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December 18, 2014
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Visa Application Process (for International Students)

Students who do not yet have an I20:

The Declaration of Financial Support Form and an official bank statement is required for international students who plan to apply for student F-1 visa status. Bank statements issued within the past six (6) months must be submitted before an I20 can be issued. Bank statements must be marked with the official stamp and/or seal of the issuing bank - notarized copies cannot be accepted. Bank statements must show the equivalent of at least $53,541 USD minus any assistantship and/ or scholarship monies you are awarded. These may be emailed to gradinfo@rit.edu.

In order to apply for a student visa, U.S. government regulations require international students to demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources to meet the costs of tuition, fees, supplies, and living expenses for at least nine months of full-time study. International students who need to apply for a student visa must submit to RIT an original bank statement showing the amount available for their education.

In addition, if the funds are not in the student's name, a letter of support from the person owning the assets is also required. In the case of support by a government agency or other organization, an original letter indicating the amount of funding and the period of time it is available is required. The applicant should request two original copies of these documents--one for RIT and the other set to take with them to the Visa interview. Once the student is admitted and these documents have been declared acceptable the appropriate form (I-20 or DS-2019) can be issued by RIT.

All materials must be sent to:

Rochester Institute of Technology
Bausch & Lomb Center, Bldg. 77, Room 1241
58 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623-5604
Attention: Office of Graduate Enrollment Services

NOTE: Please be sure to use the same name and same spelling of your name on all forms, records, and correspondence. Please include your U.S. Social Security number on all forms and correspondence to assist processing.

F-1 STUDENT STATUS:

The following instructions are for obtaining your F-1 student visa if you have an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility:

You should contact the Embassy or Consulate of the United States at which you expect to apply for an F-1 Student Visa, and ask what will be required in the application process. This varies from station to station. You may or may not be interviewed in person for visa approval. Regardless, you should be prepared for the visa interview with the following documents:

  1. Entire I-20 form (three pages)
  2. The original letter of admission to RIT
  3. Copies of all academic records and test results, including GMAT or GRE (if required for admission to RIT), and TOEFL report
  4. Scholarship or assistantship notification letter if you have a financial award from RIT
  5. Assistantship or campus employment notification if awarded
  6. Original bank statement showing the amount you or your sponsor is expected to contribute to your expenses at RIT, as shown on your I-20
  7. Letter of support from your sponsor, indicating the amount of funding to be given for your support
  8. Letter of guarantee from the bank or other agency if a loan is part of your support.

If you are currently in your country of citizenship and do not possess a valid (un-expired) F-1 visa, present your I-20 form and your passport to the nearest American Consulate to officially apply for an F-1 student visa.

Please note the following if you possess a valid F-1 visa from another school:

If you have previously entered the US with an I-20 and visa from another school, you may use that same visa along with an RIT I-20 to re-enter the US for attendance at RIT.

If your F-1 visa has never been used to enter the US, then you will need to get it replaced or adjusted at the US embassy. The very first time you enter the US with a new F-1 visa, the school that is noted on that visa must match the I-20 and must be for the school you will attend. So, you will need to go back to the embassy and request a replacement or adjustment to the school annotation on your visa. Please be prepared to show all the documentation that you showed on your first visa interview (acceptance letter, proof of financial support, I-20).

If you are not in the United States, and not in your country of citizenship, present your I-20 form and your passport to the nearest American Embassy or Consulate and follow the procedures above as if you were in your country of citizenship.

If you are in the United States and are transferring to RIT from another school, and do not intend to leave the U.S. prior to your arrival at RIT, bring your RIT I-20 and your passport, proof that you were a full-time student at your previous school in the term prior to your transfer to RIT (International Student Advisor’s Report), and a copy of your official registration at RIT as a full-time student to International Student Services at RIT no later than 15 days after the beginning of classes. The Coordinator will endorse your transfer to RIT and return your I-20 Student Copy to you. This will complete your transfer to RIT.

You are required to report to International Student Services in the Office of Student Transition and Support at RIT within 5 days of your arrival at RIT. Failure to do so may jeopardize your visa status. The International Student Services office is located in the Student Alumni Union.

J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR STATUS:

The following instructions are for obtaining your J-1 exchange visitor visa if you have a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility:

You should contact the Embassy or Consulate of the United States at which you expect to apply for a J-1 Student Visa, and ask what will be required in the application process. This varies from station to station. You may or may not be interviewed in person for visa approval. Regardless, you should be prepared for the visa interview with the following documents:

  1. Entire DS-2019 form (three pages)
  2. The original letter of admission to RIT
  3. Copy of all academic records and test results, including GMAT or GRE (if required for admission to RIT), and TOEFL report
  4. Scholarship or assistantship notification letter if you have a financial award from RIT
  5. Assistantship or campus employment notification if awarded
  6. Guarantee from your sponsor indicating the amount of funding which will be provided for your support while at RIT
  7. Proof of health insurance which will be valid in the United States
  8. Original bank statements showing the amount you will provide for your support, if appropriate.

Be advised that some persons granted J-1 visas are subject to a “two year residency requirement” which means that the visa holder will be required to return to his/her home country for a period of two years before certain other U.S. visas will be granted. Persons who are subject to this requirement are those whose exchange visitor program is financed by either the government or the home country; whose skills are needed by the home country; or whose purpose in coming to the United States is to receive graduate medical education or training.

If you are in the United States and are transferring to RIT from another school at which your category in section 4 of your current DS-2019 is “student,” you will not be required to leave the U.S. to obtain a new visa if your current “program sponsor” will sign the release at the bottom right side of the RIT DS-2019 allowing your program sponsorship to be assumed by RIT. You must present your RIT DS-2019 with the signed release section to International Student Services upon arrival at RIT. If your current category was other than “student” or if your current school will not release you, then you must apply from outside the United States for a new visa before beginning your studies at RIT.

You are required to report to International Student Services in the Office of Student Transition and Support at RIT within 5 days of your arrival at RIT. Failure to do so may jeopardize your visa status.