International Student Checklist

Expenses and financial aid | Financial Certification Form
English requirements and tutoring | Housing

  • Apply: The first step in the application process is to complete all necessary application forms. The two-part application begins here
  • Receive your I-20 and Admission letter: Once your application has been received and reviewed we may extend an admissions offer to you. If accepted for admission you will receive an admission letter and I-20 form in the post that indicates you are eligible for a student visa.
  • Pay the SEVIS fee: Visit and pay the mandatory U.S. Student Exchange Visitor (SEVIS) I-901 processing fee (approximately $200). This fee is collected by the U.S. Government and supports an automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors. You will need to have your I-20 with you when you pay this fee online. Be sure the personal information on you I-20 is correct and matches your passport information.
  • Schedule your visa interview: Once your I-901 fee has been paid, contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to schedule your visa interview. There will be a visa interview fee of approximately $140. Visa applications can take anywhere between 1 and 120 days, and approval times vary just as much. Please check with your nearest Embassy or Consulate for current processing times. Please remember that embassies and consulates are interested to know why you’re coming to study at EMS, what your interests are after you graduate, and what links you to your home country. It is important that you are able to prove that you intend to go back to your country after your studies end. Bring appropriate documentation that will verify this, as well as all the other documents such as:
    • Proof of paid SEVIS fee
    • Passport
    • I-20
    • Financial documentation in the form of three months’ worth of bank statements
    • I-901 receipt
    • Passport Photographs
    • Other documents (check your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to know exactly what other documents you will need to bring)
  • Prepare for and attend your visa interview: Follow the directions given to you by the U.S. Embassy when you go for your interview. The visa interview is conducted by a Consular Officer at the Embassy or Consulate and helps the CO determine your eligibility for a visa. The CO is likely to ask questions about your EMS application, your finances and your intentions to be a non-immigrant student.
  • Make travel arrangements: After your visa application has been approved you may schedule your flight to Harrisonburg, VA. Please note that you may arrive in the U.S. no sooner than 30 days prior to the start date listed on your I-20.
  • Apply for on-campus housing or search for off-campus housing: Visit the housing options site to see our housing alternatives or look for housing off-campus at the Daily News Record website.
  • Collect immunization records: visit your family doctor or your health provider to obtain your immunization records. They will be collected by the EMU Health Center, once you arrive. Remember that you will also be required to obtain a health insurance plan. You can find the EMU health plan option here.
  • Keep in contact with EMS: After you have completed your interview (or anytime during the process) please keep in contact with our Admissions Office to let us know your progress. We can help answer questions for you along the way.
  • Travel: Make sure you have your I-20/DS-2019 passport in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack these documents in your checked luggage!
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