F-1 Visa

An F-1 student is a non-U.S. citizen who is pursuing a full-time course of study to achieve a specific educational or professional objective at a U.S. academic institution that has been designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to offer courses of study to international students.


In order to work in the United States, all non-immigrant visa holders must receive the proper authorization before beginning any employment.

SPCS Summer School Students

International students applying for a summer program at the University should visit the Immigration - SPCS, Law, and MBA Students page for further instructions.

F-1 Transfer Students (already enrolled in a U.S. college or university)

Incoming first-year undergraduate students and transfer undergraduate students should email intladm@richmond.edu for instructions on receiving their I-20s. Incoming UR Law, MBA, or SPCS F-1 students who are transferring their F-1 status to Richmond from another US college or university should go to the Immigration - SPCS, Law, and MBA Students page and the Transfer Students page for further instructions.

Change of Status to F-1

Prospective students who are in the U.S. on a visa other than F-1 and want to change their status while remaining in the U.S. need to maintain the validity of their current visa status up to 30 days before the I-20 program start date. Most prospective students will need to file USCIS I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status with the I-20 from Richmond as part of the application. They will also most likely need to file a separate Form I-539 to request to extend their current status or change to another nonimmigrant status, in addition to filing the Form I-539 application to change to F-1 student status. Since these matters are beyond the scope of the Office of International Education’s immigration expertise, prospective students are advised to work with an immigration attorney on these applications.

Prospective students who are in the U.S. on a visa other than F-1 can also change their status by departing the U.S., applying for an F-1 visa stamp in their home country using the Richmond I-20, and making a new entry in F-1 status. Please check F-1 visa application procedures and visa wait times on the U.S. Department of State’s website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study.html

To obtain the I-20 from Richmond, go to the Immigration - SPCS, Law, and MBA Students page.