Center for International Services & Programs

Visa and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Information:

To learn more about the student visa application process, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html

To learn more about where to apply for a U.S. student visa in your country, please visit:  http://www.usembassy.gov

To learn more about U.S. visa application forms, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/forms/forms_1342.html

What is the SEVIS Fee?  The SEVIS Fee is a general fee associated with F-1 or J-1 visa application processes that is assessed by the U.S. Government; it is very similar to a visa application fee.  You must pay the SEVIS Fee before visiting the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General for the visa application process.  For more information, or to pay the SEVIS Fee, visit www.fmjfee.com or http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/.  If you have trouble paying the SEVIS Fee, please contact the International Center at: intadvisor@csuohio.edu.

Helpful U.S. Immigration Links:

  • SEVIS Fee:                                                       www.fmjfee.com
  • U.S. Embassies/Consulates Abroad:                  www.travel.state.gov
  • U.S Department of Homeland Security:              www.dhs.gov
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:      www.ice.gov

Please follow instructions for the category relating to your situation:

  • If you are currently residing in your home country:
    You have been sent a certificate of eligibility (Form I-20 or Form DS 2019) to be presented at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy (www.state.gov/countries) when you apply for an F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor visa. You should also present your original financial documents and your letter of admission.
    • SEVIS Fee: Go to (www.fmjfee.com) regarding the SEVIS Fee. You must pay the fee before going to the embassy/consulate. Evey thing can be completed online. If you have trouble contact : intadvisor@csuohio.edu.
    • Caution: Do not enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa unless "prospective student" is noted AND do not enter on a visa waiver or you will be refused at the U.S. point of entry. Dependents (F-2, J-2) must have a separate I-20 or DS 2019 document
  • If you are in the US on another visa (J-2, H-4, etc...) or you have applied for permanent residency:
    You are not required to become an F-1 or J-1 holder while studying at the university. However, F-2 holders who wish to attend school must change their status to F-1. Our office will provide services to you as needed. Should you need or wish to change to F-1 or J-1 status, please contact our office.
  • If you are presently studying in the US on an F-1 visa:
    You plan to depart the US before school begins: Request that your I-20 form be sent to you. You must use the CSU issued I-20 to re-enter the US. You will not depart the US before school begins: Immigration regulations require you to be in valid F-1 status at your current school to transfer to CSU. Your international advisor should indicate that your wish to transfer in the SEVIS system. If you are "Out of Status", you must discuss reinstatement with someone in the International Center. Your I-20 for CSU will not be mailed to you, but can be picked up in our office after you register.
  • WARNING: The transfer process MUST be completed within 15 days from the start of the semester or you will have violated your F-1 status. You may not work on campus until your F-1 immigration transfer has been approved.
  • Canadian Visa:
    If you wish to visit Canada during your stay in Cleveland, it is advisable that you obtain a Canadian visitor's visa in your home country.
  • If you are already studying in the US on a J-1 visa:
    Contact our office so that you can proceed with a transfer to our J-1 program. Please bring a copy of your current DS 2019 and I-94 card.