International Students

Questions for Prospective International F-1 Visa Students

Please see the following list of frequently asked questions, commonly referred to as "FAQ's". Many questions you have may be addressed below, along with a lot of other useful information. If your questions were not answered below, please feel free to contact our office... we would be happy to assist you!

Canadian Citizens do NOT need visas to study in the United States.

You DO need to obtain a Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility from the college that you plan to attend. At the time you receive the I-20 you will be registered with SEVIS, the U.S. student tracking system. You will be assigned a SEVIS number, and be required to pay a registration fee.

When you cross the border to study you will need to provide the Officer at the port of entry:

  • Proof of identity and citizenship (a Canadian passport for example)
  • The original I-20 certificate
  • Your letter of acceptance from the school you have applied to
  • Proof that you have paid your SEVIS fee
  • Proof that you have the funds to pay for the school that you plan to attend
  • Proof of your ties to Canada

Students applying for initial-entry F-1 visas may now be issued those visas up to 120 days before their academic program start date (as compared to 90 days under previous regulations). Students or exchange visitors, however, will NOT be admitted to the U.S. more than 30 days before the start of their study or program by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The information provided above was retrieved from the U.S. Embassy website. The web link is listed below for further review and the most up-to-date information.

For information about the application process and paying your SEVIS fee, please review the Admission Process & Requirements information on this page.
https://ca.usembassy.gov/visas/canadian-students

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Although Canadian students do not need a visa to study in the United States, you must be sure to complete the I-94 record process (your Arrival/Departure Form) with the U.S. immigration official at your point of entry to the United States. If you enter the U.S. by land, you should be issued an I-94 paper card. If you enter by air your I-94 record will be entered into the on-line system. You will need to print out your I-94 record upon your arrival to the U.S. as evidence of your legal status. In both cases you may be charged a small fee (it is currently under $10) to process the I-94 record.

U.S. immigration inspectors are accustomed to admitting Canadian citizens as visitors, but may not be as familiar with admitting full-time students. Please keep in mind, it is your responsibility to make sure you are granted the correct immigration status when you are entering the U.S.
For more information regarding I-94's, please go the following U.S. Customs & Border Protection website:

http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/i-94-instructions