Skip to main content

  • Contact ISSO

  • U.S. Visa Information for Newly Admitted Students

    Click Here for General Information on Getting Settled
    in the U.S.A. and Ithaca for new students

    New "DS-160" (the required U.S. visa application form) asks for school "program number"--read more here

    Congratulations for gaining admission to Cornell University! Now that you are admitted, we want to provide you will useful information to help you navigate the U.S. immigration system, obtain a U.S. visa stamp (or transfer your visa status if you are already in the U.S.), enter the U.S. and attend Cornell. We look forward to meeting you once you reach Ithaca!

    The information below is also available in our "Coming to Cornell" guide for new students:

    Overview of Visa Process

    In order to come to the U.S. in a student immigration status, you will go through the steps outlined below. If you are already in the U.S. in F-1 status, you will follow steps 1 and 2, and then follow the transfer procedures linked here and below. Please click on each hot linked step for the details:

    1. Once admitted, provide proof of financial support to admissions office
    2. Once you send financial proof, the admissions office sends you an I-20
    3. Once you receive the I-20, pay the "SEVIS fee" on line
    4. Make an appointment at a U.S. consulate (unless you are Canadian)
    5. Go to the U.S. consulate, apply for and obtain the U.S. visa stamp
    6. Enter the U.S. and come to Cornell
    7. Check in at the International Students and Scholars office (ISSO)


    1. The Admissions Office will ask you to show proof of financial support


    Now that you are admitted, the appropriate admissions office at Cornell will require that you show that you have enough financial support to pay the tuition and living expenses at Cornell. The admissions office will provide you details of how you can provide that proof to them (each admissions office has slightly different procedures and forms).

    Here is a list of the admissions offices:

    Click here for an estimate of tuition and living expenses for the current year (this is only an estimate--each admissions office determines the financial requirements).


    2. Once you show the proof of funding, your admissions Office will send you an I-20


    Once you have shown proof of your finanical support, your admissions office will send you a "certificate of eligibility" called an "I-20." You will need that I-20 to apply for an "F-1" visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate (unless you are a Canadian citizen, because Canadians are not required to obtain visa stamps to enter the U.S.). If you are already in the U.S. in F-1 status, please click here for information on how to transfer your current F-1 record to Cornell.


    3. Once you receive the I-20, you will pay the SEVIS fee


    Once you receive the I-20, you will pay the SEVIS fee.


    4. Make an appointment at the nearest U.S. consulate (unless you are Canadian)


    Click here to find the nearest U.S. consulate to you. Please read the details about applying for a visa stamp here. Please note the if you are a Canadian citizen, you do NOT have to apply for and obtain a visa stamp in your passport. Instead, at the port of entry, you simply show your Canadian passport and I-20 to request F-1 immigration status to attend Cornell University.


    5. Go to the U.S. consulate at your appointment time and apply for the U.S. visa stamp.


    Click here to read more information on what you need to bring with you to the U.S. Consulate for the visa application.


    6. Travel to the U.S. and to Cornell University!


    Click here for directions to Cornell University's Ithaca campus. (Contact your specific program office if you will not be attending Cornell's Ithaca campus.)

    Click here for more information on getting
    settled in the U.S.A. and Ithaca.


    7. Check in at the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)!


    Click here for more information about checking in at the ISSO. If you will not be attending Cornell's Ithaca campus, contact the ISSO directly to make arrangements for your long distance check in procedures. Some of the students who will not be attending the Ithaca campus include: