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Travel and Entry Into the United States

    Travel and Entry Into the US

    Once admitted to Saint Leo University, international students must obtain a J-1 exchange visitor visa from the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate. Helpful information on applying for the J-1 visa and much more can be found at:

    International students must take the following items to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate for an interview with an immigration officer:

    1. A valid passport (this should be valid for the entire period of the proposed course of study or renewable after at least one year.)
    2. The letter of admission from Saint Leo University.
    3. Form DS-2019, executed by the Responsible Officer at Saint Leo at item 7, and completed and signed by you on the bottom of the document.
    4. Evidence of your financial ability to meet the expenses at Saint Leo University. This can include scholarship letters or documentation from your exchange program.
    5. Evidence of English ability sufficient for your studies at Saint Leo University.
    6. Evidence of your residence at home, and your intent to depart the U.S. after completing the program here.
    7. A medical clearance based on a physical examination by a medical facility approved by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. (This is not always required. Students should check with the Embassy/Consulate whether or not the examination is necessary, and if so, which doctor is approved.)
    8. Two (2) passport sized photographs.
    9. A $160 Visa application processing fee, a $100.00 Machine Readable Visa (MRV) surcharge fee, and any Visa reciprocity fees that might be applicable. The application fee is nonrefundable in the event that the visa is denied.
    10. Verification of payment of the $220.00 SEVIS fee. Payment must be received either by internet or by mail to the DHS address on the Form I-901 at least 3 business days before the scheduled visa interview. You can find out more about, and pay the SEVIS fee at

    Once you receive your appointment at the consulate or US Embassy, an U.S. Immigration Officer will then interview you to confirm:

    1. That your purpose in coming to the United States is to remain only for the duration of the exchange program at Saint Leo University (the institution which issued the form DS-2019).
    2. That adequate funds are available for the entire duration of the proposed program of study in the United States.
    3. That you will not be employed or engaged in business while in the United States without permission from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS.)

    Once you have been issued the J-1 student visa, you are ready to come to the US to study.
    Please be sure to carry the documents above with you on the plane to the US because you will need to present these items at the Port of Entry to the US.

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