international Services Office
You do not need a valid US visa to complete an admission application at Fuller Seminary; however, you must have a valid non-immigrant visa to enter the United States if you intend to study on campus.
Most international students admitted to Fuller Seminary will need to obtain F-1 or J-1 Visas to study on the Pasadena campus.
If you are an international student on another non-immigrant visa status (e.g. H-1, R-1, etc.) and would like more information about your eligibility to enroll in classes at Fuller, please click here.
STEP 1: APPLY TO FULLER
Apply to Fuller and receive acceptance into a visa-eligible degree program.
STEP 2: PREPARE DOCUMENTS
The Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019) is a government form that allows you to obtain a student visa (F-1 or J-1) from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy and enter the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student. It is created by an SEVP approved school and sent to you prior to your start date. Carefully read all instructions and prepare documents necessary for the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019) Application. To be eligible to receive a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019), submit a complete Certificate of Eligibility Application three months prior to your program start date. U.S Regulations require all international students to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds for their program of study (includes tuition, school fees, health insurance, and living expenses for students and their dependents). For the purpose of issuing a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019), students must verify funds for a minimum of one year of study and access to sufficient funds to cover subsequent years.
STEP 3: SUBMIT CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY APPLICATION
Submit a complete Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019) Application no later than three months prior to the start date of your program (we recommend filling out the form using Adobe Reader). Upon proper completion of the application, the International Services Office will send you a Certificate of Eligibility (please allow two weeks for processing). A complete Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019) Application will include the following:
- Certificate of Eligibility Application
- Copy of passport biographic page (applicant and all accompanying dependents)
- Financial document(s)
- Confidential Declaration of Financial Support (if applicable)
- Transfer Release Form (for F-1 students wishing to transfer to Fuller from a SEVP approved school ONLY)
STEP 4: PAY SEVIS FEE
Upon receiving your Certificate of Eligibility, pay the Department of Homeland Security Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) fee.
STEP 5: SCHEDULE A VISA INTERVIEW
Schedule a visa interview with the U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Bring your Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019), passport, financial documents, Confidential Declaration of Financial Support (if applicable), Fuller Theological Seminary acceptance letter and SEVIS Fee payment receipt to the interview. Also be sure to check with your local embassy to verify whether they require any other documents for the visa interview.
STEP 6: ENTER THE U.S.
When coming to the U.S. to begin a program at Fuller for the first time, you may be asked to present the following documents at the Port of Entry:
- Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019)
- Valid student visa and applicable dependent visa(s) (Canadian citizens exempt)
- Valid passport for each member of your family traveling with you
- Confidential Declaration of Financial Support-be prepared to show evidence of your financial ability to support yourself while you are in the U.S.
Upon being admitted to the U.S., Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will create an electronic I-94 admission record that will be available immediately online at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home. We recommend that students print out a copy of the I-94, which will be necessary in the case of employment and to apply for benefits such as a Social Security Number (SSN) or driver's license. Arrange housing ahead of time. If you do not have housing available before coming to the U.S., it is advisable to reserve a hotel or a room at the Fuller Guest Center for temporary accommodations.
STEP 7: REPORT TO ISO
Report to the International Services Office within 7 days of your arrival. To complete your check-in, please bring the following for yourself and any dependents:
- Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019)
- Passport and U.S. Visa
- U.S. Address
- I-94 Admission Record
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VISA WAIVER PROGRAM & TOURIST VISAS
Students currently holding a tourist visa or coming from a member country of the Visa Waiver Program must still obtain a student visa in order to begin an academic program in the United States. U.S. regulations do not allow persons who enter the US on a tourist visa or the VWP to enroll in courses for an academic program during their stay in the United States. This applies for both long-term and short-term programs.
Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm (Pacific Time)
Friday 10am - 5pm (Pacific Time)