Office of International Students and Scholars

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Information for Incoming F-1 Students


What to Expect Once You are Admitted

Once you have been admitted to the University of San Diego (as confirmed by a letter offering you admission), you will be provided with instructions by the Admissions Office on how to obtain your Form I-20.  Your Form I-20, or Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) student, will be issued by the USD Admissions Office once you have submitted all pertinent requirements.

Getting Your Student Visa

Once you have received you Form I-20, the next step is to apply for an F-1 visa.  You will need to make an appointment for an interview with a Consular Officer at an American Embassy or Consulate in the city where you reside.  Please refer to the checklist below for documents that you would need to prepare before going on your interview.  Please take note that, depending on the specific embassy or consulate you are applying to, you may be required to provide additional documents in support of your application.  For guidance, please refer to information found on your embassy or consulate's website.


  • Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student
  • Proof of Payment of SEVIS Fee
  • Documentation of Financial Ability to Meet Expenses
  • Evidence of English Ability
  • Passport Valid for At Least 6 Months Into the Future and With Available Empty Pages
  • Confirmation Page of Application Form DS-160 (to complete the Form DS-160, please click here.)
  • Proof of Payment of the Non-Refundable Application Fee
  • Visa Reciprocity Fee, If Applicable
  • School Transcripts, If You Are a Transfer Student Applying for a New Visa
  • Color Photographs

USD's Health Insurance Requirement

All F-1 students and visiting scholars must demonstrate health insurance coverage for their time at USD. Please refer to the Health Insurance section of our website for more details about this requirement.

Pre-Arrival Information

Mandatory Immigration Check-In

You are required to visit the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) in USD’s International Center (Serra Hall, Room 315) within 3 to 7 days of your arrival in the United States to complete the mandatory immigration check-in. Please refer to the Mandatory Immigration Check-In section of our website (ß link to “Mandatory Immigration Check-In” (Schedule your check in here) on the Incoming landing page) for more details about this requirement.

Travel Information

To help prepare you for your departure to the United States, please consult Education USA's excellent guide on pre-departure planning found here.