Visa and Financial Document Information

NOTE:  Initial I-20 Issuance Deadline for Fall 2017 is July 1, 2017. 


If you are unable to provide necessary supporting documentation at least 3 weeks before the stated issuance deadline, your I-20 will not be ready in time and you will need to request deferred admission to the following semester.  If you are transferring your I-20 and SEVIS record to USD, you should submit supporting documents no later than 1 week before the issuance deadline.

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 note: 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:

  • Contact LLM/MSLS Admissions for information on requirements for the 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 LLM/MSLS Admissions
  • After the I-20 is issued, the Office of International Students and Scholars will send additional instructions
  • Pay your SEVIS fee online
  • Use the SEVIS number on Form I-20 to make an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country
  • Bring the following documents to your visa appointment: passport, Form I-20, proof of SEVIS fee payment, financial documents, and all other supporting documents required by the Embassy/Consulate
  • Receive an F-1 student visa from the U.S. Embassy/Consulate

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

The following eForms and documents must be completed and/or uploaded to USD's "iTorero Portal" in order to receive an I-20. You will receive instructions on how to use the iTorero Portal.

  • eForm - Student Information
  • eForm - SEVIS Dependents (only if bringing dependents)
  • eForm - Proof of Funding
  • eForm - Mailing Address/Shipping Information
  • Copy of your current passport (and passports of all dependents who will accompany you) that will remain valid for at least six months after your program start date
  • Documentation of your ability to cover the estimated cost of attendance for one year.  Contact LLM/MSLS Admissions to verify the precise amount.

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:

  • 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

Please note that 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 2017 – Spring 2018* : Individual Student

Tuition Expenses (25 credits)

$43,750

Living Expenses (room and board)

$15,787

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$10,011

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$69,548

LLM Fall 2017 – Spring 2018* : Individual Student and Spouse

Tuition Expenses (25 credits)

$43,750

Living Expenses (room and board)

$15,787

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$10,011

Dependent Living Expenses - Spouse ($800.00/month)

$8,000

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$77,548

LLM Fall 2017 – Spring 2018* : Individual Student, Spouse and Child

Tuition Expenses (25 credits)

$43,750

Living Expenses (room and board)

$15,787

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$10,011

Dependent Living Expenses - Spouse ($800.00/month)

$8,000

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

$3,000

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$80,548

MS in Legal Studies Fall 2017 – Spring 2018* : Individual Student

Tuition Expenses (26 credits)

$44,200

Living Expenses (room and board)

$15,787

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$9,961

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$69,948

JD Fall 2016 – Spring 2017* : Individual Student

Tuition Expenses (full-time)

$52,220

Living Expenses (room & board)

$14,208

Other Expenses (including Mandatory Health Insurance)

$9,758

Total Expenses (Fall and Spring Semester)

$76,186

* 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, U.S. Law & Policy Participants, and Visiting Professors from around the world.  Exchange 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, U.S. Law & Policy Participant, or Visiting Professor 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 required biographic information to the Designated School Official. The Designated School Official will create your basic profile and then send you a temporary identification number to access the iTorero portal.  

The iTorero portal is where you will upload required information and documentation about yourself and any dependents (if applicable).  You will be requested to provide items such as a copy of your passport, detailed biographic information, financial documents that show sufficient funds to cover the cost of your program, and your intentions regarding health insurance (choosing the USD plan or providing proof of your own health insurance plan).  Once you have completed the necessary steps in the iTorero portal, the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will process your DS-2019.  After OISS issues your DS-2019, 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:

  • Provide the required biographic information to the Designated School Official.
  • After receiving your temporary identification number from the Designated School Official, complete the required steps in the iTorero portal.
  • 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.

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 2017 / Spring 2018* : Individual Semester Exchange Student

Living Expenses (room and board)

$7,894

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$4,831

Total Expenses (per Semester)

$12,725

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

Fall 2017 / Spring 2018* : Visiting Professor or Research Associate

Living Expenses (room and board)

$1,800

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$700

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 2017 / Spring 2018* : Dependent Expenses

Dependent Living Expenses - Spouse

$800

Dependent Living Expenses - Child One** 

$300

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

Fall 2017 / Spring 2018* : International Visiting Student

Tuition Expenses and Fees** (per credit)

$1,750 per credit

Living Expenses (room and board**)

$7,895 per semester

Other Expenses (including mandatory health insurance)

$5,005 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.

Contact:

LLM/MSLS Admissions
Warren Hall, Room 203
Phone: (619) 260-4596
Fax: (619) 260-2218

Hours

M-F: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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