How to Obtain a Student Visa

Step One: Financial Support Verification
In order to enter the United States on a non-immigrant visa, all international students must provide sufficient financial support to cover tuition for their entire degree program and living expenses for one year. Regardless of your current visa status, or whether you are inside or outside of the U.S., please submit the following documents so we can issue your I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1):

  1. UCSF admission letter
  2. Confidential Financial Statement (contact Kevin Long to obtain the CFS for your department:  kevin.long@ucsf.edu)
  3. Financial support documents such as bank statements, UCSF or other organization award letters, or student loan award letters
  4. A copy of biographical page from passport

Step Two: Issuing Visa Documents
Once we receive a complete application and have verified your financial documents, we will issue you an I-20/DS-2019 which will be sent to you by express mail. Please provide an address and phone number where you would like the packet to be sent.

Step Three: Paying the SEVIS Fee
After receiving your I-20/DS-2019, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee before applying for a visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For detailed information, visit "SEVIS Fee".

Step Four: Apply for a Visa
Now that you have paid the SEVIS fee and have your I-20/DS-2019, you can make an appointment with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa. To review the visa application checklist, visit "F-1 Visa Application Checklist"
 

Step Five: Departure and Check-in at ISSO
After your arrival, it is extremely important that you check-in with our office. Bring all of your immigration documents - we cannot register your record in SEVIS until you have checked in.