Immigration Information for Newly Admitted Students

This page is meant to provide admitted students with useful information about the immigration process. Please contact International Programs & Services (OIPS) if you have any questions. We recommend that you contact us with questions before your appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to be sure you are fully prepared for this important meeting.

Overview of the Visa Process

In order to enter the U.S. as an international student, the U.S. government requires that you complete the six immigration steps outlined below. These requirements apply to all international students entering any college in the country.

NOTE: If you are already in the U.S. in F-1 student status, a different process is required. Please contact OIPS for instructions.

1. Once admitted, MIAD will send you an I-20 by mail
2. Once you receive the I-20, pay the "SEVIS fee" on-line
3. Make an appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate (unless you are Canadian)
4. Go to the U.S. embassy or consulate, apply for and obtain the U.S. visa stamp
5. Enter the U.S. and travel to MIAD
6. Check in at the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS)

  1. Once admitted, MIAD will send you an I-20 by mail

    Once you have shown proof of your finanical support, MIAD will send you a "certificate of eligibility" called an "I-20." You will need that I-20 to apply for an "F-1" visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (unless you are a Canadian citizen; Canadians are not required to obtain visa stamps to enter the U.S.). If you are already in the U.S. in F-1 status, please contact OIPS for information on how to transfer your current F-1 record to MIAD.

  2. Once you receive the I-20, pay the "SEVIS fee" on-line

    Once the MIAD I-20 arrives in the mail, you will need to pay the $100 SEVIS fee to the U.S. government. SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, is a central computerized system that maintains and manages data about international students during their stay in the United States. The SEVIS program was implemented in August 2003.

    Payment Instructions
    • Connect to the Internet and navigate to www.fmjfee.com
    • Search for Form I-901
    • Complete the form on-line. Your name should appear on the form exactly as it appears on the I-20 form prepared by MIAD. Contact OIPS immediately regarding any error on the I-20 form.
    • Enter payment information (Visa, MasterCard or American Express)
    • Print a copy of the online receipt.
    • Make copies of your receipt, and keep it with your other important immigration documents
  3. Make an appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate (unless you are Canadian)

    Next, call the U.S. embassy or consulate assigned to your region to schedule an appointment to obtain a U.S. visa stamp. This visa stamp in combination with your I-20 document allows you to apply for admission to the United States when you arrive at the international airport. Canadians are not required to obtain a visa stamp, according to U.S. immigration law.

  4. Travel to the U.S. consulate, apply for and obtain the U.S. visa stamp

    The visa interview is an important appointment. It is typically very brief, but the decision made by the interviewing immigration officer is lasting. Appointments in some regions are made months in advance, please contact the embassy or consulate in your area for information.

    Click here to find the U.S. embassy or consulate assigned to your region.

    Please click here for useful information regarding the interview process.

  5. Enter the U.S. and travel to MIAD

    On the flight to the U.S. the flight attendant will distribute an immigration entry card to all passengers, just before landing.This card is called the I-94 form.The form number appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the long, narrow, white card.Complete the form carefully, the information written on the card should match the information that appears on your passport, visa stamp and I-20 form.

    As you reach the immigration desk in the airport, called "the port of entry", you will be guided to wait in line in front of the immigration desks.When it is your turn in line, present your I-20 form, passport and I-94 card to the immigration official.Once approved to enter the United States, the I-94 card will be stamped, indicating the date and location of entry.Place this I-94 card with your other important immigration documents.

    Once you enter the U.S. through the port of entry, travel the final step of your journey to the MIAD campus!

    Click here for directions to the MIAD campus.

  6. Check in at the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS)

    When you arrive at the MIAD campus, please come to our office and say "Hello!"We will be excited to welcome you to campus and answer any questions you may have about housing and other important issues.We will also make a photocopy of your important immigration documents at this time.These photocopies will allow us to report your arrival to the Department of Homeland Security, which all colleges are required to do.

    Your First Few Days in Milwaukee

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