Once you have received your I-20 or DS-2019 from Teachers College, you should first review the information enclosed with your document and follow any instructions indicated. Once you have done so, you should take steps to apply for an F-1 or J-1 entry visa. An entry visa is necessary if you:
In order to apply for a visa, consult the procedures of your local U.S. consulate or embassy. Since consulates and embassies differ in their procedures, you should go to the web site of your nearest consulate by going to http://travel.state.gov/ or http://usembassy.gov/ for instructions about application fees, procedures, and time frames.
Students who are entering the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 student status are required, in most cases, to undergo a visa interview. Getting a visa appointment, especially during busy summer months, may be difficult. However, students and scholars are typically given priority. For an estimate of waiting times to get a visa appointment at your nearest U.S. consulate, go to the State Department's Visa Wait Times web site.
If you are a citizen of Canada you are not required to have an entry visa to enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status, but you must carry Items 1, 2, and 4 when making your entry into the United States. See the information in this web site regarding Canadian citizens.
In general, the items required to apply for a U.S. student visa include:
In order to issue an F-1 or J-1 visa, the consular official must determine that you have adequate finances for your program, and that you will return to your home country upon completion of your academic program. If you are married and plan to bring your family, you are required to show funds to support them as well. Here are some tips for going through the process of obtaining a visa successfully.
On September 1, 2004 the US Department of Homeland Security started charging an "I-901 SEVIS fee" for certain applicants seeking admission into the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status. The non-refundable fee of US $200.00 for F-1, or $180.00 for J-1 must be paid before applying for a visa and/or entering the United States.
Persons subject to the fee include:
Persons who are not subject to the fee include:
In order to pay the fee, you will first need to receive an I-20 or DS-2019 from Teachers College, if you intend to enroll at TC as an F-1 or J-1 student. Once an I-20 or DS-2019 has been produced, the OIS will send detailed SEVIS fee information to you if you are subject to the fee. You may also refer to the information on the Department of Homeland Security's approved SEVIS fee payment site, http://www.fmjfee.com/.
You may apply for a new visa up to 120 days before the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. However, under current immigration guidelines, you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019.
No. U.S. immigration regulations prohibit visitors from pursuing academic or professional programs of study. Visitors may come to the U.S. to investigate possible programs of study, but in order to pursue full-time academic or professional they will need to re-enter the U.S. on a student visa or another kind of visa that permits study.
When applying for a visa, and entering the U.S., you must present the I-20 from the school which you plan to attend. If you are a new student, you must attend the school printed on your F-1 visa as your school of initial attendance; otherwise, you may need to go back to your U.S. consulate and obtain a new visa. Please plan carefully, and contact the Office of International Services at email@example.com with more detailed information regarding your situation.
The spouse and dependent children under 21 of an F-1 student should obtain F-2 visas; the J-2 visa is for dependents of J-1 students. Each dependent who will come in either F-2 or J-2 status should have their own separate I-20s / DS-2019s.
Not necessarily. If you are already in the U.S. in valid F-1 status, you may simply need to transfer your immigration sponsorship to our institution. A new visa may or may not be necessary depending on your travel plans. In general, an F-1 student will not need a new visa once the transfer process has been completed, as long as the previous visa is still valid (unexpired).
Please contact the OIS. F-1 and J-1 visas are non-immigrant visas: an applicant for a non-immigrant visa must show his/her intention to return home after completing studies. Persons who have taken affirmative steps toward eligibility for permanent residency or citizenship are seen as having 'immigrant intent" and are therefore not eligible for non-immigrant visas. However, 'immigrant intent' standards for students are not as stringent, since students are often unable to provide firm evidence (such as employment or property) of their intention to return home after completing studies. If your visa is denied, please ask for a written notice of denial from the consular office, and contact the OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org.