F-1 visa

In order to apply for the F-1 visa, you need to have received the I-20 A-B form, commonly referred to as I-20. The form I-20 is a three-page form with a CSUCI official's signature on Line 10 on page 1.

J-1 visa

The J-1 visa is an exchange visitor visa issued to students at all academic levels.  Trainees needing on-the-job training; teachers of primary, secondary, and specialized education; physicians and medical researchers; professors; and research scholars among others are eligible for the J-1. In order to apply for the J-1 visa, you need to have received the DS-2019 form. The DS-2019 is a two-page form with a USC official's signature on Line 7 on DS-2019.

H-4 visa

Students with H-4 visa are eligible to apply for a change of status by filing I-539 to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at www.uscis.gov.  Students must submit all the required documents including I-20 (certificate of eligibility.)  Oce paproved, F-1 students are eligible to apply for on campus employment, Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practival Training (OPT).  Please contact the Center for International Affairs for more information regarding the change of status application.

Applying for a visa

Please visit the web site at US embassy or consulate for the nearest embassy/consulate location and the visa application procedure.

All applicants for a student visa must provide the documents suggested below:

  1. Form I-20 issued by CSUCI Designate School Official
  2. Completed nonimmigrant visa application form (DS-156) with photo for each person applying: A separate form is needed for children, even if they are included on a parent's passport. These forms are available at the embassy at no charge.
  3. Passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the United States.
  4. Receipt for visa processing fee: When you go to the US consulate or embassy to apply for your visa, you will first have to pay the visa processing fee. On paying the fee, you will be issued a receipt.  Keep this receipt showing payment of the visa application fee for each applicant, including each child listed on a parent's passport who is also applying for a US visa, to present to the consular officer during the interview.
  5. Applicants with dependents must also provide:
    • Proof of the student's relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.)
    • It is preferred that families apply for F-1 and F-2 visas at the same time, but if the spouse and children must apply separately at a later time, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder's passport and visa, along with all other required documents.

It is important to remember that applying early and providing the requested documents does not guarantee that the student will receive a visa.  Also, because each student's personal and academic situation is different, two students applying for same visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different documents.