Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


 
OBTAINING AN F-1 OR J-1 VISA AND ENTERING THE U.S.

 
If you are now overseas you may apply for your visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019, your passport, recent photographs, proof of financial support and acceptance letter.  We suggest that you call the consulate or embassy for specific instructions before you apply. Copies of TOEFL, previous academic grades or other test scores are helpful as well. You could visit the web site: www.travel.state.gov for specific information about specific U.S. post's policy and procedures. Current global conditions have led to longer processing times for visas in certain countries. Please consult the U.S. consulate nearest you to plan accordingly.

Your goal is to convince the U.S. consul you have no intention to become a U.S. immigrant.  you might be asked to prove strong economic, personal and social ties with your home country.  Avoid any remarks describing dreams and goals you might have of remaining in the U.S. AFTER you have completed your academic program.  A "rule" is: Never lie, but you don't have to tell the entire truth.

If your application is denied, with all respect and kindness, request a written list of needed documentation to overcome this refusal and, if possible, the officer's name. Then notify the OIS.

As we mentioned before, if you already have an unexpired F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in your passport, you may use it along with Fordham's I-20 or DS-2019 to enter the U.S.  It does not matter if your previous school's name is noted on the visa, as long as you actually attended the institution for which it was issued originally.

Visa and Status: Know The Difference

Visa:
A U.S. visa is official authorization affixed to a valid passport that allows entry into the U.S.

  • You should think of your visa in the same way as you think of a key. Once in the U.S., you will no longer need your visa until the next time you wish to enter the U.S. Like a key, you only use your visa to "open the door" and enter a secure space. Once in, you do not use your key until you leave and need to reenter.
  • You can only apply for a visa if you are outside of the U.S.
  • Once you obtain a visa, at a U.S. port of entry (such as an airport) you must show your visa to an officer from the Department of Homeland Security. By presenting your visa, you are applying for a related non-immigrant status.

Status: All internationals are issued an I–94 status upon entry to the U.S.

  • So when you enter the U.S., expect a Department of Homeland Security Officer to staple a small white card into your passport. This is called an I–94 Arrival/Departure Record. The I–94 card is documentary evidence of the non-immigrant status that you were granted upon entering the U.S.
  • Remember that both visas and I–94 statuses are specific to the primary purpose of your visit to the U.S. The type of visa you hold determines the type of status you will receive. Your I–94 status will then determine which rules you will need to follow once you are actually in the U.S.

 

 

 

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