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Office of International Programs
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Incoming F1 Students

How to Apply for F1 Visa Status

In order to apply for F-1 status, a student must obtain the Form I-20, issued by the Office of International Programs. Form I-20 certifies to the U.S. embassy abroad that a student has been accepted to a SEVP-approved university and has provided enough finances to pay for the cost of their education and living expenses. Please note, processing time to issue the I-20 is within 5 business days.  This does not include weekends. 

Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Apply to a program at Seton Hall (Undergraduate & ESL, Graduate)
  2. Complete the I-20 Application while you wait for your acceptance to the program. Upload the I-20 application and necessary documents to the secure web portal ».
    Please allow our office within 5  business days to review your application once submitted. This does not include weekends or holidays. Our office will contact you if we require additionally information. Once we have determined that your application is complete, we will process your request. Review times may vary depending on the nature of your application including times of additional verification and missing information. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.
  3. Receive your Form I-20 - ESL students must submit a tuition deposit before receiving their I-20 
  4. Schedule your F-1 Visa Appointment - You will need the information on the Form I-20 to schedule your F-1 visa appointment. As part of the visa application process, you will need to complete Form DS-160 ($160) and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee ($350). Check visa appointment wait times below.  
  5. Arrive in the U.S. The earliest new F1 students can arrive is 30 days before the program start date on your Form I-20. The latest day any student may arrive is the last day of the add/drop period (see Academic Calendar below)

                                                                        Please plan to submit your I-20 Application no later than:

                           Students Outside the USA    Students Within USA Transferring to Seton Hall
                Fall: July 1                       Spring: November 1  Fall: August 1                                   Spring: December 1 
  • Canadian Students  only need the Form I-20 to enter the U.S., and do not need to apply for the F-1 visa. Please follow the I-20 Application guidelines above.
  • F1 Transfer students traveling abroad and who need to renew their visa - Please follow the I-20 Application guidelines above. 
  • F1 Transfer students remaining in the U.S. before the start of classes / traveling abroad with a valid F1 visa can receive an I-20 form up until the the last day of add/drop for the semester. However, please submit your documents based on guided timelines above. 

Important Notice Regarding Visa Appointments

Please check the  visa appointment wait time for the U.S. Embassy location where you intend to apply for the F-1 visa. Many locations will not be able to offer appointments before the start of the semester. If you believe that these delays may impact your ability to begin classes on time, you are advised to contact your admissions director to discuss your options, including deferral of your application. 


For Admissions and Program Information:

Prospective undergraduate students may contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected]. Prospective graduate students may contact the appropriate Graduate Director for their desired program, or e-mail [email protected]

For I-20 and Visa Information:

Book one of the following to speak to an advisor.

 I-20 Application Information Session to learn about the I-20 Application requirements and F-1 visa process.

F1/J1 Advising Session for specific questions about your pending I-20 Application, F-1 or other visa status.

Helpful Links

Check Visa Appointment Wait Times - Due to COVID-19, some countries require several months wait time for visa appointment. Students may request emergency appointment, however it is not guaranteed.

Find a U.S. Embassy 

International Student Experience



  • Undergraduate Admissions
    Explore the Undergraduate Admissions site for more information about applying to Seton Hall University to complete an undergraduate degree.
  • English As a Second Language
    As an international student you can enroll in Seton Hall University's English as a Second Language Program.
  • Graduate Departments
    Find information about applying to Seton Hall University to complete an graduate degree.
  • Housing and Residence Life
    Find information about housing options on-campus and general campus life information for Seton Hall University.
  • Seton Hall Virtual Tour
    Join our student tour guides on a walking tour of Seton Hall's campus, with videos of each location offered fully in 360-degrees.