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University Language Institute

How Can I Get a Student Visa? |SEVIS| Entrance into the USA | Enrollment and Registration |
| Attendance | Conditions of Your Student Visa|Documents|Program Extension|
| Change of Address|Vacation||
Employment|Reduced Course Load|
| Withdrawal|Transfer|Reinstatement|Change of Status| Helpful Websites |

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Student Visa Rules

How Can I Get a Student Visa?

You need a student visa to study at ULI. If you meet all the criteria for admission at ULI, you will be accepted. After you have been accepted to ULI, we can send you all the documents you will need for your student visa.

Be Sure to Apply Early. Student visas are a priority at embassies worldwide. Check the U.S. Department of State's visa wait times page  to find out how quickly you can get a visa interview. You can apply for a student visa up to 120 days before the program start date listed on your I-20.

You can find information about the most current student visa requirements at

You will need the following documents:

1.Acceptance Letter from ULI with current dates. If you meet all the criteria for admission at ULI, I will send this to you.

2. Form I-20 created by ULI in SEVIS. ULI will send this to you with your acceptance letter.

3. Application Form DS-160 completed online and printed out to bring to the interview (Information about how to fill out the form can be found at

4. Passport that is valid for at least 6 months.

5. Photograph showing full face with light background (2"x2")

6. A Receipt for the visa processing fee of $140. Check your country's U.S. embassy or consulate website to find out where to pay this fee.

7. A Receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee of $200. To get the receipt, you will need to fill out Form I-901 and pay the fee in U.S. dollars by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express) at

OR  . . .
If you do not have access to a credit card, you can get a Receipt for the SEVIS fee by sending Form I-901 and paying the fee by mail using a check or bank draft, drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. dollars. The mailing address for payment is:

P.O. Box Address:
I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
P.O. Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020
Street address for courier/express delivery:
I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101

OR . . .
f you would like to pay University Language Institute the SEVIS fee when you submit your application and application fee, we can use our credit card to pay the fee for you online and send the receipt to you via DHL when we send you your I-20. 

8. Any Document That . . . shows that you have binding ties to a residence in your home country (proof of home ownership, etc) or that proves that you plan to return to your home country after studying (letter from employer, proof of children in home country, proof of ownership of property, etc).

9. Proof of Financial Resources. You must prove that you have a financial support source (self, financial sponsor, scholarship, etc). You must prove that you have enough money available right now to pay for all your classes. You must prove that you have enough money so that you will not become a public charge or seek unauthorized employment in the USA. Examples include bank books, bank statements, income tax documents, affidavit of support, business registration, business licenses, or letters of scholarship.

What Consuls Look For:

1. You have a residence in your home country.

2. You have no intention of abandoning that residence

3. You intend to depart from the USA after studying is completed

4. Your purpose for studying in the USA is directly related to plans for your future in your home country.

The Most Important Thing to Remember:

During your interview, you must prove that you do not plan to move to the USA permanently.


All schools that issue I-20s are required to report information about their students to the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) computer database called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). So, now, more than ever, it is very important for you to understand immigration regulations. It is very important for you to know your legal responsibilities while you study in the USA. You are responsible for staying in legal status at all times while in the USA.

Note of Advice: Please do not depend on your friends for immigration information. There are many new rules, and they change often. If you have any doubts or questions, talk to a Designated School Official (DSO) as soon as possible or consult the USCIS website.

Entrance into the USA

When you arrive at the airport, you need to be sure to have all your acceptance documents and immigration documents with your ticket.

You can enter the USA up to 30 days before the start date listed on your I-20. If you enter the USA after the start date listed on your I-20, your I-20 will have been canceled. Immigration officials at the airport will ask you to return to your home country if you arrive in the USA after the start date listed on your I-20.

Enrollment and Registration

For New Students and Transfer Students:
You must enroll and register during the 30 days before or on the start date listed on your I-20 (placement test day). If you do not do this by the start date listed on your I-20 (placement test day), your I-20 will be terminated.

After you arrive in the USA, you should check the ULI office hours and come by the office to register and enroll in classes. To do this, you need to bring the following items with you:

  • Passport
  • I-94 card (you will receive this at the airport)
  • insurance card (if you have your own insurance)
  • home country address
  • Tulsa address (this is the most important because we cannot register you in SEVIS without it)

For Returning Students:
Before the last day of class each session, you must make a final decision to either:

1. Enroll for the next session

2. Transfer to a new school (you must receive an I-20 from your new school within 60 days and start at the very next session available within 5 months)

3. Leave the country (you must leave the country within 60 days)


1. New students must attend the scheduled placement test. Students who do not attend the scheduled placement test will have their I-20 terminated in SEVIS.

2. A full-time student must take a minimum of 4 courses per session at ULI.

3. To make progress toward graduation, you must pass at least 18 hours of classes (per week) each session in an intensive English program or 12 credit hours per semester at a college or university.

4. To complete and pass classes for the equivalent of an academic year, you must complete and pass at least 4 sessions per year at ULI or 2 semesters per year at a college or university.

