The international visa process begins immediately after admission and is completely separate from the admission process. Visa and financial guarantee questions may be sent to our Visa Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visa process review:
After official admission, the Graduate College will send an email to the student with instructions on how to request an I-20 form. This email is viewable to departments on the student's timeline in GradSlate. If a student is requesting an I-20, they will be directed to create an account in UA International where they will enter personal information, upload their passport, funding documents, declaration of support (if sponsored by family or friend), and identify dependents, if applicable. Please note: Students who are requesting J1 visa documents or currently hold visas issued by the University of Arizona will be issued documents from the International Student Services office and will be notified accordingly.
If departmental funding is awarded a GISAL will be required (see below.) The student will be asked to provide UA International with the name and email address of the person who will be preparing the GISAL. This information will prompt an email to be sent to the GISAL contact with a fillable GISAL form and a unique link to UA International where the completed form can be uploaded. It is very important that the department give the student accurate contact information about who will prepare the GISAL.
After all uploads are complete and reviewed, most I-20 visa documents will be prepared in the Graduate College. Upon completion of the I-20, the University of Arizona has arranged for free, express mail shipping via eShipGlobal services.
The student will be required to present their I-20 form, financial documents including their printed GISAL from the Graduate College, and any other supporting documents to the United States Consular officials at their visa appointment. If the I-20 visa appointment is successful, they will receive an F1 student visa to study in the United States.
Financial Guarantee worksheet
The Financial Guarantee worksheet lists valuable information regarding acceptable forms of funding sources, amounts required for dependents, program fees, sponsor information, etc.
Note that any combination of personal, private, family, or departmental funding can be used to satisfy the financial guarantee requirement. If private funding is used to obtain an I-20 and department or sponsor information becomes available later, the Visa Section will not re-issue the I-20 with the new funding source. Rather, the student should present any additional new financial information to the consular office at their visa appointment.
A GISAL is a Graduate International Student Award Letter that officially notifies our office, the U.S. Consulate, and the Social Security Administration of any departmental funding you are awarding to international students. A GISAL can only be completed after admission for an international student who is being offered departmental funding and only after you have received an official GISAL upload request from the Graduate College. Any type of departmental funding (Teaching or Research Assistant, Fellowship, Scholarship, etc.) requires a GISAL form.
- Provide the student with the name and email of the person who will be preparing the GISAL. (It is critical that the department give the student accurate contact information about who will prepare the form.)
- The named contact will be sent an instructional email with a blank GISAL form and a link to upload the form in UA International.
- The GISAL form calculates the total funding for you. Please inform the student of the total amount being awarded by the department. If the student is not fully funded, they will need to upload proof of additional funding. (See financial guarantee worksheet for current requirement)
Official Graduate College letterhead has been added to the GISAL, so it is no longer necessary to print and scan the form. Please enter all the required data (including the FTE dropdown box, if applicable), sign the form electronically, and save as a pdf to upload. Please use the followig format to "save as": Last Name_First Name_SID#.
The Graduate College will print the form and include it with the student’s I-20 packet for use at their U.S. Consular visa appointment and their Social Security Administration appointment.
Mandatory International Orientation
New international students are required to register for and attend the International Student Services (ISS) 2-day orientation program before registering for classes. Registration and more information is available on the ISS website. The ISS Orientation is separate from the GPSC Graduate Orientation.
International students beginning in a Summer session are subject to additional summer fees listed on the Financial Guarantee form.