Visa and Financial Document Information

Student Visa & Financial Documentation Information for F-1 Students

The University of San Diego School of Law is pleased to welcome attorneys, judges, and government officials from around the world to our LLM programs. We also welcome international professionals who join the School of Law to study in the MS in Legal Studies program.

International students should plan to enter the United States on a valid F-1 student visa and must maintain their visa status at all times. F-1 visa applicants are processed through the Student Exchange and Visitor Information (SEVIS) system, which is a web-based program that maintains information on international students (F/M visas) and exchange visitors (J visas), and their dependents, residing in the United States. SEVIS helps U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to quickly verify that students presenting themselves at our ports of entry are actual students and exchange visitors.

Please do not use a tourist visa to enter the United States to study. You will not be able to enroll in classes with a tourist visa and will have to return to your country to apply for a student visa.

The F-1 Student Visa Process

How do I obtain an F-1 student visa?

After you are admitted to an LLM or MS in Legal Studies program at the University of San Diego School of Law, please follow these steps to obtain an F-1 student visa:

  • Submit to Graduate and International Programs all documents required to receive a Certificate of Visa Eligibility (Form I-20), including proof of financial resources sufficient to cover the cost of attendance for one year
  • Receive an original, signed Form I-20 from Graduate and International Programs
  • Once the I-20 is issued, the Office of International Students and Scholars will send you additional instructions
  • Pay the SEVIS fee online
  • Use the SEVIS number on the Form I-20 to make an appointment at the U.S. Consulate Office in your country
  • Bring the following documents to your visa appointment: Form I-20, proof of SEVIS fee payment, financial documents, passport, and all other supporting documents required by the Consulate
  • Receive an F-1 student visa from the U.S. Consulate

What Documents Are Required to Receive a Form I-20?

The following documents must be submitted to Graduate and International Programs in order to receive an I-20:

How Do I Certify and Document My Finances?

Please provide financial certification based on the estimated cost of attendance for one year. If you will be accompanied by dependents, you must also demonstrate your ability cover their expenses. All financial documents must be issued by the financial institution or sponsor not more than six months before your program start date. The following types of documents may be used to support a certification of finances:

  • Official documentation of scholarships and fellowships
  • Documentation of personal funds on official bank letterhead
  • Documentation of support from an employer on the employer’s official letterhead
  • If someone else (such as a spouse, parent, or friend) will be supporting your education, you must submit a letter of support in the form of a legally binding affidavit, such as a notarized letter, that is accompanied by original documentation of funds on bank letterhead

All documents must be originals in English. Photocopies are not acceptable. The University will not issue a Form I-20 without appropriate documentation. 

When Should I Apply for my F-1 Student Visa?

  • You may apply for your visa up to 120 days prior to your program start date
  • Visa processing times vary among U.S. Consulate Offices, and some offices experience frequent delays of weeks or even months in visa processing
  • We encourage you to apply for your student visa as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for processing
  • You may not enter the United States with your F-1 visa more than 30 days prior to the start date of your program

Where Can I Find More Information About the Form I-20 and the F-1 Student Visa?

More information about the F-1 student visa is available from the Office of International Students and Scholars.

What is the Cost of Attendance?

Federal regulations require that all international students enrolling at the University of San Diego School of Law provide proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses during their academic program.

LLM Fall 2014 – Spring 2015* : Individual Student

Tuition Expenses (25 credits)

$38,750.00

Living Expenses (room and board)

$13,623.00

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$8,930.00

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$61,303.00

LLM Fall 2014 – Spring 2015* : Individual Student and Spouse

Tuition Expenses (25 credits)

$38,750.00

Living Expenses (room and board)

$13,623.00

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$8,930.00

Dependent Living Expenses - Spouse ($800.00/month)

$8,000.00

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$69,303.00

LLM Fall 2014 – Spring 2015* : Individual Student, Spouse and Child

Tuition Expenses (25 credits)

$38,750.00

Living Expenses (room and board)

$13,623.00

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$8,930.00

Dependent Living Expenses - Spouse ($800.00/month)