5. Students who de-enroll from classes in the middle of the session with or without permission from the school will have their I-20s terminated. If you recieved permission to withdraw, you have 15 days to leave the USA.

Conditions of Your Student Visa

If you are a studying with an F-1 (student) visa, it is important to maintain your student status while you study in the USA.

Your signature on the Form I-20 shows that you agree to follow all the conditions of the F-1 visa:

1. You must be a full-time student at ULI.

2. You must make progress toward graduation.

3. You must complete and pass classes the equivalent of an academic year (at least 9 months or 4 sessions).

4. You must keep a valid I-20 and passport.

5. You must not work off-campus unless given legal permission from INS.

6. You must notify your school’s office no later than 10 days after you move or legally change your name for entry into SEVIS.

7. Each session, you must re-enroll for the next session or request to transfer to a new school before the last day of the session. You have 60 days to leave the USA if you officially de-enroll at the end of the session or 15 days to leave the country if you officially withdraw in the middle of the session.


All non-immigrants must always have their legal documents with them. If you have a student visa, you must carry your I-20, passport, I-94 card, and other documents with you at all times. You should keep all other legal documents, including all previous I-20s, in a safe place in case you need them later. Please be aware that police officers in Tulsa will take you to jail if they stop your car and you (or a passenger in your car) does not have their immigration documents.

Your Passport: You should apply for a new passport about 6 months before it expires. New passports are available from your country’s embassy or consulate in the USA.

Your I-94 Card: You should leave the USA within 60 days after the date your I-20 expires unless you transfer to a new school. If you have a student visa, your I-94 card is marked “D/S” (Duration of Status). This means that as long as you are studying and have a valid I-20, you are allowed to stay in the USA.

Your Visa: Your visa gives you permission to enter and re-enter the USA. There is no penalty if your visa expires while you are in the USA as long as you are continuing to study with a valid I-20. If you leave the USA after your visa expires and want to return, you will need a new visa. If the name of the school on your visa is different from the school you will attend when you return to the USA, you need to go to the U.S. embassy to get a new student visa with the name of your new school.

Your Form I-20: Your form I-20 expires the date that you leave ULI. If you need more time to complete your studies at ULI, you should apply for a program extension before your I-20 expires. I-20s are made using the computerized SEVIS program. Please remember that it may take several days after you request it to make your I-20. If you do not apply for a program extension before the expiration date on your I-20, you will be out of status (illegal).

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Program Extension

If your I-20 will expire soon and you will need more time to study, you should apply for a program extension.

The process for a program extension is as follows:

  • Provide financial support documents that show that you have enough money for education and living expenses for the remainder of your stay at ULI .
  • Explain the educational reasons why you need more time at ULI.
  • Request a new I-20 from the ULI office.
  • Sign your new I-20

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Change of Address

If you change your address, you must:

1. Fill out a change of address form in the ULI office no more than 10 days after you move.

2. ULI will make changes in SEVIS.

3. Fill out a change of address form with the post office.

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Students must attend and pass classes for 9 consecutive months at ULI (4 ULI sessions) before being eligible for a vacation. If you plan to take a break from classes, be sure to talk to a DSO to make sure that you are eligible. You must receive permission! Don’t let your I-20 expire while you’re on vacation! Before your vacation, you must enroll in ULI for the session following your vacation. If you do not attend classes during that session, ULI is required to report you to USCIS.

Vacation in the USA:

If you stay in the USA during your vacation, you should not let your health insurance lapse! Health care can be very expensive in the USA without medical insurance. Medical expenses can jeopardize your financial status and ability to maintain your full-time student status in good standing as defined by INS regulations. Please come by the ULI office to pay for health insurance before you begin your vacation.

Vacation in Another Country:

1. Get a signature on the last page of your I-20 from a ULI DSO to grant permission for you to re-enter the USA to study at ULI. Do not wait until the last minute.

2. Take your I-94 card, passport, all I-20s, and any other legal documents with you.

3. Check your F-1 visa to be sure that it is still valid. If your visa has expired or has a school's name other than ULI, you will have to get a new visa before you return to the USA. If you are out of the country for more than 5 months, you will also need to go to the U.S. embassy to get a new visa.

4. It is a good idea to take copies of your grade reports to show that you have actually been studying while in the USA. The ULI office can give you a copy of your grade reports, an official transcript, and letter from the director.

5. If you are out of the USA for 5 or more months, your visa will be canceled and you will have to apply for a new one before returning to the USA.

6. Your visa and your I-20 must be for the same school. If you visa lists a school different from the one you plan to attend when you return to the USA, you need to apply for a new visa.


You cannot work while you study at ULI. After maintaining student status in the USA for 9 months, USCIS allows students to apply for employment at the institution that issues their I-20. However, since ULI does not have jobs available for students, ULI students are not allowed to work. Working illegally can carry severe penalties, and you may be forced to leave the country for a period of 3 to 10 years for breaking the law. Even if you don’t get in trouble now, you may have trouble if you ever want to apply for a different type of visa or permanent residency. If you suffer a financial crisis during your stay in the USA, you should talk to the director and ask about applying for a work permit. There are very specific guidelines and requirements by USA Immigration that must be fulfilled in order to apply for a work permit. The process of application may take a few months. Therefore, it is very important for you to plan ahead.

