Many different types of immigration statuses are available for entry into the United States. IU South Bend and its Office of International Student Services issues documents that allow admitted and enrolled students to apply for a student entry visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
An Overview of U.S. Visas
There are two types of visas—nonimmigrant and immigrant.
A nonimmigrant is a foreign national seeking to enter the United Sates temporarily for a specific purpose. Most students enter the United States on nonimmigrant visas. Nonimmigrants come to the United States for a temporary period of time, and once in the country, are restricted to the activity or reason for which their visa was issued. Any visa designated by a letter in front of a number (for example, F-1, J-1, B-2) is a nonimmigrant visa.
Anyone on an immigrant visa has permission to remain indefinitely in the United States and, generally speaking, has the same rights and privileges as a citizen. While permanent residents or immigrants can become citizens, there is no requirement that they do so.
Most international students and scholars and their dependents are nonimmigrants and hold one of the following visa statuses:
F-1: For individuals conducting full-time study at an authorized institution in the United States. F-2: For spouses and children of F-1 visa holders. J-1: For individuals participating in educational and cultural exchange programs. This status permits an individual to enter the United States for study, teaching, or training. J-2: For spouses and children of J-1 visa holders.
All U.S. Embassies and Consulates of the world are listed online.
For more information on immigration you can go to the official governmental website: United States Citizen & Immigration Service.
Each year, the Diversity Lottery (DV) Program makes 55,000 immigrant visas available through a lottery to people who come from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. If you receive a visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program you will be authorized to live and work permanently in the United States. You will also be allowed to bring your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to the United States.
- Contact OISS for a visa renewal appointment.
- Contact closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country to find out procedures for renewing visas.
- Order official transcript from Registrar's office or online through One.IU.
- Come to renewal appointment with current I-20 and obtain visa renewal letter from OISS.
- Go to visa renewal appointment with signed I-20 or DS-2019, current financial documents, transcript, proof of registration for next semester and other documents the Embassy or Consulate requests.
- Return to embassy or consulate for
- Before departure prepare yourself and your family for this.