$8,000.00

Dependent Living Expenses - Child One ($300.00/month) **

$3,000.00

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$72,303.00

MS in Legal Studies Fall 2014 – Spring 2015* : Individual Student

Tuition Expenses (26 credits)

$34,710.00

Living Expenses (room and board)

$13,623.00

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$8,880.00

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$57,213.00

JD Fall 2014 – Spring 2015* : Individual Student

Tuition Expenses (full-time)

$47,140.00

Living Expenses (room & board)

$13,623.00

Other Expenses (including Mandatory Health Insurance)

$9,331.00

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$70,094.00

* Estimated expenses based on 10 months. All fees are in U.S. dollars and are subject to change.
** An additional $2,000.00 must be demonstrated for each additional dependent child beyond Child One.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Information

The University of San Diego School of Law is pleased to welcome Exchange Students, International Visiting Students, and Visiting Research Associates from around the world. Visitors should plan to enter the United States on a valid J-1 exchange visitor visa.

J-1 visa applicants are processed through the Student Exchange and Visitor Information (SEVIS) system, which is a web-based program that maintains information on international students (F/M visas) and exchange visitors (J visas), and their dependents, residing in the United States.  SEVIS helps U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to quickly verify that students presenting themselves at our ports of entry are actual students and exchange visitors.

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Process

Students and scholars who visit the University of San Diego School of Law as an Exchange Student, International Visiting Student, or Visiting Research Associate will need to request a Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status) to obtain a J-1 visa.

In order to receive a Form DS-2019, you must submit the required documents and supporting materials to Graduate and International Programs. The Designated School Official will process your documents and provide them to the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS). OISS will then issue your DS-2019, and it will be sent to you via Federal Express along with further information and instructions.

How do I obtain a J-1 exchange visitor visa?

If you will be visiting the University of San Diego School of Law through an approved agreement, please follow these steps to obtain a J-1 exchange visitor visa:

  • Submit to Graduate and International Programs all documents required to receive a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (Form DS-2019), including proof of financial resources sufficient to cover the duration of your stay in the United States
  • Receive an original, signed DS-2019 from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) via Federal Express, along with further information and instructions.
  • Pay the SEVIS fee online.
  • Apply for a J-1 exchange visitor visa for yourself and your dependents, if applicable, by completing the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160.
  • Schedule an interview and bring the following documents to your visa interview:
    • Form DS-2019
    • Form DS-160 confirmation page
    • Nonimmigrant visa application fee payment receipt
    • One (1) 2x2 photograph
    • A passport valid for travel to the U.S. with a validity date at least 6 months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the U.S.
    • Any other supporting documents required by the Consulate
  • Receive a J-1 exchange visitor visa from the U.S. Consulate.

What Documents Are Required to Receive a Form DS-2019?

In order for the Office of International Students and Scholars to issue the Form DS-2019, visitors will need to submit the following forms and supporting materials to Graduate and International Programs:

  • Copy of your passport, and passports for all dependents who will accompany you
  • J-1 Student Information Questionnaire (pdf)

    In order to obtain a J-1 exchange visitor visa, you must first receive a Form DS-2019 from our University. Please be sure to list your name exactly as it is written on your passport.
  • Certification of Finances (pdf)

    In order to receive a Form DS-2019, you must provide original documentation in English indicating that you have sufficient funds to cover your costs of living during the duration of your visit in the U.S. This must include certification by a bank official or an original account statement issued by the bank for the purpose of your application. The School of Law DSO will determine the length of time you will be at USD and the amount of funds you must document.
  • Health Insurance Policy Information or Health Insurance Promissory Note (pdf)

