 all international students are supposed to activate SEVIS accounts, currently, the fee is US $’s 200, which can be paid by cheque & credit card. For credit card you may log in at www.FMJfee.com operate SEVIS, make the payment by credit card, take a print out of confirmation which is mandatory at the time of interview. Remember you may operate SEVIS even few hours before the interview, but it is strongly advised to operate in advance, as some times the site may be unoperational due to any reason.