There are many types of international students at UIC studying on different visas. The exact visa you need often depends on a combination of your academic program and funding source. OIS will help you figure out, based on your situation, which type of visa you will need and how to obtain it. If you already hold an immigration status that allows for study in the U.S., OIS can explain how to report that status to our office.
Send your questions about obtaining your visa or reporting your status to the New International Student Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Common immigration statuses for UIC international students Heading link
While most international students studying at UIC do so on an F-1 visa, there are specific situations that necessitate a different immigration status. The tabs below outline the basics of the most common international student statuses at UIC and scenarios in which they might be appropriate. In all cases, admitted students work with OIS to either obtain UIC-sponsored immigration documents or report their status if sponsored by an external entity. See below for details.
How to obtain your UIC Form I-20/DS-2019 or report your current visa status to OIS Heading link
Click your academic program below to view your steps to obtain a visa or report your current U.S. visa status to OIS.
International student funding and financial documentation requirements Heading link
If you are requesting a UIC Form I-20 or DS-2019, you will need to submit evidence of funding as part of your OIS Documents. The amount of funding you need to show will vary depending on your academic program and whether or not you are applying for F-1 or J-1 status and the documentation must meet specific requirements. Even if you are not applying for UIC sponsorship, it can be helpful to view the estimated cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses for an average student in your program.
Applying for your visa Heading link
Once you have received your I-20 or DS-2019 from UIC you can take the next step which is to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Arriving to UIC Heading link
Once you have obtained your student visa or reported your current immigration status to OIS, you can start planning your journey to Illinois. Before You Leave Home will help with your pre-departure to-do list and Arriving in the U.S. discusses what to expect at the U.S. Port of Entry. All new members of the UIC international community are required to complete an Immigration Check-In with OIS after Arriving to UIC. F-1 and J-1 international students are not allowed to register for classes until the immigration check-in is complete.
FAQs Heading link
Here are some frequently asked questions about obtaining an initial UIC Form I-20/DS-2019 or reporting your immigration status to OIS.
How long does it take to process my OIS Documents and obtain my UIC Form I-20/DS-2019?
Remember that OIS can only begin reviewing your documents after your admission has been confirmed. Once you are admitted and have submitted your OIS Documents, they will be reviewed within five business days. After the review period, you will either receive feedback through your Application Summary Check-list on required edits to your OIS Documents, or you will receive an email outlining your options for receiving your Form I-20 or DS-2019.
Can I submit my OIS Documents before I am fully admitted?
Yes, you are welcome to submit your OIS Documents prior to admission. However, please remember that OIS cannot review your OIS Documents until your admission is confirmed.
I already hold a valid status that allows for study in the U.S. and do not need to request a UIC Form I-20 or DS-2019. Do I still need to submit OIS Documents?
Yes, if you already hold valid visa status other than F-1/J-1 that allows for study in the U.S., and wish to remain in that status while studying at UIC, you still need to upload certain OIS Documents:
- Declaration & Certification of Finances (DCF) – Complete page one only and sign on page two.
- Copy your passport biographical page – Including your name and personal information.
- Evidence of current status – Photocopy of your current visa stamp or I-797 Change of Status Approval Notice.
Please upload these as OIS Documents to your undergraduate or graduate Application Summary Page.
How do I request an I-20 or DS-2019 for my dependent?
A spouse or unmarried, minor child (under age 21) is eligible for a dependent visa (F-2 or J-2). Extended family members such as parents and siblings are not eligible for a dependent visa.
To request an I-20/DS-2019 for your dependent:
- When filling out your Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF) form, complete section three, Dependent Information.
- Submit financial documents that demonstrate you have funding to support your dependents in addition to your program of study. For one dependent, you must show $6,489 for one academic year. For each additional dependent, you must show $4,635. Please note that students requesting a DS-2019 must show evidence of funding for the entire duration of the academic program.
- Passport copy of each dependent.
How do I defer my admission to a later semester?
Students may decide to defer their admission to UIC for many reasons, such as a delay in obtaining a visa or a personal situation. If you would like to defer your admission to a later semester, you must contact your academic department. Your academic department will inform you of the proper procedures to request academic deferral. The Office of International Services cannot initiate an academic deferral on your behalf.
After you have communicated with your academic department, please notify OIS of your plan by emailing the New International Student Team at email@example.com. If your request for academic deferral is approved, it will appear in the University system, at which time OIS will begin the process of deferring your immigration document (I-20/DS-2019) by reevaluating your OIS Documents.
If the financial documents you submitted are still valid (i.e. dated within six months of the reevaluation date), OIS will amend the start date on your I-20/DS-2019 to align with your new term of admission and contact you with options for receiving your new document.
If your financial documents are more than six months old, OIS will request updated financial documents before issuing the I-20/DS-2019. If you are funded through your department, OIS will request an updated letter from your department.
Please contact the New International Student Team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about deferring your immigration document.