    In order to obtain a Form DS-2019, you (and your dependents, if applicable) must have sufficient health insurance coverage for the duration of your semester or visit at USD. You may choose to purchase the USD International Health Insurance Plan, or you may elect to waive the USD health insurance requirement, provided you have a comparable health insurance policy that meets the requirements listed below. Please refer to the Office of International Students and Scholars website for additional information. If you elect to waive the USD health insurance requirement coverage, you must attach proof of your insurance policy, in English. This information should be contained in one document in the form of: 1) an insurance certificate or 2) a letter from an insurance representative on company letterhead. This information must be supplied in English and it must detail all of the required provisions listed below. The Office of International Students and Scholars cannot refer to a brochure or description. You must also provide this proof upon your arrival at the University. If you do not have sufficient health insurance coverage, you must complete the Health Insurance Promissory Note indicating that you will purchase health insurance from the University upon your arrival. You should have funds available to purchase coverage from the University, for yourself and for your dependents, no later than the day you arrive on campus.  You may choose to waive the USD health insurance requirement with a comparable insurance plan, only if this plan includes ALL of the following features:
    • Effective throughout the duration of your stay in the U.S. and renewable for continuous coverage
    • Minimum dollar coverage of $100,000 per illness or injury
    • Include outpatient care (doctor visits, outpatient surgery, etc.)
    • Include hospitalization
    • Repatriation for at least $10,000
    • Medical evacuation for at least $25,000
  • J-2 Dependent Information Form (pdf)

    As a J-1 visitor, you may bring J-2 dependents with you to the U.S. if you demonstrate access to sufficient funding for their expenses and health insurance. If you plan to bring dependents with you into the United States, please contact Graduate and International Programs for further information about the additional financial and insurance documentation that you will be required to provide.

When Should I Apply for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa?

  • Once you obtain a Form DS-2019, you may apply for your visa up to 120 days prior to your program start date
  • Visa processing times vary among U.S. Consulate Offices, and some offices experience frequent delays of weeks or even months in visa processing
  • We encourage you to apply for your exchange visitor visa as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for processing
  • You may not enter the United States with your J-1 visa more than 30 days prior to the start date of your program

Where Can I Find More Information about the Form DS-2019 and the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa?

More information about the J-1 student visa is available from the Office of International Students and Scholars.

What is the Cost of Attendance?

Federal regulations require that all J-1 Exchange Visitors at the University of San Diego School of Law provide proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of tuition (if applicable) and living expenses during their stay in the United States. Please note that the minimum required financial amounts that will need to be documented may be different depending on the individual's requirements.

Fall 2014 / Spring 2015* : Individual Semester Exchange Student

Living Expenses (room and board)

$6,812.00

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$4,290.00

Total Expenses (per Semester)

$11,102.00

*Estimated expenses are based on 5 months. All fees are in U.S. dollars and are subject to change.

Fall 2014 / Spring 2015* : Visiting Professor or Research Associate

Living Expenses (room and board)

$1,600.00

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$900.00

Total Expenses (per Month)

$2,500.00

*Estimated expenses are based on 1 month. The minimum required financial amount will be calculated based on the duration of the visitor's stay in the United States. All fees are in U.S. dollars and are subject to change.

As a J-1 exchange visitor, you may bring J-2 dependents with you to the U.S. if you demonstrate access to sufficient funding for their expenses and health insurance. 

Fall 2014 / Spring 2015* : Dependent Expenses

Dependent Living Expenses - Spouse

$800.00

Dependent Living Expenses - Child One** 

$300.00

*Estimated expenses are based on 1 month. The minimum required financial amount will be calculated on the number of dependents visiting and on the duration of the visitor's stay in the United States. All fees are in U.S. dollars are are subject to change.

**An additional $200.00 per month must be demonstrated for each additional dependent child beyond Child One.

Fall 2014 / Spring 2015* : International Visiting Student

Tuition Expenses and Fees** (per credit)

$1,550.00, per credit

Living Expenses (room and board**)

$6,812.00, per semester

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$4,290.00, per semester

*Estimated Living and Other Expenses are based on 5 months. All fees are in U.S. dollars and are subject to change

**Tuition amount quoted is the per credit rate. Depending on the applicant's home education level, visiting international students are required to enroll in a minimum of 9 or 12 credits in order to comply with federal visa regulations for J-1 exchange visitor visas. Students will also be assessed mandatory students fees, depending on the duration of their stay. Fees may range from $150-175 per semester and are subject to change.

Additional Resources

Contact:

Graduate and International Programs
Warren Hall, Room 207
Phone: (619) 260-4596

Hours

M, T, Th, F: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
W: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.