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FAQ




Who is considered an international student?

International students are students who are not United States nationals and those who will be, or have already entered, the U.S. with an F-1 or J-1 student visa. Students who already reside in the U.S. and hold other non-immigrant visas (E2, H2, or L2, for example) are also considered international students.

U.S. permanent residents, naturalized U.S. citizens, and U.S. citizens residing abroad and attending school outside the U.S. are not considered international students.


Can I use my financial aid as my financial guarantee?

No, the financial aid you may receive from Fuller cannot serve as your entire Declaration of Financial Support. Such a grant will only supplement your Declaration of Financial Support needed for U.S. Immigration. After you have been accepted to Fuller through admissions, returned the necessary documents for your Declaration of Financial Support and completed the Fuller Financial Aid Application (www.fuller.edu/finaid) for international students, you will automatically be considered for grants and scholarships. Ability to finance your studies must be proved before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. Therefore, because financial aid is issued once you arrive at Fuller, it cannot serve as a financial guarantee.


Are scholarships available to international students?

Complete the International Student Financial Aid Application found on the Fuller Financial Aid website. The financial information reported on this application should correspond with the information you reported on your Declaration of Financial Support in obtaining your visa. This application will not be considered if there are $0 funds declared or if the funds reported differ greatly from your DFS. Please see Fuller's Financial Aid website for information on scholarships. Click here.


Can my parents be a dependent?

No, only spouses and dependent children (unmarried and under the age of 21) qualify as dependents.


Can my dependent(s) work or study?

Dependents in F-2 status cannot work under any circumstances. F-2s may not engage in a full course of study, but may engage in study that is recreational in nature. If an F-2 dependent wishes to pursue a degree program, they must obtain their own F-1 status.


J-2 dependents may study and can engage in employment with USCIS permission.


My spouse will be flying to the U.S. later. Can both of us apply for our visas together?

Yes, you and your spouse may apply for your visas together even if your spouse doesn't plan to leave at the same time as you. As long as all your F-2 dependents' documents are valid (e.g., passport, visa and I-20) they may come later without going through any other processes.


When can I receive my I-20?

Your I-20 cannot be issued until all Declaration of Financial Support forms and supporting bank statements have been received by ISO. Support amounts and bank statements must reflect Fuller's current tuition and living expense estimations. (Pages 5 and 6 of Certificate of Eligibility Application) Visa interviews, course registration, Fuller housing application and financial aid are all contingent upon receiving your I-20. Therefore, to ensure that you have enough time to prepare everything for your arrival, I-20 Request Forms must be received no later than 3 months before your first day of classes. 


Do I need to show funds for my entire course of study?

Regulations require that you have the funds (tuition and living expenses) to finance your studies but for the purposes of receiving an I-20, ISO will only verify funds for your first year.


What is a SEVIS fee and why must I pay it?

The SEVIS I-901 fee is mandated by Congress to support the program office and the automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and ensures that they maintain their status while in the United States. All students who are issued an initial I-20 or DS-2019 must complete the form I-901 and pay a SEVIS fee of $200 (for F-1) or $180 (for J-1). (See Sevis Fee Payment Instructions under Forms tab)


When Is the earliest date I can come to the U.S.?

The earliest date you can come to the U.S. and study at Fuller on an F-1 visa is 30 days prior to the start date indicated on your I-20. For example, if your start date is September 26, then the earliest you can arrive in the U.S. is August 26.


I lost my I-20. What should I do?

ISO can issue you a new I-20. Make an appointment with your international student advisor. Processing time is approximately 3 days.


I lost my passport and I-94 card. Can ISO replace it?

No, we cannot replace your passport or I-94. You will need to contact the embassy of your country to report the loss and request a new passport. To replace your I-94 card, you will need to file form I-102 and send it to USCIS along with the $330 filing fee. 


I am unable to finish my academic program by the time my I-20/ DS- 2019 expires. Can I apply for an extension?

As an F-1 or J-1 student, you are granted a specific period of time to complete your degree. This period is reflected in Section 5 of the I-20 (for F-1 students) and Section 3 of the DS- 2019 (for J-1 students). Both sections indicate your "completion date." If you are unable to finish you degree requirements by that date you must apply for a program extension BEFORE your current document expires.


If I keep registering for a full course load, will my I-20/ DS-2019 automatically be extended?

No, you must make an appointment to see your advisor and request an extension BEFORE your current document expires.


If I change from a Master's to a PhD program, or from a PhD to a Master's, do I need a new I-20 or DS- 2019?

Yes, you need a new I-20 or DS- 2019 that reflects your new program information. Please make an appointment to meet with your International Student Advisor as soon as possible.


What do I need to travel outside of the U.S.?

In order to travel outside the U.S. and re-enter you must have a valid passport, a valid F-1 visa stamp, and a valid I-20 endorsed for travel by a DSO (Designated School Official e.g., International Advisor). Each I-20 travel endorsement signature is valid for 6 months from the date of endorsement.

When travelling outside the U.S., surrender your I-94 card at a U.S. airport. You will receive a new I-94 upon reentry.

When travelling to Canada or Mexico, you will be asked to surrender your I-94 if you will be outside the U.S. for more than 30 days.


My visa expired. Do I have to renew it?

You only have to renew it if you plan to travel outside of the United States.


Can I renew my visa within the United States?

No. As an entry document, visas cannot be issued from within the U.S. You must apply for a new visa from a U.S. Consulate/ Embassy. It is best to apply for a visa in your home country. You must provide 1) an unexpired passport valid at least six months into the future 2) a valid I-20 or DS- 2019 that has been signed for travel 3) Proof of financial support as reflected on your I-20 or DS- 2010 4) proof of enrollment at Fuller.


I have a valid visa in my old passport, but I have a new passport. Can I still use my visa?

Yes, you can use your valid visa in your old passport. When you travel, you will have to carry both your new passport and the old one containing the valid visa. If you are required to surrender your old passport when you receive your new one, you will lose your visa and will have to apply for a new one before you return to the U.S.


I want to transfer to another school and I am an F-1 or J-1 student. What do I need to do?

If you are an F-1 student, you must request ISO to release your SEVIS record to your new institution. Your new school may ask you to have a Transfer Clearance Form signed by you Fuller DSO. Your transfer-out request must be completed within 60 days of your last date of attendance at Fuller.

Students wishing to transfer TO Fuller may download Fuller's Transfer Clearance Form from the Forms page. Please have your current school's DSO sign and return this form to Fuller ISO.