Reduced Course Load

A student who drops below full-time (below 18 hours per week) without permission is considered to be out of status. A DSO can authorize you to drop below full-time for one session (no less than 9 hours per week) only if you have initial difficulty with English or reading requirements, are unfamiliar with American teaching methods, or have been placed in the wrong level. Also, if you need less than 18 hours to graduate, you may drop below full time. In the event that you have documented medical problems affecting your study abilities, you may be allowed to reduce your course load or withdraw. New medical documentation must be supplied each new session for no more than 12 months. You must apply and be approved for a reduced course load at ULI and complete form I-538 to be eligible.


If you have an emergency and need to withdraw from ULI in the middle of the session, you must receive permission from the office and leave the country within 15 days of your withdrawal date. If you do not receive permission to withdraw from classes, do not make transfer arrangements, or do not enroll in the next session, you should leave the country immediately or you will be out of status.

Transferring from One Institution to Another

If you have maintained your status, you may transfer to another school. However, you should plan ahead of time and apply as early as possible to the new school.

1. BEFORE the end of the session, you should tell a ULI DSO where you plan to transfer.

2. You will need to follow the application process of the new school. You will be required to give a current financial support document and a copy of the ULI I-20 form to the admissions officer of the new school. The officer will contact ULI to ensure that you have maintained “status” at ULI.

3. You should submit the "ULI Transfer Out Form" to your new school.  After ULI receives the Transfer Out form signed by the new school, we will "transfer your record out" to the new school.

4. You must be accepted at the new school and “transferred in” to the new school on the SEVIS program within 60 days of your last day at ULI. You must start in the very next session available at your new school (no more than 5 months after your last day at ULI). You must be accepted before their program start date or you will not be allowed to transfer.


If you do not follow the rules for holders of student visas, you will be illegal (out of status). There are only two ways to be reinstated:  by exiting and re-entering the USA with a new I-20 (very risky) or by applying for a reinstatement within the USA.  You can only apply for a reinstatement to student status within the USA if the reason that you are illegal is beyond your control (such as illness, natural disaster, or DSO mistake). If you do not receive a reinstatement, you must leave the USA. If you do not leave, you could be banned from returning for 3-10 years. ULI can help you with your application for reinstatement.

To receive a reinstatement, you must provide the following documents:

1. A letter from ULI.

2. Form I-539 filled out and signed. (If you do not know how to answer a question, we will help you). Write REINSTATEMENT at the top of the form in red.

3. Original I-94 card, passport, current I-20 from ULI, and any other USCIS documents.

4. Check or money order in the amount of $300.00 made out to The Department of Homeland Security.

5. You must write a letter of explanation detailing the reason why you are out of status. The letter must include the following:

    A. Address your letter to:

    USCIS Vermont Service Center

    75 Lower Welden Street

    St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

    B. Request a reinstatement to student status. Explain why you are out of status. Be very honest and precise with your explanation.

    D. You must explain that the violation of status either 1) Resulted from circumstances beyond your control (such as illness, closure of school, natural disaster, or oversight of the DSO) OR 2) That the violation relates to a reduction in your course load that would have been within a DSO’s power to authorize AND that failure to approve reinstatement would result in an extreme hardship to you.

    E. A statement that you are pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study in the immediate future.

    F. A statement that you have never been employed without INS authorization.

    G. Any additional documents that may help your case.

    H. Updated financial documents.

    I. Transcripts.

Change to Student Status

If you have a B-1 or B-2 visa, you are not allowed to study. If you hold a B-1, B-2, F-2, or J-2 visa and want to study full-time, you should apply for a change to a student visa. If you have a B-1, B-2, or J-2 visa, you cannot attend classes while waiting to change your status. If you have an F-2 or J-2 visa, you can apply to change back to your original visa type after you complete your studies. ULI can help you with your change of status.

You need the following documents to apply for a change of status:

1. Completed form I-539 "Application to Extend/Change Non-Immigrant Status".

2. Copy of all passport pages, both sides of your I-94 card, and any other legal documents.

3. Financial support document.

4. A check, money order, or cashier's check for $300 (payable to The Department of Homeland Security).

5. A letter explaining why you want to change your status and receive a student visa. The letter should explain how your studies here will help you fulfill your future goals in your home country. The letter should be addressed to

USCIS Vermont Service Center

75 Lower Welden Street

St. Albans, VT 05479-0001


6. Receipt for payment of the $100 SEVIS fee. Information about how to pay this fee can be found here.

Helpful Websites  

University Language Institute|2448 E. 81st Street, Suite 1400|Tulsa, Oklahoma 74137|United States of America

Phone: (918) 493-8088|Fax: (918) 493-8084|E-Mail:

President and Director, Mike Schlittler

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