Congratulations on your acceptance to St. Edward’s!
We’re excited to welcome you to our university community as a new international student. And we look forward to making your transition to the hilltop easy.
The following information is an overview of how to secure your international student or exchange visitor 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. International Student Services staff are here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us by sending an email to iss [at] stedwards.edu or calling +1 (512) 428-1051!
NOTE: This information is for recently admitted international students. If you have not yet been admitted or made your deposit, please contact the Office of Admission at seu.admit [at] stedwards.edu or 512-448-8500.
Additionally, our staff are only trained and authorized to advise on F-1 and J-1 visa matters. Please seek a qualified immigration attorney for questions about other visa types and categories.
Step 1: Obtain Form I-20
Form I-20 (F-1 Student Visa)
To study as an F-1 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 the F-1 student visa or continue your F-1 status.
Required Documents for Form I-20
International Student Services can issue your I-20 once you have been admitted and made your deposit. Please complete the following steps so we can issue your I-20 for your F-1 student visa application.
- Passport Identification Page
We will need a copy of the passport photo page for you and any dependents (spouse and/or children under 21 years of age). If you have had a U.S. visa in the past, please include copy along with your passport photo page.
Certification of Finances Form
If you will receive financial support to cover personal and educational expenses, please ask your sponsor to complete Section II of the Certification of Finances Form. A sponsor can be a family member or government agency. Remember to include any scholarship information when completing the form.
Undergraduate Certification of Finances Form
Graduate Certification of Finances Form
Upload Certification of Finances
Proof of Financial Support
Financial support documents can include scholarship letters, or a bank statement or letter from yourself or your sponsor. Bank documents must be issued within 6 months of the program start date.
Upload Proof of Financial Support
I-20 Request Form
Complete this brief online form to provide required information for your I-20.
I-20 Request Form
Transfer Eligibility Form
If you are currently studying in the U.S. with an F-1 student visa, you will need to transfer your current I-20 record to St. Edward's University. Complete Section I of the Transfer Eligibility Form, then ask your international student advisor or DSO at your current school to complete Section II.
Transfer Eligibility Form
Upload Transfer Eligibility Form
Step 2: Apply for Student Visa
Below is a general overview of the process to obtain your visa. However, we strongly encourage you to also visit the State Department website for more detailed instructions and a helpful list of FAQs.
- Pay the required SEVIS I-901 Fee at www.fmjfee.com 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 and a helpful video tutorial can be found here.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prepare for and attend your scheduled visa interview. Do not make travel plans until you have secured your visa.
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:
- Who are you? Communicate open and honestly with the officer.
- What is your intent in the U.S.? For example, to pursue a bachelor's degree or participate in an exchange program.
- 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.
- What are your plans upon completion of your program of study? Your reply should demonstrate sufficient ties to your home country.
The professional organization NAFSA has compiled a list of 10 tips for those applying for a student visa. Please visit the NAFSA website to review these tips.
Step 3: Travel, Arrival, and Settling In
When to Arrive
Initial F-1 students may enter the United States no more than 30 days before the program start date shown on their I-20. Check-in and immigration reporting are mandatory and will occur on International Hilltopper Landing Day. This day is a special day set aside for students to comply with a few immigration requirements and also to participate in semester launch activities. Please plan to attend this important day and make your travel plans accordingly
Also, you may check the orientation webpage for published orienation dates for international students.
More information about travel and arrival can also be found in our International Student Welcome Guide
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 a Rideshare App.
- 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.
Options for INTL students:
Bring your linens from home
Purchase after arrival
Order by deadline through OCM On Campus Market
Note: Linen size: order "extra long" sheets unless in Pavilions, which requires "full size" sheets