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Office of International Services
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Office of International Services

Visa Basics > Canadian Students

Canadian Students

If you are a Canadian citizen, you are not required to obtain an entry visa to enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 student status. However, you must present the following upon entering the United States in order to obtain F-1 or J-1 student status:

  1.     A valid Form I-20 (for F-1 status) or DS-2019 (for J-1 status)
  2.     Your TC admission letter
  3.     Original financial documents
  4.     Proof of payment of the I-901 SEVIS Fee (detailed information about the I-901 SEVIS fee will be sent to you with your I-20)
  5.     Proof of Canadian citizenship (such as a Canadian passport)

A border inspector will review your documents and determine your eligibility to enter the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student. The inspector will then stamp your I-20 or DS-2019 and gives you an I-94 card stamped for F-1 or J-1 status for duration of status ("F-1 D/S" or "J-1 D/S")

Please Note:

1. If you are a new student entering the U.S. to begin studies at Teachers College, and have an I-20 marked "Initial Attendance" in Section 3, you are not permitted to enter more than 30 days before the start date indicated in Section 5 of your I-20.

2. Failure to obtain an I-94 card stamped "F-1 D/S" or "J-1 D/S" will mean that you have entered the United States in tourist status. Tourists are prohibited from studying or working while in the U.S., so it is essential that you request and obtain F-1 or J-1 status when entering the U.S.
Office of International Services
Teachers College, Columbia University
Box 7, 525 W 120th Street
New York, New York 10027-6696
Phone: (212) 678-3939 ♦ ~ Fax: (212) 678-3990 ♦ Email: