Student, Exchange Visas
A visa is required to enter the United States. Most international students come to Coastal Carolina University on an F or J visa. After admission, international students will obtain an I-20 or DS-2019 that allows them to apply for a visa.
Full-time degree seeking international students typically enter the U.S. with an F-1 visa. Visiting, sponsored, and exchange students typically enter with a J-1 visa. A student's spouse or child can apply for an F-2 or J-2 dependent visa. A certificate of eligibilty is required to apply for an F or J visa.
Certificate of Eligibility
Admitted international students will receive information by email about the process to receive a Certificate of Eligibility to apply for a U.S. visa. Full-time degree seeking international students are typically issued an I-20, which allows them to apply for an F-1 visa. Visiting, sponsored, and exchange students may be issued a DS-2019, which allows them to apply for a J-1 visa.
You may begin applying for your F or J visa 120 days before the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. The embassies will not accept visa applications before 120 days prior to the start date. Prior to applying for a visa, new F-1 and J-1 students are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee. After paying this fee, you should complete the Form DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application and upload your photo before scheduling an interview with a consular officer. Interview appointment wait times vary, so apply early. For more information on applying for an F visa or a J visa, please refer to the U.S. Department of State website.
Please note, that CCU cannot do anything to change the decision of the U.S. Embassy regarding your visa. If your visa is denied or you are required to wait for administrative processing, the embassy will provide you notification in writing by mail. Most of the time, you can re-apply. Please read any information provided to you at or after your visa interview carefully for details.
Do not purchase an airplane ticket until your visa has been approved.
If you have already applied for your visa, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if your visa was approved or denied.
If you are in the United States studying at another institution and you have an active SEVIS record, you can have your existing SEVIS record transferred to CCU. Speak to an international student adviser at your current institution about their process for transferring your SEVIS record. CCU must receive the record in SEVIS before the I-20 or DS-2019 can be issued.
Change of Status
If you are in the United States on a visa that is not an F or a J, you can either submit an application to USCIS to change your visa status or travel outside the U.S. and apply for a new visa. If you choose to apply from within the U.S., you must maintain your current visa status until the change of status is approved. This often takes several months. It is much faster to travel outside the U.S. and apply for a new visa.