F-1 Degree Seeking Students

Allegheny has a robust international student population. We currently welcome F-1 degree seeking students from over 30 countries. Interested in joining us? Apply today!

Applying for an F-1 student visa

In order to study at Allegheny College you must obtain an F-1 student visa.

  • F-1 students must have an I-20 certificate of eligibility from Allegheny College to apply for their F-1 visa. International Student Services will contact you regarding your I-20 and any information that may be needed to process your document. 
  • Once you have received your I-20, you must pay the required SEVIS fee. The SEVIS fee is a one time payment and helps to fund the operation of the United States government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program. The current fee for F-1 visa applicants is $350.
  • Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa application, Form DS-160 and pay required fees.
  • Schedule an interview: Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited exceptions or for those eligible for an interview waiver. 
    •  You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more difficult to qualify for a visa outside of the country where you reside. 
    • Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait times for the location where you will apply.

Entering the United States

  • A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States.  A visa only allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry and request permission to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.  
    • After you present your passport, visa, and I-20 at the port-of-entry, a CBP official will make your entry decision.  Once you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.  
    • Learn about procedures for entering the United States on the CBP website under Arrival Procedures for Students or Exchange Visitors 

Maintaining Legal Immigration Status

It is very important for F-1 students to maintain legal status while they are in the U.S. F-1 visa holders who fall “out of status” are considered illegally residing in the U.S. and subject to penalties.

  • Maintain required documents
    • Passport valid for at least six months beyond planned departure date.
    • Valid and accurate I-20
    • Accurate I-94 admission record
  • Report changes in information
    • All changes to U.S. address, phone number, email or major must be reported to ISS within 10 calendar days of the change.
  • Comply with requirements of your visa category and degree program.
  • Maintain a full course of study (minimum 12 credits) unless you have prior authorization for a Reduced Course Load through ISS.
  • Do NOT engage in employment within the United States without prior authorization from ISS and/or the U.S. government.