You must obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa in order to seek admission to the U.S. for full-time studies, unless you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda. Citizens of Canada or Bermuda do not require F-1 or J-1 visas but must present appropriate means of documentation at the U.S. port-of-entry to seek admission for full-time studies.Read page 3 of your Form I-20 or page 2 of your Form DS-2019, examine the information on page 1 for accuracy and sign the student certification block (for F-1 students) or exchange visitor certification block (for J-1 students) on the bottom of page 1 prior to presentation to a U.S. consular official or immigration official.
Click here for detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a US Visa.
The U.S. visa tells you until what date you may enter the United States. The expiration date of the visa has nothing to do with how long you may remain in the United States. That is determined by your I-20 or DS-2019 and I-94. You need to renew the visa only if you are traveling abroad after the visa expiration date, so that you may again enter the U.S.
Specific information on F-1 and J-1 visa application at U.S. Embassies and Consulates is available at the following address: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html.
The websites of U.S. embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions is available at the following address: http://www.usembassy.gov
Visa revocation following a DUI:
The U.S. Department of State is revoking visa foils ("stamps") of foreign nationals following a conviction or an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), or a related criminal charge. Individuals are notified of their visa cancellation by email (address used on the visa application). An individual in nonimmigrant status whose visa has been prudentially revoked will have to obtain a new visa in order to be readmitted to the United States after temporary travel abroad. In order for the visa to be issued, the foreign national will first need to be cleared by a panel physician following a medical screening, which may result in a visa denial or delay. A student who has their visa revoked should talk to an immigration attorney.
SEVIS Fee Payment Options for F-1 Students, and J-1visa applicants should read SEVIS Fee Payment Options for J-1 Students.
You cannot enter the U.S. on a B-2 (tourist) visa and expect to change to F-1 or J-1 visa status after you arrive. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will likely deny this request, and you will have to leave the U.S. to obtain a proper visa. Also, you cannot enter the U.S. on a visa waiver and change F-1 or J-1 status after your arrival. Persons who enter the U.S. on a visa waiver are not eligible for change of status in the U.S.
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Make Flight Arrangements
Once you have received your visa (not before), you can begin to make flight arrangements. While there are several airports located in South Florida, we strongly encourage students to fly to Miami International Airport (MIA) for convenience to campus and access to public transportation (more information available in the “Getting to Campus” section). Miami International Airport is located approximately 20 minutes by car from the Coral Gables campus.
Plan to enter the U.S. with your F-1 or J-1 Visa and UM I-20 or DS-2019 up to (but no earlier than) 30 days before the start date indicated on your UM I-20 or DS-2019. You should plan to arrive in Miami no later than one week before the start of classes.
You will need to have the following documents to enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status.
F-1 Visa Holders
You may apply for admission to the U.S. if all of the following documents are in order at the time you plan to enter the U.S.:
Complete the SEVIS Registration Check-In Process.
Upon arrival to the University of Miami, all newly admitted F-1 students are required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to complete SEVIS Registration Check-In with ISSS by the end of Week 2 of your first semester at UM. Failure to do so will result in a Negative Service Indicator (a Hold) from ISSS to be placed on your Student Record, which will block your enrollment activity and affect your eligibility to receive services from ISSS. Failure to timely complete your SEVIS Registration Check-In requirement will also result in termination of your F-1 status. Click here for instructions and form.
Complete the SEVIS Validation Process.
Upon arrival to the University of Miami, all newly admitted J-1 students are required by the Department of State (DoS) and International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to complete SEVIS Validation Check-In with ISSS by the end of Week 2 of your first semester at UM. Failure to do so will result in a Negative Service Indicator (a Hold) from ISSS to be placed on your Student Record, which will block your enrollment activity and affect your eligibility to receive services from ISSS. Failure to timely complete your SEVIS Validation Check-In requirement will also result in termination of your J-1 status. Click here for instructions and form.
If you have been admitted to the University of Miami to begin an academic program and an organization other than the University of Miami is your program sponsor, i.e., AMIDEAST, Fulbright, LASPAU, OAS, etc., you must still report to ISSS. However, you must also report to your program sponsor for validation of program participation in SEVIS to change your SEVIS status from “initial” to “active.”