International applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their application for admission ten months prior to their intended semester of entry.
The Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20 will be issued to admitted applicants who request and are eligible for an F-1 visa. As part of the eligibility requirement, a student must provide evidence of financial resources and a copy of their passport.
F-1 students may not hold appointments that total more than 20 hours per week when school is in session, and full-time during vacation period provided the student intends to register in the following semester. Twelve months of optional practical training in a study program may be authorized. Dependents of F-1 students cannot be employed.
A DS-2019 Form will be issued to admitted applicants who request and are eligible for a J-1 visa. As part of the eligibility requirement, a student must provide evidence of financial resources and a copy of their passport.
Applicants sponsored by their governments, international foundations, or agencies, who receive at least 50 percent of their funding from any source other than personal or family funds, or who are part of a university exchange are eligible to receive this form. Entry into the U.S. is only for the total period of the study program as specified on the DS-2019. J-1 students may work on or off-campus only with written approval from their sponsor. Students may participate in up to 18 months of academic training and up to 36 months of post-doctoral training. Changing visa category is very difficult and may not be allowed. J-1 visa holders may be subject to a 2-year home country residence requirement. Dependents on J-2 visas may seek employment.
A student may not enroll or pursue studies while on a B1/B2 or F-2 visa.
A student may choose to enroll and pursue studies while on an H-1 visa or they may choose to change status to a student visa. However, please note that an H-1 visa holder cannot hold a graduate assistantship appointment. If you choose to remain on a non-student visa during your studies at Illinois, you will need to upload a copy of your U.S. visa in your online application.
Information regarding the SEVIS I-901 Fee may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.