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International Students

Visa Assistance

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISS) assists international students and their families with the process of acquiring and maintaining nonimmigrant visa status. 

New Students

The first step for any newly admitted student is to learn about the student visa options and the visa application process. Below, you can find the step-by-step instructions for entire procedure, from completing initial application forms to entry into the United States.

Current Students

Maintaining visa status requires students to comply with a variety of federal regulations, which are explained here. Visas and immigration records may also need to be changed if you take a break in your studies, require an extension, or lose immigration status due to a violation.

Family of International Students

An F-1 or J-1 student can bring his or her spouse and children to the United States; they will be classified as F-2 or J-2 dependents. Like new students, dependents will need to apply for dependent visa status, which carries certain requirements and restrictions.

Student Employment

F-1 students must complete Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to work during their academic program and Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work after completing their degrees. 

J-1 students can pursue on-campus employment and Academic Training (AT), either during or after their academic programs.

Learn More

Getting Ready for Northwestern

New students can prepare for life in the United States. Read about the steps that need to be completed before you leave—such as fulfilling health requirements and securing housing—as well as the process for arrival and transit to our campus. After mandatory check-in, you will attend orientation.