Immigration and Visa Information

The privileges and responsibilities of a foreign national in the United States of America depend on the type of visa held. Therefore, is important to ensure that international graduate students obtain the appropriate visa. 

Obtaining a Visa

To obtain a visa, you should present to the nearest United States Consulate in your country the following items:

  • A Form I-20 (F-1) or a Form DS-2019 (J-1) issued by Northern Arizona University and your admission letter;
  • A valid passport; 
  • Receipt of the SEVIS fee Form I-901 payment; AND
  • Proof of financial support, as stated on the Certificate of Eligibility.
It is also not advisable to enter the United States on a visitor's visa and then later request to change this to a student visa.  Please note that these requests are usually denied.

Students under H-1B Visa Status

Prospective students under a H-1B visa are required to provide a copy of their current H-1B visa and official documentation from their employer verifying the academic studies are incidental to their employment. The Graduate College will request this information and provide instructions upon receipt of the student's application.

Visas for Your Spouse and Children

Your spouse and children may be issued F-2 or J-2 visas at this time, provided you are able to provide evidence of your ability to support dependents. Please be aware that it is illegal for spouses on F-2 visas to work while in the United States. Spouses with J-2 visas may only work with permission from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Maintaining Your Visa

United States immigration regulations require that, as the holder of a student visa, you maintain student status by enrolling in an academic program on a full-time basis; this means you must complete a minimum of nine semester hours of credit each semester.