Visa Information & Application Process

A list of all U.S. embassies and consulates can be found at recommend that you check with the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest to you to get updated information regarding the documentation you will need to provide in order to apply for a student visa.

Students are required to provide their visa application form (with the appropriate, non-refundable fee), their passport, an I-901 SEVIS fee receipt, the Certificate of Eligibility (Forms I-20 or DS-2019), along with your acceptance letter issued by NJIT, and support original documents from financial sponsors (family, friends, organizations, etc.).

What to Bring With You to the Visa Interview

Be sure to bring the following with you to the visa appointment:

  • Passport
  • Required photo(s)
  • Proof of visa fee payment
  • SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt
  • U.S. non-immigrant visa application forms
  • NJIT acceptance letter
  • Form I-20 or DS2019 issued by NJIT
  • Test scores and academic records
  • Proof of financial support
  • Evidence of ties to your home country
  • Any other documents required by the embassy or consulate

What you need to know

Financial certification

The consulate officer will require evidence of strong ties to your home country such as family, business, or financial support in your country. You must demonstrate that you have a residence abroad that you do not intend to leave behind following your completion of studies.

Educational goals

You should be able to explain why you chose NJIT and why you want to study in the United States, instead of studying in your country. Be very clear about your educational goals and career plans back in your country after graduation.

Be clear

Your interview will likely be only a few minutes long; make sure you respond to questions in a clear and concise way, to give a leave a good impression on the visa officer. 

Leaving family behind

Be prepared to explain how your family will be financially supported while you are NJIT if they will remain in your country while you are pursuing your degree in the United States.

English proficiency

Your interview will likely be conducted in English.

Visa denials and visa delays
The most common reasons for visa denials are:

  • Lack of evidence to prove financial capability to study in the United States
  • Lack of evidence to prove strong ties to the home country

If your visa application is denied, you will be able to reapply for a visa; however, please contact the Office of Global Initiatives immediately at  so we can assist you.

Visa delays can happen due to many different factors, including but not limited to: holidays, request for additional information, security clearance, etc. We recommend that you apply for your visa as early as possible. Students can apply for their visas up to 120 prior to the start of their program (see your I-20 or DS2019 for your program start date).

F or J Visa
Most students come to the United States on an F-1 student visa. This visa type will be used for students coming to NJIT to pursue their degrees. NJIT will issue a Form I-20 for students who are applying for an F-1 visa.

If you are participating in the exchange visitor program, you need to obtain a J-1 visa. Generally, a J-1 visa is required for students who are sponsored by a government agency or are a participant in a formal exchange program with NJIT and an institution abroad. In some cases, J-1 students may have requirements that prevent them from remaining in the U.S. upon completion of studies.

Early Arrivals and Tourist Visas
DO NOT enter the U.S. as a tourist with a B-1, B-2 visa stamp or with a WT (waiver tourist) if you are a citizen of a country that is eligible for the Visa Waiver Program.

If you enter as a tourist, you must apply for a change of status to F-1 or J-1, in order to enroll as a full-time student. Unfortunately, the change may take several months to process and you cannot begin your program until your new status has been approved. Waiver tourists are not eligible to change to any other non-immigrant status. Therefore, if you plan to come to the U.S. to study, it is very important that you enter with an F-1 or J-1 visa.

You can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the date indicated on your Form I-20 or DS2019.

Canadian Citizens
Canadian citizens are exempt from visa requirements, but must present the following documents upon entering the United States:

  • NJIT acceptance letter
  • Canadian passport
  • Proof of SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment
  • NJIT Form I-20
  • Proof of financial support matching the information on your Form I-20

Other than the visa requirements for entry into the U.S., all travel documents and regulations for Canadian citizens are the same as for other F-1 visa holders. Since changes in these requirements are possible, it is best to check with the nearest U.S. consulate to learn if any changes have taken place.

By law, international students may travel to the United States no more than 30 days before the start of classes.  

Students Currently in the United States

If you are already an F-1 visa holder because you are attending another institution in the U.S., you will need a new Form I-20 to start your program at NJIT. Your new NJIT Form I-20 will be issued as soon as your current school transfers your SEVIS record to us and your financial documentation has been received.

If you are currently holding another visa type and wishes to change it to F-1, please contact the Office of Admissions at for assistance.