Student Visas

1. Passport

You will need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your arrival to the U.S.

2. Visa Information Form

After acceptance, degree students and VISIT Cal Poly Program students will log into the International Students Hub to request an I-20 via the Visa Information Form for Degree Students or the Visa Information Form for VISIT Students. Here you will provide us with visa and financial documents.

3. I-20

When you receive your I-20, carefully review it for accuracy. If there are any errors, notify the International Center immediately. Do not pay the SEVIS fee if there is an error on your form. Sign and date the I-20 in blue ink.

4. SEVIS Fee

Pay the SEVIS fee, also called I-901 fee using the School Code and SEVIS number on your I-20. After you have paid the fee, print a copy of your receipt and keep it with your I-20. You will need this receipt for your visa application.

5. Visa Application

Apply for your F-1 or visa at the United States Embassy or Consulate in your home country and refer to their website for specific application submission instructions.

  • Note: Canadian citizens do NOT need an F-1 visa to enter the U.S.
    Pay the SEVIS Fee, then provide at the port of entry all of your documents (I-20, I-901 receipt, Cal Poly admissions acceptance letter, proof of funding).

Review instructions for applying for a Visa including links to the DS-160 application form and any applicable fees.

6. Visa Interview

Prepare for your F-1 visa appointment. Schedule and attend your visa interview. Bring all required documents with you and plan to arrive early. You will be interviewed in English. Remain calm and answer all questions honestly.

Wait for the embassy or consulate to return your passport to you or inform you it is ready to pick up with your F-1 visa in it. Check your visa for any potential errors. Keep your passport, I-20, SEVIS receipt and other documents with you when you travel – do not pack these items in your checked luggage.

7. Entering the U.S.

Review important information about entering the USA.

8. New Student Resources

Review more information, including the International Student Welcome Guide on the webpage for New International Students.

1. Visa Information Form

After you have been admitted to Cal Poly, log into the International Students Hub to request an I-20 via the Visa Information Form for Degree Students. Here you will provide us with visa and financial documents.

2. Passport

Your passport must be valid at all times, and valid at least six (6) months past your entry date if you are exiting and re-entering the U.S.

3. SEVIS Record

Discuss the transfer process with your current school. Provide them with Cal Poly’s SEVIS School Name: “California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo”, and the SEVIS School Code: LOS214F00093000.

4. I-20

Once we have access to your SEVIS record, and have received your all of your documents including proof of sufficient funding, we can issue your Cal Poly I-20 and send it to you. Review the I-20 form for accuracy and if there are any errors, notify the International Students and Scholars staff immediately via: intlservices@calpoly.edu

5. Re-entering the U.S.

If you travel outside the U.S. before attending Cal Poly, you will need your Cal Poly I-20, and a valid F-1 visa. If your visa will not be valid, you will need to apply for a new F-1 visa before you can re-enter the U.S.

6. Visa Application

If you will travel outside the U.S. before attending Cal Poly and your F-1 visa will expire before your re-entry date, you need to apply for a new F-1 visa.

7. Visa Interview

Prepare for your F-1 visa appointment. You will not need to repay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. Schedule and attend your visa interview. Bring all required documents with you and plan to arrive early. You will be interviewed in English. Remain calm and answer all questions honestly. Wait for the embassy or consulate to return your passport to you or inform you it is ready to pick up with your F-1 visa in it. Check your visa for any potential errors. Keep your passport, I-20, SEVIS receipt and other documents with you when you travel – do not pack these items in your checked luggage.

Note: Canadian citizens do NOT need an F-1 visa to enter the U.S.
Pay the SEVIS Fee, then provide at the port of entry all of your documents (I-20, I-901 receipt, Cal Poly admissions acceptance letter, proof of funding).

8. Entering the U.S.

Review important information about entering the USA.

9. New Student Resources

Review more information, including the International Student Welcome Guide on the webpage for New International Students.

1. Passport

You will need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your arrival to the U.S.

2. Exchange Application

Submit an Exchange Application.

3. DS-2019

Students applying for a J-1 visa will receive a DS-2019 form from the International Center. Carefully review your form for accuracy. If there are any errors, notify the International Center immediately. Do not pay the SEVIS fee if there is an error on your form. Sign your form in blue ink.

4. SEVIS Fee

Pay the SEVIS fee, also called I-901 fee using the Program Number and SEVIS number on your DS-2019. After you have paid the fee, print a copy of your receipt and keep it with your DS-2019. You will need this receipt for your visa application.

5. Visa Application

Apply for your J-1 or visa at the United States Embassy or Consulate in your home country and refer to their website for specific application submission instructions.

Review instructions for applying for a J-1 visa including links to the DS-160 application form and any applicable fees.

6. Visa Interview

Schedule and attend your visa interview. Bring all required documents with you and plan to arrive early. You will be interviewed in English. Remain calm and answer all questions honestly.

Wait for the embassy or consulate to return your passport to you or inform you it is ready to pick up with your J-1 visa in it. Check your visa for any potential errors. Keep your passport, DS-2019 SEVIS receipt and other documents with you when you travel – do not pack these items in your checked luggage.

Note: Canadian citizens do NOT need a J-1 visa to enter the U.S.
Pay the SEVIS Fee, then provide at the port of entry all of your documents (I-20, I-901 receipt, Cal Poly admissions acceptance letter, proof of funding).

7. Entering the U.S.

Review important information about entering the USA.

8. New Student Resources

Review more information, including the International Student Welcome Guide on the webpage for New International Students.