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Getting Your Visa

Entering The United States—Student Visa Status

Students should apply to the ELI early in order to receive the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility, which is required for students to obtain F-1 non-immigrant student visas before leaving their countries. Students should not enter the United States with B-2 visitor visas unless “prospective student” is indicated on the visas.

Students with evidence of admissibility to an academic degree program may find their applications for student visas to be facilitated at US consulates.

By US law, the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility is valid for one year from the date of issue. It does, however, stipulate a specific arrival date. Students who cannot enter the United States before the specified date should request an extension by contacting the English Language Institute. There is no extra charge if the original I-20 is still valid.

It is required by US immigration law that a student enroll at the institution which issues the I-20 used to enter the United States.