A majority of the accepted prospective international students enter the U.S. on an F-1 student visa. For general information about studying in the U.S. please visit this website from U.S. Department of State or U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In order for potential prospective students to obtain F-1 visa status, they must first go through the procedure of obtaining an I-20 immigration document that is issued by LLU International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS). The following is a detailed step by step process to obtain the I-20.
Step 1: Apply to the program
Step 2: Acceptance to the program
Once acceptance has been granted and acceptance letter issued, the Admissions Office will send a copy of the letter and application to ISSS. When ISSS receives these copies, they will contact the prospective student via email and send a financial estimate and an information packet.
Some schools require a class holding fee to be paid directly to the school. If a fee is required, please pay it as soon as possible since the fee payment must be received in order for the prospective student to be “fully accepted” to the program.
Step 3: Financial Documentation & Deposit
ISSS will send a Certification of Finance and Acknowledgment forms to the prospective student via email. Both forms will have to be completed and returned to ISSS along with proof of financial funding (i.e. bank statement, bank letter, loan approval notice). Financial funding can come from any source as long as the sponsor or source can show financial documentation that is dated within 3 months of the date ISSS will issue the I-20. If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen or a permanent resident, the sponsor must also complete the I-134 Affidavit of Support form. This form can be found at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
International student refundable deposit
Most prospective international students are required to pay an advanced deposit before ISSS can release the I-20. The Certification of Finance form will list the required deposit. Payment must be made to Student Finance by check (demand draft), credit card, cash or wire transfer.
Step 4: Processing the I-20
Once ISSS receives the financial documents and the deposit has been paid, ISSS will process and FEDEX courier the I-20 to any address.
Step 5: Apply for F-1 Student Entry Visa
After the student receives the I-20, they must use it to apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for the F-1 student visa. Visit the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs website to learn more.
Step 6: Arrival in the U.S.
When the prospective international student arrives in the U.S., they have 10 days to report to ISSS. At the check in, copies of their I-20, passport, visa and I-94 will be made and a brief orientation will be given. Once the prospective student has gone through this process, ISSS will remove their international student registration holds so that they can complete their registration.