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
Be Sure to Apply Early. Student
visas are a priority at embassies
worldwide. Check the U.S.
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
can find information about the most
current student visa requirements at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html.
You will need the following
from ULI with current dates. If you meet
all the criteria
for admission at ULI, I will send
this to you.
Form I-20 created by ULI in SEVIS. ULI
will send this to you with your acceptance
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 http://travel.state.gov/visa/forms/forms_4401.html)
Passport that is valid for at least 6
Photograph showing full face with light
A Receipt for the visa processing fee of
$160. 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 https://www.FMJfee.com.
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
P.O. Box Address:
Visitor Processing Fee
Street address for
P.O. Box 970020
St. Louis, MO 63197-0020
Student/Exchange Visitor Processing
1005 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
OR . . .
If 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.
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
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
What Consuls Look For:
1. You have a
residence in your
2. You have
no intention of abandoning
3. You intend
to depart from the USA after studying is
purpose for studying in the USA is
directly related to plans for your
future in your home country.
The Most Important Thing to
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.
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
When you arrive
at the airport, you need
to be sure to have all
your acceptance documents
and immigration documents
with your ticket (your
original form I-20 and
Immigration officials at
the airport may ask you to
return to your home
country if you arrive in
the USA after the start
date listed on your I-20.
Also, we do not accept
students to take the
placement test late unless
there are extenuating
circumstances such as
and enroll in classes,
you must do the
following before the
first day of class:
the following items to
the admissions office:
- form I-20 (if you have a student
- insurance card (if you have your
- home country address
- Tulsa address (this is the most
important because we cannot register you
in SEVIS without it)
- Have your photo taken for your ID
- Take the Placement Test (this
includes grammar, writing, reading,
listening, speaking, and vocabulary
- Attend New Student Orientation
- Receive and read the Student Handbook
F1 students who do not attend
the scheduled placement test who enter the USA
will have their I-20s terminated unless they
contact ULI to let us know that they are
having flight delay problems.
the last day of class each session, you
must make a final decision to either enroll for the next
session, transfer to a new school, or
leave the USA. In order to
register and enroll for the next
session, you must complete the Address
Verification and Enrollment form that
your homeroom teacher will give you
during Week 5 of each session.
who do not enroll in classes for the
next session before new students take
their placement tests (Thursday of break
week) are not guaranteed a space in the
next session and may not be able to
attend ULI if classes are full.
This can be a serious problem if you
have a student visa, and you may have to
transfer to another school.
students must attend the
scheduled placement test.
Students who do not attend the
scheduled placement test will
have their I-20 terminated in
SEVIS unless they contact the
school concerning flight delays.
full-time ESL student must
attend a minimum of 18 clock
hours of class per week.
3. If a
student drops below 18 clock
hours of attendance per week,
their I-20 will be terminated.
complete classes for the
equivalent of an academic year
in order to be eligible for a
vacation, a student must
complete at least 4 consecutive
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
a student receives permission to
withdraw early, you have 15 days
to leave the USA. If the student
withdraws without permission,
they should leave the USA
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.
signature on Form I-20 shows that you
agree to follow all the conditions of the
1. You must be a
full-time student at ULI, enrolling in and
attending a minimum of 18 clock hours of class
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) before being eligible for a
4. You must keep a
valid I-20 and passport.
5. You must not
work off-campus unless given legal permission
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 make a decision to re-enroll for the
next session, request to transfer to a new
school, or leave the USA.
must always have their legal documents with
them at all times. If you have a student visa,
you must carry your I-20, passport, 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
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.
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.
Form I-20: 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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your I-20 will expire soon and you will need
more time to study, you should apply for a
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
- Explain the
educational reasons why you need more time
at ULI (this might require further proof
such as a TOEFL score).
- Request a new I-20 from the
- 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:
Because of the Affordable Care Act,
all students who remain in the USA during
their vacation must maintain their medical
insurance. Please come by the ULI
office to pay for health insurance before
you begin your vacation.
1. Make sure there is 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
2. Take your 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 you have been
outside the USA for longer than 5 months or
your visa has expired, you will have to get a new visa
before you return to the USA.
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.
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
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.
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 (or other
proof of acceptance), 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 in the SEVIS program
within 30 days (if you did not graduate or if
you leave ULI before your I-20 expires) or 60
days (if you graduate or if you leave ULI
after your I-20 has expired) 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).
Most schools require you to 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
or a lawyer can help you with your application
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. A lawyer can help you
with your change of status.
The first step is to be accepted to
University Language Institute so that we can
create a form I-20 for you which you will
also need to send with your change of status
application. You will need to talk with a
lawyer who can tell
you what documents are required for the
change of status. Also, please be sure that
all your documents are translated into
English. When you have gathered all the
documents necessary for your change of
status, please bring them by the lawyers
office for help with
The Administrative Assistant at ULI
is the PDSO. You should direct any questions
that you have about immigration or your
student visa to her. If she is unable to
help you, she will direct you to an
immigration lawyer that can. Please solicit
advice from a PDSO or an immigration lawyer
rather than your friends when it comes to
your legal status.