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Immigration steps

As an international student at Arizona State University, you will need to obtain an F-1 or J-1 student visa.

F-1 Student Visa

The F-1 visa is the most common student visa and is issued to full-time students enrolled in an academic or language program at a U.S. institution. Any student who is funded either by personal or outside funds or a combination of the two is eligible for F-1 status. If you are a student applying for an F-1 visa, you must request the SEVIS Form I-20 from the appropriate ASU admissions office once admitted to ASU.

J-1 Student Visa 

The J-1 visa is an exchange visitor visa issued to students at all academic levels. Students must have a substantial portion of their funding coming from a source other than personal (for instance, their home institution or government). If you are a student applying for a J-1visa, you must request Form DS-2019 from the appropriate ASU admissions office once admitted to ASU.

Please follow the checklist below to learn about immigration procedures and how to obtain an F-1 or J-1 student visa.

Immigration ChecklistPrintable Immigration Checklist

In compliance with the Department of Homeland Security/SEVIS regulations, all international applicants on the F-1 or J-1 student visa must provide evidence of sufficient funds available for their studies. A financial guarantee form must be dated within the past six months and be signed by an authorized bank or representative of a recognized sponsoring agency in the U.S.A. An Affidavit of Support cannot be used in lieu of a bank statement. Please submit your financial guarantee form right away; ASU will not process the SEVIS Form I -20 or Form DS-2019 without receipt of your financial guarantee.

Undergraduate Financial Guarantee
- All degree programs

Graduate Financial Guarantee
- Thunderbird School of Global Management, Master of Global Management
- Thunderbird School of Global Management, Master of Arts in Global Affairs & Management
All other degree programs

Undergraduate students

Once you are admitted to ASU and submit your financial guarantee, you will need to complete two steps for us to create and send your  SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.  The tasks will appear in your My Tasks list on My ASU. Click on the tasks to notify us if you are in the U.S. and to request the delivery option for your SEVIS Form I-20.

If you are already studying in the U.S. on a SEVIS Form I-20, you will need to have your records transferred to ASU by following the Transfer SEVIS Form I-20 steps.

Graduate students

Once you are admitted to a graduate program at ASU, you will see new items on your My ASU Priority Task list. The new items include:

  1. Financial Guarantee form
  2. Proof of Finances
  3. “Request I-20” or “Request DS-2019”
  4. Passport

When you click on the items a pop-up box will provide you with additional information and directions for what you need to do.

You will also see two Graduate Admission Services holds, which will only be removed when SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 is issued.

When you submit the Financial Guarantee form and Proof of Finances, allow three business days for the items to be processed and removed from your Priority Task list. When the documentation has been added to your electronic file, you will be assigned to a student services assistant who will process your SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019, and he or she will contact you if there is a problem. Processing a SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 usually takes three to five business days.

Transferring from a U.S. school or from ASU's American English and Culture Program

Undergraduate:

  • Print the ASU Undergrate SEVIS Transfer Request Form and submit it to your current school informing your intent to enroll at ASU.
  • Pick up the new ASU SEVIS Form I-20 in ASU's Office of Undergraduate Admissions when you arrive at ASU, then report to the International Students and Scholars Office.
  • If you are going to travel outside the U.S. before your studies at ASU, you will need to re-enter the United States with the ASU SEVIS Form I-20. Contact ASU International Admission Services to make arrangements to receive the ASU SEVIS Form I-20 before leaving the U.S. ASU will not mail the SEVIS Form I-20 unless you request it. If you need your SEVIS Form I-20 sent to your home country, ASU can send it through FedEx if you provide a credit card number and expiration date to charge the FedEx fee. Present the ASU SEVIS Form I-20 at the U.S. Port of Entry.

If you have any questions, please contact the international student advisor at the school that you are now attending or contact:

Admission Services
PO Box 870112
Tempe, AZ 85287-0112
phone: 480-965-7788480-965-7788
fax: 480-727-6453
email: asuinternational@asu.edu

Graduate:

  • Print the ASU SEVIS Transfer Request Form. Fill out the top part of the form and submit it to your current school to inform them of your intent to transfer to ASU. They need to fill out the bottom portion indicating a specific transfer date.
  • Your SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 will be mailed to you or will be available for pick up according to the information you provided when you submitted the “Request I-20” or “Request DS-2019.”
  • If you will travel outside the U.S. before your studies at ASU, contact Admission Services to provide details about your travel plans:

Admission Services
phone: 480-965-6113480-965-6113
email: grad-ges@asu.edu.

It is important to understand your SEVIS document; each page contains important information that you must read. You must ensure that all information is correct (spelling, dates, etc.). If there are any mistakes, please contact the admissions office as soon as possible to have the information corrected. You will need the SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, your ASU notification of admission, the Financial Guarantee form and your passport in order to obtain your student visa at the U.S. consulate nearest to you.

Understanding the SEVIS Form I-20

The SEVIS Form I-20 is a three-page government document used for students to obtain an F-1 visa.

