All International students are required by U.S. law to abide by immigration regulations throughout their stay in the U.S. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) admits international students to the U.S. for the sole purpose of being a full-time student. Participation by students in any other activity, from employment to vacation, is considered to be a privilege and is only allowable in accordance with strict USCIS rules.
WORLD: International Learning can provide international students with the necessary information to maintain status. However, it is the student and not the university who is ultimately responsible for remaining aware of and abiding by the USCIS rules and maintaining legal student status.
The passport is the legal document issued by your country of citizenship. It must be kept valid at all times during your stay in the U.S., and must be valid at least 6 months into the future to re-enter the U.S. or to apply for a visa. Your passport can usually be renewed through your country’s Embassy or one of its Consulates in the U.S.
All international students must pay an I-901 SEVIS fee before applying for a F-visa. This is a mandatory payment required by the government and not associated with Stetson's costs. The SEVIS fee is not associated with your visa application fee. They are separate fees. You must have a receipt of payment for the SEVIS fee before applying for your visa. Without a receipt you will not be allowed to schedule a visa interview.
Online SEVIS Fee instructions
- Go to: www.FMJfee.com
- Click on "Pay I-901 Fee"
- The requires the SEVIS Identification Number. This # begins with an N and has 10 Digits. Stetson's School Code number is MIA214F00111000 for F-visa.
- Check that the information is correct on the next page.
- Use a credit card to finish the payment
- Print out the receipt
For additional details on SEVIS and the SEVIS fee, access the SEVIS website at: I-901 SEVIS Fee FAQ
* Citizens of Canada only:
- No visa or visa application is required of Canadian citizens
- Pay the SEVIS fee as in either 3.a.i. or 3.a.ii, above and get the receipt
- Present the SEVIS fee payment receipt at a U.S. Port of Entry
The I-20 (for those with F-1 status) is the document sent from the university which you must present to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to obtain a visa, and which you present to immigration officials to enter the U.S.
Please note that if you plan to travel outside the U.S. during the program, the I-20 must be signed for travel every 6 months in order for you to be able to depart and reenter the U.S. in F-1 status. If you travel within the U.S. a new signature isn't required but a copy should be carried with you in case it is needed.
Once you get your I-20, please make sure to review it for errors. It is very important that all the information matches your passport. Once you complete the SEVIS fee payment and have your I-20, you can make a visa appointment with your local US Embassy or Consulate.
Applying for your visa:
1. Call the American Consulate for information on procedures for applying for a student visa. You may also visit the Consulate's web site. For links to the various consular websites visit USEmbassy.gov
2. Start early. All consulates are now requiring interviews. It may take several weeks to get an appointment. New security measures may also take additional time.
3. All visa applicants must pay a visa fee. This is usually paid at a bank in the city where the consulate is located.
4. Complete the visa application form which is available on-line at Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160)
5. Prepare your application materials carefully to prove your visa eligibility. See US Visas - Study & Exchange for tips on student visa applications. You will need the following:
- Valid passport
- Verification of Finances to pay for your education
- Stetson University materials (admission letter, etc.)
- Verification of having paid SEVIS fee
- Educational Documents including transcripts, diplomas, exam scores, etc.
- Proof of close ties to your home country
- Proof of a home in your country which you will not abandon
- Proof of a job or job offer to return home to
- Proof of close family to return to and to provide for
- All types of visa support letters
- Evidence of intention to return to your home country after you complete your education
All international students enrolled at Stetson University are expected to have medical coverage and to obtain a health insurance plan while studying in the U.S. Details provided at Insurance Information for International Students page.
Stetson University recommends that you purchase insurance from a company that has a U.S. address. U.S. hospitals and doctors will not send medical bills to international addresses. That means that if you purchase insurance from your home country, you will need to be prepared to pay for any hospital or doctor’s visits out-of-pocket and then work with your insurance company to get reimbursed.
All undergraduate students must provide a completed immunization form that includes proof of immunity to the MMR vaccine (measles/mumps/rubella) before registering for classes. Exemptions to the MMR immunization policy may be granted in the event of valid medical contraindications or for religious reasons. Medical and/or religious affiliation as a basis for exemption must be documented.
In addition, if you are planning to live on campus, you are required to have hepatitis B and meningitis ACWY immunizations. The meningitis vaccine must have been given on or after the 16th birthday or within 4 years prior to arriving at Stetson University. For hepatitis B or meningitis, a waiver form can be signed stating the student understands the disease and the availability of the vaccine but has opted not to be vaccinated. Please note that if a student only has a waiver and there is a reported case or cases of the disease, the student may be restricted from classes or campus.
Furthermore, COVID-19 vaccinations are highly recommended for all international students to protect themselves, their families and the community. If you already had a COVID-19 infection in the past, it is still recommended that you get vaccinated. Find out more about COVID-19 vaccines.