Your acceptance packet from UC Berkeley Extension contains important information about applying for your visa, paying your fees and beginning your program. Please read this information carefully. If you have any questions, contact International Student Administrative Services (ISAS).
Note: UC Berkeley Extension will be closed for holidays on Nov. 12, Nov. 22–23 and Dec. 24–31, 2012, and on Jan. 1, 2013. In addition, many United States consulates and embassies are also closed on these dates. Students should plan ahead to avoid delays when submitting applications, scheduling visa appointments or doing other business.
Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States must obtain an F-1 student visa in order to attend UC Berkeley Extension. Non-U.S. citizens entering the country with a visitor visa (B-1, B-2) or under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are not permitted to engage in full-time study.
If your status is other than F-1, please consult with International Student Administrative Services about your eligibility to study. For individuals interested in changing their status within the U.S., the change of status must be submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S. CIS) prior to the expiration of your current status (and prior to the termination of employment for H-1 visa holders). Please contact International Student Administrative Services as soon as possible for advice on your visa status. Note: A visa stamp in your passport cannot be obtained within the U.S.
Form I-20 is the certificate of eligibility issued by the school; it is included in your acceptance packet and has three pages: the student’s copy, the instruction page and the endorsement page. The student’s copy and the endorsement page have a bar code on the right hand side, and your SEVIS ID is printed above the bar code.
If you are entering the U.S. to attend a school for the first time, the Custom and Border Protection (CBP) official at the port of entry must stamp your I-20 in the upper right-hand corner. This stamp indicates that you have been inspected for admission into the U.S. and have been authorized to attend the school whose name appears on your I-20. You must attend the school that issued you the I-20. If you wish to transfer to another school, do so immediately.
Note: Each dependent who accompanies you to the U.S. must have an individual Form I-20 (indicated by the words "Dependent’s Copy" over the bar code and SEVIS ID).
SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. U.S. schools that have been approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to accept F-1 students are required to notify the DHS’ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (U.S. ICE) to report the following information through SEVIS:
*Schools are required to report this information for all dependents in the U.S., as well.
Note: F-2 dependents do not have to pay the SEVIS fee.
The fee must be paid at least three business days prior to applying for your visa or applying for admission at a U.S. port of entry for those exempt from the visa requirement. The fee must be paid prior to submission of a change-of-status petition or reinstatement application.
You must bring the receipt of fee payment with you to the interview. If you have lost the receipt, the Visa Officer should be able to view your payment history in the database.
If you are transferring schools, extending your program, applying for an F-2 dependent visa or have paid this fee and been denied a visa within the last 12 months, you do not need to pay the $200 SEVIS fee.
If you are returning to continue your studies, renewing your visa or seeking more details on how to apply for a student visa, refer to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs.
During your interview, remain calm and answer all the Visa Officer’s questions openly and honestly.
Consular officers do security checks for all visa applicants. They do special security clearances for some applicants as required by law. Students who study certain scientific and technical subjects are subject to additional checks. These clearances may take several weeks or longer. Please plan for the possibility of a delay in the issuance of a visa. Make your visa application well in advance of your intended travel.
If your F-1 visa application is denied, the SEVIS fee as well as the visa application fee will not be refunded. However, if you reapply for a new F-1 visa within 12 months of denial, you will not have to pay the SEVIS fee again.
Visitors admitted to the United States on a B-1 or B-2 tourist visa are strictly prohibited from enrolling in a full-time program of study at UC Berkeley Extension. To enroll into a full-time program of study, you must either obtain an F-1 nonimmigrant visa from a consular officer abroad and seek readmission to the U.S. or apply to a UC Berkeley Extension International Program and request a change of status. Note that not all UC Berkeley Extension programs are available for full-time study. View more information about taking courses on a B-1 or B-2 tourist visa.