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International Students

Immigration 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 a newly admitted international 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 the immigration document (I-20/DS-2019) request to entry into the United States.

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.

Transfer-in Students

Transferring your F-1 or J-1 status to Northwestern University from another school in the U.S. requires several steps. Our Transfer a SEVIS Record to NU resource provides detailed information on the steps involved, deadlines, Northwestern SEVIS codes and more.

Student Employment

Both F-1 and J-1 students may work on-campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session

F-1 students may apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) to work off campus during their academic program and Optional Practical Training (OPT) for 12-month work authorization if they have been full-time students for at least one academic year and plan to seek employment in the United States in their fields of study.

J-1 students can pursue 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.