  • Page 1 contains program and biographical information.
    • Your SEVIS Identification Number is on the top right side of the form. You will need this number for your visa application and to pay the SEVIS fee.
    • F-1 students will be permitted to enter the U.S. 30 days prior to their report date, which is No. 5 on their SEVIS Form I-20. Please note that if you enter the U.S. after the report date, you may encounter difficulty with immigration officials at the Port of Entry. By signing the Student Certification No. 11 on the SEVIS Form I-20, you are acknowledging that you have read and understood the terms and conditions of F-1 status.
  • Page 2 contains instructions for the school and student. It is important that you read page two of your SEVIS Form I-20, which has important immigration information for maintaining your F-1 status while pursuing your studies as ASU.
  • Page 3 contains spaces for future travel authorization. You will not need a signature on this page when you travel to the U.S. using your SEVIS Form I-20 for the first time.

Note: Dependents accompanying the F-1 student in F-2 status must have their own SEVIS Form I-20, issued in the name of the dependent.

Understanding the SEVIS Form DS-2019

The SEVIS Form DS-2019 is a two-page government document used for students and scholars to obtain a J-1 visa.

  • Page 1 contains program and biographical information.
    • Your SEVIS Identification Number is on the top right side of the form. You will need this number for your visa application and to pay for the SEVIS fee.
    • This page also contains spaces for future travel authorization. You will not need a signature on this page when you travel to the U.S. using your SEVIS Form DS-2019 for the first time.
  • Page 2 contains instructions to the school and student. It is important that you read page two of your SEVIS Form DS-2019 which has important immigration information for maintaining your J-1 status while pursuing your studies at ASU.

Note: Dependents accompanying the J-1 student in J-2 status must have their own SEVIS Form DS-2019, issued in the name of the dependent.

Upon receipt of SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, you will have the information needed to pay the SEVIS fee and the SEVIS Form I-901 fee. You must pay the SEVIS fee and have a receipt prior to applying for a student visa.

The SEVIS Form I-901 fee is mandated by the United States Congress to support the program office and the automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and ensures that they maintain their status while in the United States.

As a visa applicant, you must submit a completed DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application for all nonimmigrant visa categories. Read complete details about student visas.

You should have your passport and SEVIS ID numbers available while completing the DS-160. All answers must be in English, using English characters only, with the exception of providing your full name in your native alphabet. If you submit your application in any language other than English, it will be denied, and you may be required to submit a new application. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions for further details.

Note: After you have completed the DS-160, you will need to print and keep the DS-160 barcode page.

To schedule your interview, locate your local US Embassy or Consulate. Each consulate sets its own timeline for accepting and processing student visa applications. If the consulate says apply “at least” 60 days before your program departure, this means no fewer than 60 days. To avoid problems, submit your visa application at the earliest date the consulate will accept it.

Please read information about nonimmigrant visa application fees. Note that these fees changed on April 12, 2012. Applicants must pay these fees as directed prior to their visa interview, and they must bring the receipt to their interview.

If the visa is issued, please note that a visa issuance reciprocity fee may be applicable based on your country of citizenship. Please refer to the Visa Reciprocity Table to see if this fee applies to you.

Start gathering the required documents for your student visa application the moment you apply to your program. Read through all information provided online by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that you will be visiting. At your interview you will need to provide:

  • SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 with your SEVIS record number issued by ASU
  • a receipt of your SEVIS form I-901 fee
  • confirmation page for application form DS-160
  • passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the U.S.
  • one 2x2 inch photograph of yourself
  • a receipt of your visa application fee(s)—pay before your appointment
  • financial evidence showing you, your parents, or your sponsor have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during your studies
  • transcripts or diplomas from previous schools
  • scores from standardized tests required by the college, such as the TOEFL

   Tips on Preparing for your Interview

As you get ready to arrive in Arizona, be sure to prepare your documents for travel. Here are some items you should carry with you. It is advisable to keep a copy in your checked luggage and one with your family at home. Make sure you have these original documents available at all times while traveling to and within the United States:

  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • valid passport 
  • current visa
  • copy of immunization records
  • original supporting financial documents
  • If your spouse and children will be coming to the U.S. with you, be sure to have their I-20 or DS-2019 forms and their passports readily available.
  • If you purchased international travel coverage, be sure to bring these documents with you.

I-20/DS-2019 Issuance Timeline

The United States government has strict regulations on the issuance of I-20 and DS-2019 documents to international students who wish to attend an educational institution in the US. The dates below are for issuance of an I-20/DS-2019, the latest date to report to the appropriate International Student office, and the final day to be enrolled full time. Any noncompliance with these dates may preclude you from registering for classes. International students not enrolled full time will have their SEVIS record terminated and become subject to detainment and deportation.

FALL 2015

DATE

First day to issue I-20/DS-2019 for fall 2015 admits

March 2, 2015

Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 (sent outside US by international express mail paid by students, accommodate visa processing time)

July 21, 2015

MANDATORY SEVIS check-in with ISSC

July 21 - Aug. 20, 2015

Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 (international transfer students in US, including AECP)

Transfer students are not eligible to register for classes until their SEVIS record has been transferred to ASU

Aug. 13, 2015

First day of classes and international student report deadline with ISSC

Aug. 20, 2015

 

SPRING 2016

DATE

First day to issue I-20/DS-2019 for spring 2016 admits

Sept. 14, 2015

Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 (sent outside US by international express mail paid by students, accommodate visa processing time)

 

Dec. 11, 2015

MANDATORY SEVIS check-in with ISSC

Dec. 6, 2015 – Jan. 11, 2016

Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 (international transfer students in US, including AECP)

Transfer students are not eligible to register for classes until their SEVIS record has been transferred to ASU

 

Jan. 4, 2016

First day of classes and international student report deadline with ISSC

Jan. 11, 2016