Immigration - SPCS, Law, MSM and MBA Students

F-1 Visa

Non-U.S. citizens who have been accepted to a full-time course of study in the School of Professional & Continuing Studies, School of Law, or Robins School of Business MSM or MBA, typically apply for an F-1 student visa unless they will have another non-immigrant status that permits study in the U.S. by the start of their program. To obtain an I-20 to apply for an F-1 visa, please complete an I-20 authorization form and one of the following as proof of adequate finances:

  • Certification of Finances form (certified with an official bank stamp) for the relevant program
  • A letter from a financial institution signed by a bank officer on official stationery stating total amount of funds in U.S. dollars available to the student during the first year of their program.
  • A bank statement belonging to a student's parent, guardian, or relative showing the current and average balances of the account, accompanied by a letter from the account owner verifying the amount available to the student during the first year of their program. This letter must state the student's full name as it appears on their passport as well as the student's date of birth. All amounts must be converted into U.S. dollars.
  • A bank statement belonging to the student showing the current and average balances of the account. This statement must include information that identifies the student as the account owner. All amounts must be converted into U.S. dollars.
  • An I-134 Affidavit of Support if the student is being supported financially by a non-family member. Two originals should be completed. One original should be mailed to International Education and the other original should be provided to the U.S. consulate for the visa application.

The University can process an I-20 form upon receipt of a faxed copy of the appropriate financial documents, but original documents must also be mailed to the Office of International Education. Students should have a second original to submit as part of their student visa application at the U.S. consulate in their home country.

Please scan and email all forms to, fax to +1 (804) 289-8904 or mail to:

Krittika Onsanit
Director of International Student & Scholar Services
International Education
211 Richmond Way
University of Richmond, VA 23173

F-1 students who are currently in the U.S. and wish to transfer their status to Richmond must also read the instructions on the transfer student website and complete the F-1/J-1 Transfer Request Form on that website.

Spouse and dependent Children

The spouse and dependent children of an F-1 student are eligible for F-2 visa status. Learn more about F-2 dependents.

J-1 Visa

Some non-U.S. citizens may prefer to apply for the J-1 exchange visitors visa based on the benefits available to J-2 dependents, who are allowed to work in the U.S. upon obtaining employment authorization and have no restrictions on study. F-2 dependents cannot work in the U.S. under any circumstances and can only study part-time except at the elementary and secondary school levels (kindergarten through 12th grade).

To qualify for a J-1 visa, a student’s program must meet at least 1 of the following funding or exchange agreement requirements:

  • Financed directly or indirectly by the U.S. or home government or an international organization of which the U.S. is a member by treaty or statute
  • Carried out pursuant to an agreement between the U.S. and a foreign government
  • Carried out pursuant to a written agreement between a U.S. and foreign academic institution, a U.S. academic institution and foreign government, or a U.S. state or local government and foreign government
  • Funded substantially by a source other than personal or family

To obtain a DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 visa, please complete and read the following:

  1. Complete the DS-2019 Authorization Form and email it with a scanned copy of your passport information page to Krittika Onsanit
  2. Certification of Finances form (certified with an official bank stamp) for the relevant program.
  3. Complete the Verification of English Language Proficiency Form.
  4. If you are eligible to come to Richmond as a J-1 exchange visitor, you will receive a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status. Upon receipt, sign the bottom of DS-2019 immediately.
  5. If this is your first time participating in a U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program, you will need to pay a $220 SEVIS fee using the SEVIS ID number from your DS-2019. If this is not your first time, visit the SEVIS I-901 fee website to determine if you need to pay this fee.
  6. Visit the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program website for instructions on applying for the J-1 visa.
  7. Read the Exchange Visitor Program Welcome Brochure for the requirements of coming to the U.S. as an exchange visitor.
  8. Read the Arrival Procedures webpage for instructions on arriving at a U.S. port of entry.

Health Insurance

J visa holders are required by the U.S. Department of State to have health insurance that meets the U.S. Department of State's health insurance requirements. International students on non-immigrant visas are required to purchase the health insurance plan offered by the University and are automatically enrolled and billed for it prior to arriving in the U.S.

The University will not make payments or enrollments for health insurance for J-2 dependents.

If you wish to use an existing health insurance plan that meets the regulations for you and your family, please provide proof of insurance by e-mailing a copy of your policy and enrollment information to Krittika Onsanit.

While in the U.S. J-1 and J-2 visa holders may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, a law for comprehensive health insurance reform that President Obama signed on March 23, 2010. The University’s health insurance plan complies with the Affordable Care Act.

Current J-1 Visitors Transferring from Another U.S. Institution

J-1 exchange visitors transferring from another U.S. institution must complete the forms on the Transfer Students page. Upon receipt of the forms, we will transfer in your DS-2019 from your current institution on the requested transfer date and issue you a new DS-2019 from Richmond.

Spouse and Dependent Children

For more information about J-2 dependents, visit the Spouse and Dependent Children webpage.