Applying for a U.S. Visa
You can find useful information about applying for a visa here.
Documents & Definitions
1. Passport - The passport is a document issued by your home country government giving permission to travel outside the country. It is renewed through your embassy. For passport renewal purposes, letters verifying enrollment can be requested from the ISSO in person or accessed online here.
2. Visa - The visa is a multi-colored stamp or designated page in the passport, which is issued by a U.S. consulate abroad. It allows the visa holder to enter the U.S. for the time designated on the visa and need only be valid on the day you enter the U.S. If your visa expires or you change your status, you need to obtain a new visa at a U.S. consulate abroad, as it is not possible to obtain or revalidate the visa in the U.S.
Types of Visas
- F1 student: permits an individual to enter the U.S. for fulltime study at a designated institution. The I-20 is used to obtain an F1 visa at an embassy outside the U.S.
- J1 exchange visitor: permits an individual to enter the U.S. for study, teaching, research, and training. Form DS-2019 is used to obtain a J1 visa.
- I-94 Card (Arrival/Departure Record) - This small, white card is usually stapled in the passport at the port of entry. It indicates the authorized period of stay in the U.S. by the marking, “D/S” (duration of status) as long as the student is maintaining valid F1 status. If there is anything other than “D/S” marked on your I-94 card, please see the ISSO.
- I-20/DS-2019 - The I-20 is the immigration document for F1 students, and the DS-2019 is the immigration document for J1 exchange visitors. They should reflect your current academic program and personal information. They should be kept with your passport and when signed by a Designated School Official (Tarek or Denise), serve as a travel document.
More information is also available on the USCIS website visa application.
- You MUST update your address within 10 days of any move (must be where you live).
- If you live off-campus, do this on your 49er express account.
- If you live on-campus, make this change at the housing office.
- In addition, those subject to Special Registration (NSEERS) requirements must use the Special Registration form AR-11SR to update their address. Go to uscis.gov or pick up a form in the ISSO.
SEVIS Fee Requirement for F1 students
Learn more about F1 SEVIS fee requirements.
SEVIS Fee Requirement for J1 students and scholars
Learn more about J1 SEVIS fee requirements.