New Students

Congratulations on being admitted to UC Santa Cruz!

As an international student, you will need a student visa for full-time study at UC Santa Cruz. The university sponsors full-time students in F-1 or J-1 student visa status. On the page below, you will find information about applying for F-1 or J-1 sponsorship.


iGlobal is a secure online portal for the management of international students, scholars, and employee information. Learn more on the iGlobal webpage.

Follow the steps below to apply for F-1/J-1 Status:

  1. Request an I-20 or DS-2019
    To apply for an  F-1 or J-1 visa, you will first need a document showing you are eligible. For F-1 students, the visa eligibility document is called an I-20.  For J-1 students, the visa eligibility document is called a DS-2019. There are several steps involved in applying for  F-1 or J-1 status:
    1. Choose between F-1 and J-1 status
    2. Request an I-20 or DS-2019 by completing an I-20/DS-2019 Request and documenting your funding sources. International Student Funding Options
  1. Apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa stamp
    Once you have an I-20 or DS-2019, you may apply for the related F-1 or J-1 visa by following these steps:
    1. Pay the SEVIS fee and print your SEVIS fee receipt
    2. Schedule your F-1 or J-1 visa appointment at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy outside of the U.S. (if requesting an F-1 visa, your visa cannot be issued earlier than 120-days prior to the program start date listed on your I-20).

      NOTE: Canadian citizens (holding a Canadian passport) do not need to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa, but still require an I-20 or DS-2019 to enter the U.S. in student status

      If you are a SEVIS transfer (see below), you may already have a valid F-1 or J-1 visa which you may use for entry to the U.S. if needed. In this case, you would not need to attend another visa appointment at a US Consulate/Embassy as described above.
  2. SEVIS Transfer & Change of Status
    SEVIS Transfer: If you are currently in F-1 or J-1 status at a different institution in the U.S. (including English language study during the summer), you may be able to transfer your SEVIS record to UCSC.
    Change of Status (COS): If you are already in the U.S. in a different status (e.g. H-1B, H-4, L-2, A-2, etc) and you are going to change to F-1 or J-1, you may have an option to change status in the U.S.
  3. Arrive in the U.S. in F-1/J-1 Status
    1. Travel to the U.S. no more than 30 days before your I-20/DS-2019 program start date
    2. Provide any relevant information the ISSP office requires via iGlobal for the visa check-in process (local US address, copy of visa, I-94, etc) by the deadline shared by email
    3. Attend the mandatory in-person International Student Orientation sessions.


Contact with questions about applying for F-1 or J-1 sponsorship.

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Last modified: Mar 13, 2024