F-1 Visa

An F-1 visa allows you to enter the United States or its territories in order to complete a program of study certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). Albizu University is a SEVP-approved school.

If you are transferring to Albizu University from another school, you already have an F-1 visa. If you are in the United States on another type of visa or if you are still in your home country, you must follow the same process to obtain an F-1 visa regardless of which school you attend. The steps listed below assume that you are planning to attend Albizu University (AU). 

1. The first step is to apply to and be accepted by AU as a full-time student. The Admissions Office will help you with your application. For information on how to apply to AU, click here.

2. Once you are accepted into AU, your admissions officer or other contact at the university will provide you with an acceptance letter for the academic program you have applied for.

3. The next step is to prove to the Admissions Office that you are able to pay for the cost of schooling and living expenses while in the United States. Funding can come from your own resources or from another individual. Click here for more information, including the required forms to file. International students have limited work opportunities, so you should not expect to work to pay expenses.

4. After you submit all requested documentation and the Admissions Office determines that you have met the requirements, we will provide you with a document called the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, or Form I-20. Form I-20 is a paper record of your information in a government database called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). If you would like to attend Albizu University, you must apply for your visa using the I-20 that we provide to you. 

If you are already in the United States, you or one of your friends or family members may pick up the form. Due to federal laws protecting a student’s right to privacy, if a friend or family member picks up your I-20, that person will need to present a photo ID along with a Third-Party Consent Form that you have signed. We can also mail the Form I-20 to your home. If you would like us to send it by Express Mail, you must pay for the express delivery.

5. Once you receive your I-20 from AU, check it to make sure that your name and date of birth (DOB) are correctly listed and spelled. They should exactly match the information on your passport. If they are not correct, contact your AU admissions officer. Contact information can be found here.

6. The final step in the process is to pay your SEVIS I-901 fee. This fee helps support the SEVIS system.  Attach the receipt for payment to your I-20.

7. You are now ready to apply for your F-1 visa.

If you are outside the United States, you must obtain the visa through a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. The website of the embassy or consulate in your country, which you can find by clicking here, provides specific instructions on how to apply for a student visa. A U.S. visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to an official port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. After obtaining your F-1 visa, you may apply for entry into the United States through a port-of-entry no earlier than 30 days prior to the program start date listed on your Form I-20. We suggest that you contact your AU admissions officer as soon as you enter the country so that there is no question as to your arrival date.

If you are already in the United States and applying for a change of status, you will need to complete an Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539).

Regardless of whether you are coming from your own country or changing your visa status, you must report to AU by your program start date or you will be seen as out of status, a serious situation that can result in your being asked to leave the United States.  For extensive, easy-to-understand information on F-1 visa procedures and regulations, please visit the Student Visa page of the U.S. Department of State website.

Please note that the United States cannot guarantee that you will be issued a visa, although the vast majority of applications are approved. You are advised to not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have your F-1 visa. Dependent family members (spouse and any unmarried children under age 21) who will be residing with you during your studies may apply for F-2 visas. Please contact us for more information.

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