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About Student Visas

Student Visas

International students at Northwestern use F-1 and J-1 visas. The type used will depend on the student's program type and funding. 

Types of Student Visas

Understanding Immigration Documents

Admitted international students will need to apply for either a Form I-20 or DS-2019 in order to apply for a U.S. F-1 or J-1 visa for study in the U.S.

Learn about I-20 & Student Visa

Maintaining F-1 or J-1 Status

Federal regulations require all international students to maintain their F-1 or J-1 status while residing in the U.S.

Learn about Regulations

What if my visa expires while I am in the United States?

A visa in your passport issued by a U.S. consulate does not determine how long you can remain in the United States; it is only an entry document. Therefore, you may stay in the U. S. beyond the expiration date of a visa as long as you are maintaining your F-1 or J-1 status and the immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019) remains valid.

For international travel and re-entry to the U.S., the immigration document, passport and visa must be valid and unexpired. If the visa is expired it will be necessary to apply for a new visa, through the same process as your initial visa application, at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U.S. For more information about international travel, visit the F-1 & J-1 Travel webpage.

Visa Changes

Students currently or previously registered at Northwestern may need to change their visa status. Read instructions for extending or reinstating visa status, changing visa statuses and more.