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Applying for a Student (F-1 or J-1) Visa

Applying for a Student (F-1 or J-1) Visa

The Office of International Programs and Extended Studies will issue immigration forms: I-20 and DS-2019 which will be needed before applying for your U.S. student visa.  Upon receiving these documents via express mail, you may start on the visa application at your nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Every U.S. Consulate/Embassy has different policies and procedures that may vary greatly.  Be sure to contact the consulate in your area, or visit their website, to find out how to apply for a student visa.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced a new fee of $100 for all new F-1 and J-1 visa applicants. For more information on the fee, go to: ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm
Due to the requirement of an in-person interview with most U.S. visa applicants and the increased security checks, the processing time for your application may take much longer than expected. Be sure to apply as early as possible and do not purchase non-refundable airline tickets until you secure your visa.
Please note: You must obtain a student visa (F-1 or J-1) in order to enroll at Ithaca College as an international student. DO NOT enter the U.S. on a tourist visa or through a visa waiver program.

Canadian citizens: You do not need a visa to enter the United States to study. You will need to present your I-20 or DS-2019 and financial documents at the U.S. border along with evidence of Canadian citizenship. Canadian landed immigrants, other than citizens of Commonwealth countries, must obtain a visa before entering the U.S. Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Canada if you have questions.

When traveling to the U.S., be sure to carry the immigration form you received from Ithaca College (I-20 or DS-2019), the financial certification documents you showed to the U.S. Consulate when you applied for your visa, and the letter of acceptance from Ithaca College. You may be asked to present these documents when you clear customs, upon entering the U.S. Remember to keep these documents and all other important documents in a safe place inside your carry-on luggage.  DO NOT place them in your checked luggage!