Obtaining an I-20
Students who are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., who wish to pursue full-time studies at WesternU will require an F-1 Student Visa. In order to apply for an F-1 Student Visa you will need a WesternU Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status. The I-20 certifies the student’s eligibility for an F-1 visa.
An I-20 will only be issued after an offer of admissions by WesternU has been extended to the student. Once an official offer has been made the student will receive an email requesting the following information:
- Proof of financial support for one academic year of enrollment at WesternU. The estimated total cost for Year 1 can be found on the Financial Aid web page (all budgets are subject to change).
Proof of financial support can be submitted in the form of an official statement or letter from the bank; or a letter of affidavit of support from a company or international sponsor.
- Spouse and dependent(s) information; name, birth date and country of birth
Each dependent will need their own I-20.
Additional funding for spouse and dependants is required.
- Foreign address and U.S. address (if available)
F-1 Student Visa
An F-1 Student Visa is issued by a US embassy or consulate abroad. After receipt of the I-20, make an appointment to apply for an F-1 visa. You will need your SEVIS number which is located at the top of the bar code under the words “Student’s Copy. In most countries, first-time students are required to appear for an interview. Each embassy and consulate sets its own interview policies and procedures. Be sure to check your US embassy or consulate website for important information and application instructions.
Canadians students do not require an application to the US consulate for an entry visa. However, an I-20 and passport is required.
SEVIS and SEVIS Fee
SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is an internet-based system that allows The Department of Homeland Security and approved schools to collect, track and monitor information regarding international students, exchange visitors, and scholars who enter the U.S. on F, M or J visas. Accurate and current information is transmitted electronically throughout an F-1 student’s authorized stay in the U.S.
F-1 visa applicants who are entering the U.S. on an initial I-20 (including Canadian citizens) are required to pay a SEVIS fee of $200. This fee is used to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor information System. The SEVIS fee must be paid at least three days prior to the consular interview; Canadian citizens at least three days prior to entering the U.S. Instructions on how to pay the SEVIS fee can be found on the SEVIS I-901 website. WesternU’s school code is LOS214F01238000.
Planning Your Arrival In The U.S.
Please be advised that you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date indicated on your I-20.
It is important that you allow yourself plenty of time for security processing at the U.S. Port of Entry. It is also important that you enter the U.S. in F-1 student status. You can find detailed information that will assist you in your travel and minimize processing delays on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website Fact Sheet on Arriving at a U.S. Port of Entry …. What a Student Can Expect.
Arriving at WesternU
Your DSO will contact you by WesternU email within 30 days of your arrival on campus to complete the admissions and SEVIS registration process. You will also receive an invitation to attend an International Student Orientation. The orientation is designed to provide and assist you with maintaining legal F-1 status and understanding immigration and visa regulations.
Transferring your I-20 to WesternU
F-1 regulations permit a student to transfer from one Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) approved school to another. To do this, both schools must update the student’s record in SEVIS.
After you have been accepted to WesternU, it is your responsibility to notify your current institution of your intent to transfer to WesternU.
Please follow the instructions below so that a transfer of schools in the SEVIS system can be processed.
- Completed WesternU F-1 Transfer Form
Note: The Transfer form is in PDF format and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader® to view it.
To download a free copy, please visit our Plug-Ins page
- Current proof of financial support for one (1) year of enrollment at WesternU (refer to the Financial Aid web page for student budget information).
Please provide one of the following documents: an official statement or letter from your bank;
a letter of affidavit of support from a company or international sponsor or any combination of proof of funding that will equal one year of enrollment at WesternU.
- Photocopy of I-20 from the school you are currently attending.
- Photocopy of your passport and I-94 card.
Mail or fax Transfer Form to: Western University of Health Sciences
International Student Services, Attn: Kathy Ford
309 E. Second Street
Pomona, Ca 91766
Change of Visa Status
If you intend to pursue full-time studies in the U.S., F-1 student status is appropriate. If you are currently in the U.S. in another nonimmigrant status, there are two ways to obtain F-1 student status:
- Travel Abroad Application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) without departing the U.S. This process can take several months to process the application. You must apply for your change of status before you matriculate.
- Students accepted to WesternU who are in B1/B2, F-2, H-2 or E2 status must have an approved change of status to F-1 before matriculation at WesternU. Please contact your DSO immediately after your acceptance to discuss your plans for change in status.