group of LL.M. students

Processing a Visa for International Students

Types of Academic Visas

  • F Student Visa – For those seeking a degree
  • J Student Visa – For those participating in a formal exchange program between two organizations or those seeking a degree, who receive significant funding from a source such as a government, employer, or organization. View our current Exchange agreements here.
  • J Scholar Visa – Exchange visitors who are conducting research, lectures, or other planned activities as a part of cultural exchange. If you wish to become an exchange visitor, please visit our Faculty Exchange web page.

F Visa holders will work with Stetson Law's Designated School Official (DSO) to create their documents. The DSOs at Stetson Law are Velaine Paryzek and Julia Bull in the International Programs Office. 

J Visa holders will work with Stetson Law's Responsibility Officer (RO) to create their documents. Velaine Paryzek is Stetson Law's RO and Julia Bull is Stetson Law's Alternate Responsibility Officer. They are located in the International Programs Office.

Deadline for all applications: July 1
Suggested deadline for those needing visas: March 1

Prospective Exchange Students: Refer to the International Student Exchange page for deadlines.

If you are admitted and have paid your seat deposit as instructed in the acceptance letter, International Programs will reach out to you to collect the following materials. If you gather these in advance, it can make the process much faster.

With this information, we can create your I-20/DS-2019, which acts like a formal invitation you can show to the US Embassy or Consulate to prove you are invited to our university. It will be shipped to you using a courier service and the tracking number will be provided to you once it is dispatched. A charge for the shipping of this document will appear on your student account and will need to be paid before classes begin.

Once you get your I-20, review it for errors. It is very important that all the information matches your passport.

You will be required to pay a SEVIS I-901 fee before making your visa appointment at the Consulate/U.S. Embassy closest to your home to apply for an F-1 visa. You should be able to schedule an appointment online. You will need your SEVIS Number (which appears on the top right-hand corner of your Form I-20 or DS-2019 and starts with the letter “N”) to pay the I-901 fee and to make your appointment. For more information, please visit Paying Your I-901 SEVIS Fee.

After paying this fee, you can make an appointment with your local US Embassy or Consulate. In most cases, you can make the appointment online. Make the appointment as soon as you can in case “administrative processing” is required which can take additional weeks. However, in many cases, they are complete within a few days of your appointment.

Admission into the U.S.: Students must carry 1) I-20/DS-2019, 2) Valid F/J Visa (except for Canadian F Visa Students), 3) Proof of Funds and 4) I-901 Receipt

Report to Campus: All students on an F or J Visa must report to the campus listed on the I-20/DS-2019. Failure to enroll in the university listed on your document by the program start date may result in the loss of your student status.

Study: All students must maintain full-time status. At Stetson Law that is defined as 12 credit hours per semester.

Report Address Changes: All visa holders must report their address or any changes to their address to their DSO or RO within 10 days of the change.

Work: Students may work for a maximum of 20 hours a week while studying. See below for more details.

Re-Entry/Travel: If a student plans to travel internationally during the program, the I-20/DS-2019 must be signed within the past year. If students travel within the US a new signature isn't required but a copy should be carried with the student in case it is needed.

  • There are limitations to working in the United States. For those holding a student visa, the reason for your stay is to complete a law degree, not work.
  • Students can work for 20 hours a week on campus while studying
  • Working-off campus requires additional authorization and is only offered to F Visa holders.
    • Curriculum Practical Training (CPT) – This option is available to F Visa holders during their studies to gain practical experience relative to their academic studies. Stetson Law requires students to register for credits and the American Bar Association (ABA) requires that the position be unpaid.
      • Processed by Stetson Law no later than the week after classes begin (Add/Drop Period)
      • Commitment from an employer is needed.
    • Optional Practical Training (OPT) - This option is available to F Visa holders after the student graduates to gain law-related practical experience.
      • Processed by USCIS 3 months before graduation
      • No commitment from an employer is needed.

Please visit our LL.M. in International Law FAQ web page.