U.S. Visa Information for Newly Admitted Students
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:
- Once admitted, provide proof of financial support to admissions office
- Once you send financial proof, the admissions office sends you an I-20
- Once you receive the I-20, pay the "SEVIS fee" on line
- Make an appointment at a U.S. consulate (unless you are Canadian)
- Go to the U.S. consulate, apply for and obtain the U.S. visa stamp
- Enter the U.S. and come to Cornell
- Check in at the International Students and Scholars office (ISSO)
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:
- Graduate Admissions
- Undergraduate Admissions
- Law School Admissions
- Johnson Graduate School of Business Admissions
- Summer and Continuing Education -- this office oversees admissions for many short term and summer programs such as:
- Summer College
- English for International Students and Scholars
- Shoals Marine Lab
- Qatar pre-medical programs
- summer pre-law programs
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).
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.
Once you receive the I-20, you will pay the SEVIS fee.
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.
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.)