Immigration requirements: A guide for international students to study in the US
Completing your journey to Lynn
Application and acceptance to Lynn is the first step for international students. You must obtain either an F-1 student visa or demonstrate that you have visa status that permits a nonresident alien to study in the U.S.
Our office of International Student Services can help you with immigration requirements, pre-arrival information, orientation and advice on academic, social, cultural and employment matters.
Obtaining your I-20 and F-1 visa
To apply for an F-1 student visa, you first need to obtain an I-20. This is issued through our office of International Student Services.
Submit the following documents for an I-20:
- A copy of your passport’s biographical page; passport must be valid for a minimum of six months into the future
- A completed Certificate of Finances form: undergraduate, graduate, iLynn
- Complete sections A and D by yourself.
- Bank letter or bank statement. This document must:
- Confirm the availability of funds as listed under Section C of the Certification of Finances form.
- Contain the name of the account holder and be dated within the last six months.
- Example bank letter
- Letter from the government, if applicable, indicating its plans to pay for education and/or living expenses for citizens abroad.
Once your I-20 form has been issued, you will be enrolled in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The visa application process includes the following next steps:
- Pay the SEVIC I-901 fee payable online and print your receipt.
- Complete the DS-160 online visa application and print the confirmation with your fee collection slip.
- Use the fee collection slip from your submitted DS-160 visa application and pay the visa processing fee.
- Obtain a receipt for this payment.
- Make an appointment at your local U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate as soon as possible. Visa processing times vary by embassy or consulate. The U.S. Embassy can help you locate the closest embassy or consulate.
- Review the site’s list of documents you need to bring to your interview.
- Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of entry into the U.S.
Transferring to Lynn?
You may transfer from another U.S. institution on an F-1 visa if you’ve enrolled full-time at your present college/university, notify the designated school official (DSO) of your intention to transfer to Lynn, and submit the following documents to Lynn:
- A copy of your passport’s biographical page
- A copy of your F-1 visa page
- Your completed Certification of Finances form: undergraduate, graduate, iLynn
- A bank letter
- A completed Transfer Information form
You must begin classes within five months of the last date you attended class at your previous school or within five months of the date you participated in the Optional Practical Training.
What to expect
While you’re at your embassy or consulate appointment, be prepared to:
- Verify that you do not intend to abandon your foreign residence.
- Verify that you are qualified to pursue a full course of study.
- Verify that you plan to enter the U.S. as a student “temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at Lynn University in the U.S.”
- Present your DS-160 visa application confirmation page.
- Present your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.
- Present your Lynn University admission letter.
- Present sufficient financial evidence of support to cover your educational and living expenses while studying in the U.S.
- You must show availability of funds, not possession of the funds.
- Consular officers can consider currency restrictions in the student’s home country.
- Show proficiency in English based on the Lynn University admission criteria.
- Demonstrate your intention to depart the U.S. upon completion of the course of study.
- Show sufficient academic credentials to attend Lynn University.
After your F-1 visa appointment
- The consular officer will verify the form I-20 and the information in the SEVIS system before issuing the F-1 visa.
- If your visa is approved, you may be subject to a visa issuance fee based on your nationality.
- Once your F-1 visa is issued, you will be informed how your passport and visa will be returned.
- The form I-20 and financial documents will be placed in a sealed envelope.
- Please carry your passport and the sealed envelope with you when traveling to the U.S.
After you’ve arrived at a U.S. port of entry
- Initial entry students (new F-1 students) are permitted to enter the U.S. 30 days before the program start date. Find this listed under the Program of Study section on the first page of your form I-20.
- At the U.S. border you will present your passport and sealed envelope to the customer border protection officer.
- The officer will verify the student information in the SEVIS database system.
- You will be admitted as F-1 Duration of Status (D/S).
- You will receive an electronic I-94 to verify your entry to the U.S. Be sure to log in using your passport information. Print your electronic I-94.