After you are accepted to St. Ambrose, obtaining your visa is the first step in preparing to come here. Follow the steps below, and you'll be well on your way to success!
How long does it take to get a visa?
The amount of time it takes to process a visa varies depending on the resources available at each Consulate and the number of requests. Visit this US Department of State Visa Wait Times website for an estimated time frame.
What is the SEVIS or I-901 fee?
The SEVIS fee is paid by students before they can obtain the student visa. You need a SEVIS fee receipt in order to obtain a student visa interview appointment. Visit the SEVIS fee website to learn more and to learn about payment options. You need the information on your non-immigrant paperwork (I-20 or DS-2019) to pay the fee.
What is an I-94 card?
An I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) is a small white card issued at the US border which is normally stapled or placed inside the passport. The student writes in their name, date of birth and country of citizenship. The I-94 card shows the place of entry into the US, the visa status and the expiration of the visa status. This is a very important immigration document and should not be lost.
The visa status expiration date is noted as a specific date on the I-94 or as "D/S" which means "Duration of Status". This means a student can remain in the US as long as long they maintain legal status.
Why does my visa have an expiration date?
When you receive your visa, you will notice that it contains a specific expiration date. However, it is possible that your education is the United States will finish later than the expiration date on your visa. This is not a problem as long as you remain in the US. Your I-20 or DS-2019 and your I-94 card will be marked "D/S" which enables you to remain in the US for your education, so long as you are abiding by the regulations of your visa type.
However, if you leave the US and the expiration date on your visa has passed, you will need to obtain a new visa to re-enter the US. Be sure you know your visa expiration date and keep this in mind when planning any trip outside of the US - even to Mexico or Canada. If in doubt about what to do, please visit us!
The US and Canadian governments have made an agreement that Canadians do not need to physically obtain a visa in their passport to study in the US. The student needs all the same documentation and all the same visa rules apply. If the Canadian border official determines all the visa requirements are met, the I-20 is stamped and an I-94 is issued granting the student visa status without a physical visa in the passport.