Immigration and Visa

Visa Information for International Students

 

International students studying in the U.S. (even if you only study for a short time) are required to obtain a student visa. Below you will find information that will help you understand the visa process and how to apply for a visa.

F-1 Visa

The F-1 visa is a non-immigrant, full-time, student visa that allows you to pursue education in the United States.

When the university admits a student, it sends the student a  Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student called the I-20. This form  provides information that includes your field of study (major), the length of your  study, and the date  you must report to the university. The form I-20 allows a student to apply for an F-1 student visa.

How do I obtain an F-1 student visa?

  1. Receive the I-20 form from Hawai'i Pacific University.
  2. Schedule your visa appointment with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country.
  3. Submit SEVIS fee payment in time to allow Department of Homeland Security to process payment at least 3 days prior to visa interview.
  4. If you paid online, please print SEVIS fee payment receipt and  take it to your visa interview.
  5. Go to your visa interview to request an F-1 visa (the visa may not be issued right away; many embassies mail the visa to the student a few weeks after the interview).
  6. Pay visa fees (subject to change)

    Please note that the I-20 does not guarantee receipt of an F-1 visa. The local Consular official makes the final decision on whether or not to issue a student visa.

    Attention: Canadian Students!
    Entering the US from Canada, students are not required to apply at a U.S. embassy for a student visa, however, they are required to pay the SEVIS fee. Please  click here for information about SEVIS fees.
    Students must present their I-20 and passport to  U.S. immigration officer at the point of entry for the F-1 student  status stamp.

J-1 Visa

A J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to exchange visitors who participate in programs that promote cultural exchange. Applicants must meet eligibility criteria and be sponsored either by a private sector or government program.

The university issues the DS-2019  for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Status, to apply for the J-1 student visa.

How do I obtain a J-1 student visa?

  1. Receive the DS-2019 form from Hawai'i Pacific University.
  2. Schedule your visa appointment with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your country.
  3. Submit SEVIS fee payment in time to allow Department of Homeland Security to process payment at least 3 days prior to visa interview.
    Students from Canada, please click here for information about SEVIS fees.
  4. If you paid online, please print SEVIS fee payment receipt and bring it to your visa interview.
  5. Go to your visa interview to request a J-1 visa (the visa may not be issued right away; many embassies mail the visa to the student a few weeks after the interview).
  6. Pay visa fees (subject to change)

Useful Information

    • upon arrival, attend a check-in session, call 808-356-5299 for dates. Please bring your passport, I-94 card, form I-20, proof of health insurance.  Provide your address in the U.S.
    • register for classes at the university which issued the I-20
    • be enrolled as a full-time student while you are in the U.S. (undergraduate- 12 credits, graduate- 9 credits)
    • follow the required procedures before requesting permission to work off-campus.
    • request assistance from your International Student Advisor if you wish to transfer from one university to another.
    • upon arrival, schedule an appointment with your International Student Adviser, by calling 808-356-5299. Please bring your passport, form DS-2019, I-94 card, proof of health insurance to the appointment.  Provide adviser  with your address in the U.S.
    • register for classes at the university which issued the DS-2019
    • be enrolled as a full-time student while you are in the U.S. (undergraduate- 12 credits, graduate- 9 credits)
    • for work authorization and transfer from one school to another, contact the International Student Services.
  1. Also, by clicking on links listed below, you find more information on student visa.


    When can I enter the U.S.A.?

     Visa regulations allow you to enter the United States up to 30 days before the first day of classes (the reporting date shown on your I-20). If you attempt to enter the U.S. earlier, you will be denied entry at the  immigration port of entry in to U.S., in most cases the airport.   Please plan your flight itinerary with this important policy in mind.

    What happens if I cannot arrive by the reporting date?

    You must request a new I-20 from your university. Many universities will admit you for the next available session, but some universities may have restrictions on readmission.

    What will happen when I enter the U.S.A.?

    An airline flight attendant will ask you to complete the I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) in the airplane before you land at the U.S. port of entry, (if you arrive by land from Canada or Mexico, you need to request the I-94 at border crossing.) You will present the I-94 form and your passport to the immigration inspector when you land. The immigration inspector will stamp the I-94 form with "D/S (duration of status). "D/S" means that you may stay in the U.S.A. until your I-20 expires, if you maintain full-time enrollment. You should keep the I-94 form and a copy of your valid I-20 or DS-2019 with your passport at all times.

    Click here to download an important information sheet issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on what a student or exchange visitor can expect upon arrival:

     

    What are my obligations as a student on an F-1 visa?

    Students on an F-1 visa must follow the regulations of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. According to these regulations, you must:

    What are my obligations as a student on a J-1 visa?

    Students on a J-1 visa must follow the regulations of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. According to these regulations, you must:

    How long can I stay in the United States?

    The I-20 indicates the length of time you can stay to finish your course of studies. You may stay 60 days after the last day of class.
    (J-1 DS 2019 may stay 30 days).

    If I cannot complete my studies in the required time, may I stay longer?

    If you need a longer time to complete your studies, International Student Advisor at the International Center will help you apply for an extension. If you have completed your studies, you are not allowed to continue to stay in the U.S. with that I-20, even if it has not expired.

    If my visa expires, how do I renew it?

    The visa is an entry document only. The visa needs to be valid only at the time you enter the U.S. It does not need to be renewed if you stay in the U.S. However, you may wish to visit Canada, Mexico, or your home country during vacation periods. If your visa has expired, ask your International Student Advisor to provide complete information about how to renew your visa. You may then apply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country you are visiting.