Student Visa Requirements
All non-US citizens or permanent residents must obtain an F-1 visa in order to seek admission to the US for full-time studies. Citizens of Canada or Bermuda do not require F-1 or J-1 visas but must present their I-20 upon entry to the US.
To apply for an F-1 visa, you must provide the US Embassy or Consulate with Form I-20 (for F-1 students), passport, statement of funds, and other documents as required by the US Embassy or Consulate. Read page 2 of your Form I-20, examine the information on page 1 for accuracy and sign the student certification block on the bottom of page 1 prior to presentation to a US consular official or immigration official.
Requesting an I-20 from the University of Miami
Admitted international students must submit the following documentation so that we can issue an F-1 visa for you to enter the United States. Once all requirements are received it will take about 2-3 weeks to process and mail your I-20 form.
- Signed offer of admission letter
- Official transcripts, photocopy of diploma and test scores received from all institutions
- Copy of your passport photo page
- SEVIS Transfer Form (only current F-1 visa holders)
If you will bring an immediate spouse or child dependent
- Biographical Data Form for each dependent
- Bank letter with financial responsibility form, scholarship letter or sponsorship letter showing that you are able to support your family while in the US
Entering the United States
The F-1 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 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 US. You cannot enter the US on a B-2 visa or visa waiver and expect to change to F-1 visa status after you arrive. USCIS will likely deny your entry.
You may apply for admission to the US if all of the following documents are in order at the time you plan to enter the US. We suggest carrying these items in your hand baggage:
- Valid and unexpired Form I-20
- Valid and unexpired F-1 Visa
- Valid and unexpired Passport
- Sealed envelope given to you by the US Department of State’s Consular Officer
- Evidence of financial resources
- University of Miami letter of acceptance
- Paper receipt for the SEVIS fee
- Contact information for your UM International Student and Scholar Services Advisor
Inform the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the port of entry as soon as possible that you will be a new or returning (in case you previously attended school in the US international student or exchange visitor in the United States.
Reporting to the University of Miami
Students who have been granted entry to the United States must immediately report to the University of Miami’s International Student and Scholar Services at the following address:
International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS)
1306 Stanford Drive
Whitten University Center, Suite 2275
Coral Gables, FL 33146-6929
305 284 2928
Advising services are available in the Advising Center located on the Second Floor of the University Center. The office is open between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.