Welcome to the University of Georgia!
Office of Global Engagement
Please note: In order to best serve our students and scholars during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration Services will continue to mail documents through fall semester to reduce in-person office visits. See here for more information.
Welcome to the University of Georgia!
International students must first apply and be accepted to the University of Georgia. For more information regarding the admissions process, students should contact the appropriate admission office.
Upon admission, students will receive an email from Immigration Services with details on how to request an I-20 or DS-2019 for the F-1 or J-1 visa. Students will also be able to request an I-20 or DS-2019 for dependents. All information included with the I-20 or DS-2019 should be read thoroughly.
Students who are approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) should contact the appropriate admissions office PRIOR to applying to UGA! In general DACA approved students are not eligible for admission to UGA.
There are several steps students must complete to obtain the F-1 or J-1 student visa to study in the US. Pre-arrival information is provided to guide students step-by-step through the process:
There are only a few visas that are specifically intended for non-U.S. citizens to come to the U.S. to study. These visas that can be issued for study at UGA.
These student visas are managed by the U.S. government through an online database called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System – SEVIS. UGA helps international students by keeping the SEVIS record accurate and updated with regard to personal information and academic information.About SEVIS
Non-SEVIS Visas that Allow Internationals to Study
An international student can also hold a different visa status, such as an H-4, A-1, J-2, F-2, etc. These individuals are still considered an "international student" at UGA, and must check in with our office upon arrival.
B-1 or B-2 tourists, or those from visa waiver countries admitted under the visa waiver program may not legally study.
The U.S. Embassy/Consulate closest to a student’s home will process the visa application.U.S. Embassies and Consulates
A visa from a U.S. embassy is not required for Canadian citizens.
Students may be required to speak with a consular officer. The officers will verify academic ability, English language skills, and financial resources to study at UGA. Because international students are applying for a non-immigrant visa, the officer may require documentation of proof of intent to return to a student’s home country.10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa
Students should carry all required immigration documents in their carry-on luggage.
At the port of entry in the United States, students will be inspected by an immigration officer for admission into the U.S. Students will present to the U.S. immigration officer the following documents:
The passport will be stamped by the officer with the entry date and the visa status used to enter the U.S.
After entering the U.S., students should complete the online check-in process for SEVIS registration. Immigration Services will send this information by email to each incoming student. All immigration documents should be kept in a safe place. Students admitted to the U.S. should only attend the institution whose immigration documents were used to enter the U.S.
Students who are currently inside the U.S. and wish to gain a different immigration status in the U.S. have two options:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with an immigration advisor regarding either of these processes.
This process is separate from the academic transfer process, and involves the transfer of the SEVIS record to UGA from the student’s previous school. After admission to UGA, students will receive an email with instructions for requesting an I-20 or DS-2019 from UGA. The transfer form is part of this I-20 or DS-2019 request.
UGA International Student Life office (ISL) ISL organizes a dynamic international student orientation each semester for new and transfer international students matriculating to the University of Georgia. The information included in the ISL orientation is not covered by any other orientation program on campus. Current UGA students serve as orientation leaders (called World Leaders) to assist with international orientation sessions.
The Georgia State Board of Regents requires UGA to verify the lawful presence of all students prior to enrollment. International students on F-1 or J-1 visas will have their Verification of Lawful Presence (VLP) verified upon completion of online check in with Immigration Services.
Verification of Lawful Presence Information