Immigration Documents

Non-immigrant students admitted to United States institutions of higher education must obtain certain documents prior to arriving at the University (see below). Additional information will be available to you during the MANDATORY orientation held for all new international students.

Certificate of Eligibility (I-20)

After you have been accepted and have submitted the required documents, you will receive a certificate of eligibility form I-20. The I-20 is necessary to apply for an F-1 student visa for entry to the United States.

The I-20 will indicate the latest date by which students should report to Southern Arkansas University, which is generally the last day of the registration.

F-1 Visa

Students must submit the I-901 form and $200 SEVIS fee before applying for a visa. SEVIS fee is paid directly to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Therefore, we do not have any control over your SEVIS payment and we cannot refund or transfer your payment.

The U.S. Embassy will issue and F-1 student visa, which will be placed in your passport. You must have a valid U.S. F-1 visa in order to enter the United States. A visa is valid for a stated number or entries within a stated period of time. Please remember it may take a considerable amount time to obtain this visa depending on what country your are from. So, give yourself plenty of time to obtain the F-1 student visa before you plan to come to the United States.

I-94 Arrival/Departure Card

Your I-94 Arrival/Departure record card will be given to you to complete right before your flight arrives in the U.S. You should present this, and your I-20, to the immigration officer when your enter the U.S. airport. Half of the I-94 card will be stapled to a page of your passport. They should return the I-20 to you after it has been stamped. Both the I-20 and the I-94 should have the same stamp on them.