Immigration: Acquiring a Visa

As part of the admissions packet sent to you by the ISO, you should have received an I-20 or DS-2019 form from GW.

Plan ahead! Obtaining a visa takes time and patience, so be sure to begin the process well before classes begin.

To obtain your US visa, contact the nearest US embassy or consulate in your country for information on application requirements, procedures, and processing time. The US Department of State is responsible for issuing student visas.

Requirements and procedures vary from country to country. However, be prepared to present at least the following documents to your US embassy or consulate:

  • The I-20 (for F-1 visa) issued by GW, or the DS-2019 (for J-1 visa) issued by GW or your sponsoring agency (such as Fulbright).

  • Your valid passport

  • An original letter of admission to GW

  • Original financial documentation in English, referring to US dollars (for example: scholarship awards, bank statements, etc.) matching the funding section on your I-20 or DS-2019

  • Evidence of strong ties to your home country (cultural, social, professional, or any other aspect of your life that has a binding effect between you and your country of residence. For example: family members, a job, a steady source of income, a house, an investment, and/or bank accounts are all examples of "strong ties.") 

Remember to contact the US consulate or embassy or review their website to accurately determine all of the necessary documents you will need to apply for your visa.