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Home > International Students (F-1, J-1) > Newly Admitted Students

Newly Admitted Students

Congratulations on your admission to California State University, Los Angeles. We are please to welcome you to the Cal State L.A. family. We look forward to working with you to maximize the benefits of your F-1/J-1 international student status.


F-1 & J-1 Student Visa Information

While there are different visa categories international students may fall under, the International Office (IO) requires that all students holding F-1 or J-1 status check in to our office upon arrival and maintain contact with the office regarding the maintenance of your status. This website provides up-to-date information on guidelines and procedures on how to maintain your immigration status. Questions or concerns should be directed to one of our staff members. To discuss student visa concerns in more detail please call the office to make an appointment, or visit the office during the regular walk-in times.
  • F-1 Students
  • The F-1 visa is for non-immigrants to enter the U.S. solely for the purpose of study and after completing studies the individual will return to the foreign country of permanent residence. This is one important element an international student must provide proof of…you (the student), at the time of visa application, intents to return to your country of permanent residence at the end of the study period. Failure to show sufficient proof will result in a denial of your visa application.

    Upon admission to Cal State L.A. and after submitting the Affidavit of Support and Intent to Enroll to the Admissions Office, you may apply for the F-1 visa by visiting a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and presenting Form I-20 issued by CSULA. The same I-20 should be used to apply for the F-1 visa stamp and to enter the U.S. The SEVIS ID listed on the F-1 visa stamp should match the I-20 SEVIS ID used for entry. If you receive admission to a school after obtaining the F-1 visa stamp on another school’s I-20, it is your responsibility to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to update your F-1 visa stamp.

    When using an I-20 from a specific university to enter the U.S., you are telling U.S. Department of Homeland Security this is the school you intent to attend. Failure to enroll at the school on whose I-20 you entered the U.S. with may jeopardize your F-1 status.

    For more information about applying for the F-1 visa stamp, please check with the U.S. Department of State.

  • J-1 Students
  • J-1 non-immigrant visa holders are foreign nationals who have been selected by a sponsor designated by the U.S. Department of State to participate in an exchange program in the U.S.

    Upon admission to Cal State L.A. and after submitting the Affidavit of Support and Intent to Enroll to the Admissions Office, you may apply for the J-1 visa by visiting a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and presenting Form DS-2019 issued by CSULA or the sponsoring agency. The same DS-2019 should be used to apply for the J-1 visa stamp and to enter the U.S. The SEVIS ID listed on the J-1 visa stamp should match the DS-2019 SEVIS ID used for entry. If you receive admission to a school after obtaining the J-1 visa stamp on another school’s DS-2019, it is your responsibility to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to update your J-1 visa stamp.

    When using a DS-2019 from a specific university to enter the U.S., you are telling U.S. Department of Homeland Security this is the school you intent to attend. Failure to enroll at the school on whose DS-2019 you entered the U.S. with may jeopardize your J-1 status.

    Based upon the source of your funding, you may be subject to the 2-year home residency requirement. This means that upon the completion of your program at CSULA, you are required to return to your country of permanent residence for a period of two years before you can return to the U.S. as a H-1B visa holder or apply for permanent residence. For more information about the J-1 Exchange Visitor program, please consult with the U.S. Department of State.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What if I am admitted and will enter the U.S. after the start date on my I-20?
  2. If you will be a few days late and is concerned about going through customs at the U.S. port of entry, contact a counselor at IO. Please note that if you are arriving late to the U.S., you are still expected to enroll as a full time student. Inability to enroll as a full time student due to late arrival is NOT an acceptable excuse.
  3. What if I am admitted and want to defer my admission to a later term?
  4. If you are admitted for a specific term and now wishes to come at a later term, you must reapply to the University (and department if you are a graduate student) and submit the $55 application fee again.
  5. How do I get help if I have a question about my immigration status?
  6. The immigration counselor in our office advises the international students and scholars about immigration rules and regulations. To speak with the counselor, you may call the office at 323-343-3170 or email to international@calstatela.edu.
  7. Can someone pick me up from the airport?
  8. Our office does not have the resources to provide airport pickup. You can make on-line reservations with SuperShuttle or Prime Shuttle or ISI Greater LA (which is free) or other van shuttle companies, to bring you to campus, or your new place of residence. If you have on-campus housing, check with Housing Services when you can move into your apartment and their office hours.
  9. Can somebody help me adjust to life in the USA?
  10. There are student organizations on campus. To find a group that fits your needs and interest, please contact the University Student Union for a list of student organizations at CSULA.
  11. Do I need health insurance?
  12. The California State University system requires that all international students (F-1/J-1) be continuously insured with an approved policy of comprehensive health insurance. You may purchase the policy online. If you purchase an insurance policy from a different insurance company, it must meet CSULA requirements. If you have questions about the CSU Health Insurance Requirement, you can call us.
  13. What if I already have insurance coverage?
  14. Your current coverage might meet our requirements, but we can only determine this by evaluating your policy. Please complete the Petition to Approve Alternate Insurance Policy and submit it to our office with a summary of your insurance policy (English translation if necessary).
  15. Do I have to have insurance coverage before I leave my country to get to USA?
  16. No, we only require insurance coverage prior to your registration.
  17. How do I apply for a student visa? What do I need to apply for a student visa?
  18. For the most updated requirements and procedures, please visit the U.S. Department of State. You are advised to schedule an appointment with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate as soon as possible to avoid delay in obtaining the visa and making travel arrangements.

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STUDENT GOING GLOBAL CSULA - Club & Organization

Student Going Global
We are an on campus organization committed to promoting international education throughout the CSULA community.

We the Student Going Global represent students interested in participating in intercultural interactions amongst students from different states, nations and/or cultural backgrounds. Our goal is to encourage the integration between all students of different cultural/ethnic backgrounds to experience, learn, and assist incoming exchange students in their transition into US and/or California culture.
  • Focus on increasing intercultural competence amongst all university students through the promotion of international education, study abroad and exchange programs.
  • Organization of social activities and field trips that promote intercultural education.
  • Encourage the development of global networking opportunities and relationships for all students.
  • Participate in humanitarian efforts on a national and/or international level.
  • Promote and discuss issues of concern of all exchange students.
  • Building and maintaining intercultural & international life-long friendships, and networks.
Anyone that has the desire to meet and interact with people from different cultures, nationalities, and orgins, and engage in social activities and field trips to gain intercultural competence and broaden their social networks to a global scale.

SGG Contact sgg.csula@gmail.com

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Last Update: 10/5/2011