To study at Seattle University, you must obtain the appropriate visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Most international students come to Seattle University on the F-1 student visa. In order to apply for the visa, you will need to obtain the Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student. Seattle University will issue the Form I-20 once you have completed the Declaration of Finances form and have been admitted to the university. The I-20 can only be issued to students who plan to study full-time. To apply for an F-1 visa, please contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
Students on short-term exchange programs come to Seattle University on a J-1 student visa. In order to apply for the visa you will need to obtain a DS-2019 form. Seattle University will issue the DS-2019 once you have completed the Declaration of Finances form and have been admitted to the university. To apply for a J-1 visa, please contact the nearest embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
If your intent is to come to the United States to study, it is not advisable to come on a tourist visa. Most requests to change from tourist to student status are denied by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Prospective student visas are appropriate for students who have been admitted to more than one school, but have not decided which school they will attend. A change of status from prospective student to F-1 should be routinely approved; however, B-2s may not begin studies until the change of status is approved.
If your dependents would like to stay with you in Seattle, they may apply for a dependent visa (F-2 or J-2). The primary visa holder must show the ability to financially sponsor the dependent(s). Dependents will have their own I-20 or DS-2019. Dependents of F-1 visa holders may not engage in part- or full-time study, except for unmarried minor children in K-12 programs, and are not allowed to engage in any type of employment. Dependents of J-1 visa holders are allowed to study and also permitted to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to be employed.
It is not possible to renew your F-1 visa in the United States. If you are a continuing Seattle University student who will be traveling outside the United States and will need to renew your F-1 visa, you should bring along your Seattle University transcript and transcripts from other schools you have attended in the United States. Also, please be sure that your I-20 has been recently signed on page 3. The International Student Center can issue visa renewal recommendation letters for students if they have maintained their F-1 status while at Seattle University. In addition, students should check their U.S. Embassy or Consulate for other documents needed for F-1 visa renewal.
The International Student Center will issue current students an “Initial Attendance
- Change of Status Requested” I-20 to apply to USCIS for a change to F-1
status in the United States. Submit a Declaration of Finances form and copies
of current immigration status documents, visa stamp, and passport ID pages to
the ISC. Allow 1 week for processing. You will receive an email from the ISC
when your I-20 is ready to pick up.
*Please note that F-1 benefits of CPT and OPT require one year of
full-time study, and an approved change of status in the U.S. allows the student
to apply previous full-time study toward this one year requirement. You should
submit your application several months in advance and maintain your current
status until approved. If your application is denied, you can apply for an F-1
visa in your country of residence.*
If you have recently been admitted to Seattle University and wish to apply
for a change to F-1 status in the United States, you should contact International Admissions. You may
submit your own change of status application or an immigration attorney can
handle your application.
Checklist: Application for change of status to F-1
At the port-of-entry to the United States, be sure that you present the I-20 from Seattle University. The school named on your visa must be a match to the school on the I-20, only if it is the first time you are using your I-20. You may also be asked for bank statements or other proof that the sponsor on your I-20 has sufficient funds to cover your yearly expenses. Be sure that you will be entering the United States before the report date in item 5 of your I-20. If you arrive after the report date, you may be refused entry to the United States.
Within 15 days after the first day of class, during your first quarter at Seattle University, you must report to the International Student Center with the following documents:
It is your responsibility to understand and comply with the terms of your visa during your stay in the
United States. If you comply with all of the F-1 visa regulations, you will be considered "in status" and will be eligible for all F-1 benefits. There are four main elements to maintaining status:
Be sure that you are prepared with the following documents before you attempt to re-enter the
United States from abroad: