Visa and immigration

Degree-seeking students' immigration documents will be issued once all financial information has been verified. Exchange/study abroad student financial information is reviewed as part of the admission process. Please note that documents cannot be issued for the fall semester before the preceding March 1, or for the spring semester before the preceding Oct. 1.

Students enrolling in a UAF degree program will be issued a form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for use in applying for the F-1 visa and entering the U.S.

Students coming through exchange or study abroad programs will be issued a form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor.

Note: Canadians will not apply for a visa to enter the U.S. However, they need to follow all other steps.


You can enter the United States up to 30 days before the start of your program, as listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. Your official program start date is the first day of classes; however, you should arrive a few days earlier so you can attend the mandatory international student orientation. Please note, on-campus housing is generally not available before the beginning of orientation, so if you arrive before orientation, you will have to arrange off-campus housing until on-campus housing opens.