obtaining a student visa
Now that you have accepted admission to SFAI, there are several steps you need to take in order to begin classes as an international student. Because it can be a somewhat lengthy process, you should begin right away.
F-1 / J-1 Student Visas
The majority of international students who study at SFAI do so in either an F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant student visa status. The most common is the F-1 visa status, which is most appropriate for international students who are funding the majority of their education through personal, family, or institutional scholarship resources. All students planning to attend SFAI in an F-1 visa status will need to be sponsored by SFAI and obtain an F-1 student visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before entering the U.S. In order to obtain an F-1 visa, you must first obtain an I-20 and Certificate of Eligibility. See Obtaining an I-20 or DS-2019 for more information.
All Fulbright students attend SFAI in a J-1 nonimmigrant visa status. Fulbright students should contact the Institute of International Education (IIE) to obtain a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility as part of their J-1 visa application process.
Other Visa Types
While the majority of international students who study at SFAI do so as F-1 or J-1 students, there are a variety of visa classifications other than F or J that allow for full-time school attendance in the U.S. A short list of the most common types of non-F/J visa classifications that allow for full-time study is below. However, it is important to keep in mind that several of these visa classifications only allow full-time study in the U.S. until the age of 21, and others have strict limitations tied to them. If you currently hold any of the visa statuses below, it is important to discuss your individual situation with the Global Programs Office upon admission to SFAI to determine the most appropriate visa status for you.
E-2 Treaty Trader or Investor
H-1B Temporary Worker
L-1 Intra-company Transferee
For more information about various types of nonimmigrant visa statuses, visit the U.S. Department of State website.