Obtaining a Student Visa
This page contains the following information
on obtaining a student visa.
1) Types of
2) Obtaining a Visa
3) U.S. Embassy/Consulate Requirements
Preparing for Entry to the U.S.
Type of Visa
Students are usually given an F-1 visa. Spouses and children of
F-1 visa holders are assigned an F-2 visa. J-1 visas are given to
researchers, scholars, and students who are sponsored by government
agencies or universities. Spouses and children of these visitors are
assigned J-2 visas. The visa is only important for entry or
re-entry to the United States. You do not need to worry if it
expires while you are here. If you need to leave the U.S.
temporarily, the Office of International Student and Faculty
Services will counsel you on how to obtain a new visa.
Obtaining a Visa
If you have
been admitted to Ohio University (OU) and completed all the
necessary requirements, the OU Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions
office will issue you one of the following documents:
U.S. Embassy / Consulate Requirements
When you appear for your interview, make sure that you have:
- Ohio University's Form I-20 or DS-2019 signed by the Designated
School Official (DSO) or sponsoring agency's DS-2019 specifying Ohio University
- Valid passport for travel to the United States with a validity
date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of
stay in the U.S.
- Payment receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee
- Evidence of your funding, which must be sufficient to defray all living and school expenses during the first academic year of anticipated study in the United States
When you receive your visa, you will also be given a sealed envelope containing your I-20 or DS-2019 form. This envelope must remain sealed until you give it to the U.S.C.I.S. office when you apply for entry to the United States.
Preparing for Entry
Prior to Disembarking
You should be aware
that a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States. The
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has authority to deny
admission at the port-of-entry. You should be very careful to have
all your documents in order upon arrival. Prior to disembarking from
the airplane, the flight attendant will pass out a white-colored
form called the I-94-Arrival/Departure Record. You will need to fill
it out with all pertinent information regarding your arrival in the United
At the port-of-entry
At the port-of-entry, a CBP inspector
will check the I-94 and your travel documents and stamp your
passport and Form I-20 or DS-2019 to indicate the entry date,
location and non-immigrant classification and length of authorized
stay. They will return to you the Form I-20 or the DS-2019. The I-94
Departure Record will be attached to your passport.
The officer at the port of entry will report your arrival to
SEVIS. Ohio University will receive that report. You
should plan to report to Ohio University by the arrival date on your
Form I-20 and attend orientation to register for classes. It is essential that you report to Ohio University following the above guidelines. We are required to report you if you do not.