Congratulations on your acceptance to St. Edward’s University!

This information is intended for recently admitted international students. If you have not yet been admitted, please contact the Office of Admission.

The following is an overview of how to secure your immigration status and pursue education as an international student in the U.S. Please review the steps outlined below, and follow the instructions carefully to avoid delays in the processing of your immigration documents. Our International Student Advisors are here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us via email or phone!

Step 1: Obtain Form I-20 or Form DS-2019

Form I-20 (F-1 Student) and Form DS-2019 (J-1 Exchange Visitor)

To study as an international student in the United States, you need a Form I-20 "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) Status." This form grants you eligibility to apply for an F-1 student visa.

Required Documents for Form I-20

Upon acceptance, email the following documents to iss [at]

  1. Copy of Passport Identification Page for you and any dependents (spouse and/or children) – You must provide a copy of your passport to ensure the information entered into SEVIS and used to create your Form I-20 is correct.
  2. Certification of Finances Form – All students must demonstrate the financial ability to pay for estimated academic and living expenses. Cost estimates vary for undergraduate and graduate students, so make sure to select the correct version of the form for your intended program of study.
  3. Bank Statement – Either the student or sponsor (usually a parent, guardian or other family member) must submit a bank letter or official bank statement showing a checking or savings account with an available balance in excess of the cost estimate for the student’s period of study as shown on the Certification of Finances Form.

Receiving Form I-20

After you have submitted the required documents, please complete the I-20 Request Form to ensure prompt delivery of your documents. When we submit your request, we will prepare your I-20 and mail original copies to you in your home country. You will be notified by email once your documents have shipped so you can track your package. Upon receipt of your Form I-20, you should begin the visa application process.

Note to Transfer Students

If you are currently enrolled at a U.S. based educational institution (high school, ESL Program, college/university) you will need to submit a Transfer Eligibility Form in addition to the documents above. You must complete Section I and then send the form to your current International Student Advisor. They should return the completed form to iss [at] We can only issue your new I-20 after your SEVIS record is transferred.

Step 2: Apply for F-1 or J-1 Visa

Below is a general overview of the process to obtrain your visa. However, we strongly encourage you to also visit the State Department website for more detailed instructions and a helpful list of FAQs.

  1. Pay the required SEVIS I-901 Fee at then print your receipt. Locate your SEVIS ID # (top of your Form I-20 or DS-2019) and the St. Edward’s School Code (left-hand column of the SEVIS Fee Handout) in order to make the payment. More information about this fee is available here.
  2. Complete the online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) and pay applicable fees, then print the application form confirmation page and fee payment receipt to bring to your interview. 
  3. Schedule an appointment for your visa interview at your local U.S. embassy or consulate. Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early.
  4. Prepare for and attend your scheduled visa interview. Do not make travel plans until you have secured your visa.

Visa Interview

An interview at your local U.S. embassy or consulate is required to determine if you are qualified to receive an F-1 student visa. Arrive at the interview with all of the required documents and receipts, and be prepared to answer personal questions about your decision to study in the U.S.

Visa interview questions vary depending on Consular Officer. As a general rule, students must be able to respond to the following basic questions:

  1. Who are you? Communicate open and honestly with the officer.
  2. What is your intent in the U.S.? For example, to pursue a bachelor's degree or participate in an exchange program.
  3. How will you fund your program of study? You must be able to provide proof of financial support in the form of a bank statement or other documentation.
  4. What are your plans upon completion of your program of study? Your reply should demonstrate sufficient ties to your home country.

Step 3: Travel and Arrival

When to Arrive

Initial F-1 and J-1 students may enter the United States no more than 30 days before the program start date shown on their I-20 or DS-2019. This date is typically the same as the first day of classes. All students must arrive on campus by the date of their assigned Orientation session. These dates are published on the International Student Orientation page. Please review these important arrival dates, and make your travel plans accordingly.

Transportation to Campus

Once you arrive in Austin, you have the following options to get to campus or your apartment/hotel:

  • Arrange airport pick-up for a fee through our partner Simply International. Create an account, identify yourself as being with St. Edward's University, then register for airport pick-up via the "Action Items" section of the dashboard.
  • Super Shuttle: You must make reservations online prior to arrival.
  • Download the Fasten App (a rideshare company like Uber) on the App Store or Google Play.
  • Taxi: Taxi cabs like Yellow Cab queue directly outside the baggage claim exit doors.

The address of the university is 3001 South Congress Avenue; however, if you will be living in an on-campus apartment, you should use the following address: 520 Woodward Street.