A visa is an entry document that you must apply for either with the United States Embassy or the consulate closest to your place of residence upon receipt of your Form I-20 or DS-2019 from our office. On this webpage you will find more information on the process and how to be prepared.
Primary types of international student visas
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 UNI scholarship, or a combination, 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 our Office of International Admissions.
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 their personal finances (e.g., their home institution or government). If you are a student applying for a J-1 visa, you must request Form DS-2019 from our Office of International Admissions.
Visa Application Process
Receive your I-20/DS-2019 and pay your SEVIS fee.
Complete the DS-160 visa application.
Schedule your visa interview with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country.
Prepare your documents for the interview.
Attend your interview.
Receive and review your entry visa and prepare documents for travel.
- Typically, visas cannot be issued more than 120 days prior to the program start date on your I-20/DS-2019. Don’t wait until then to secure immigration paperwork. Start gathering necessary documents for your student visa application now.
- Be sure to check wait times for your local embassy, as some areas may be experiencing wait times longer than 30 days. Complete these steps as soon as possible so that when your local embassy can take your appointment, you will be ready to proceed with your next steps.
Immigration procedures to follow when transferring to UNI from another university in the United States:
- Request the International Student Advisor at your current school assist you to complete the Transfer Form and submit the document to email@example.com.
- Submit the Financial Certification Form and supporting documentation to UNI.
- At the end of your studies there, your advisor should make the necessary entry into SEVIS to transfer your record to UNI.
- Obtain Form I-20 from UNI.
If you travel outside the United States before coming to UNI:
- Be sure that your F-1 visa is valid or obtain a new visa.
- Present your UNI Form I-20 to immigration officials upon reentry to the United States. Upon arrival, bring the UNI Form I-20 and your passport to the Office of International Engagement (OIE) for immigration check in.
If you come directly to UNI without leaving the United States:
- Bring the UNI Form I-20 and your passport to the OIE for immigration check in.