Key Resources

Undergraduate Day I-20 Request Instructions »

This form is to request your I-20, based on the school you've been admitted to at Northeastern.

Applying for an F-1 Student Visa »

This instruction sheet outlines the necessary procedures to obtain your student visa and prepare for your arrival to the United States.

Helping students engage with the world

The program is an experiential, academic program that expands students’ Northeastern education into worldwide locations. International students can be selected to participate in Because the first semester is outside of the USA, international students must read all the information to understand how this will impact their arrival to the USA when coming to the Boston campus.

What type of I-20 should you request?

New international students who will be attending the program for Fall semester in their specific site location (outside of the USA), should request a new initial I-20 for the upcoming Spring term. They will start the USA portion of their degree program in Boston in January. The I-20 form will be issued for a January start.

N.U. in Program international students are not eligible for SEVIS transfer from previous institutions because the difference between the end of their high school and the beginning of their U.S. portion of the Program is more than five months.

Please do not ask your high school to transfer your SEVIS record to Northeastern.

Your I-20 from NEU will be a new “initial” I-20 with a new SEVIS number which means that you will need to pay another SEVIS fee and apply for a new F-1 visa

I-20 form for spring semester

The I-20 form is a visa eligibility document issued by Northeastern University to certify that an eligible international student has met admission requirements for a full-time program of study and has demonstrated sufficient financial support for his/her studies in the USA. This visa eligibility document is needed to apply for a nonimmigrant student visa at a USA Embassy or USA Consulate in order to obtain F-1 status within the USA.

NOTE:The I-20 lists your January program start date; you can enter the USA as an F-1 student up to 30 days before this date. Please remember that F-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your program start date in January.

Canadian and Bermudian citizens do not need visas to study in the U.S. However, you do need to request an I-20 and also pay the SEVIS fee.

Applying for F-1 visa

We recommend that international students apply for an F-1 visa and attend an interview in their home country but if you will not have time to return home prior to your spring semester in the U.S., please contact the U.S. embassy in the country of your N.U. in program to check for the possibility of applying for an F-1 visa in your location.

  • Step 1. Request Form I-20 from Northeastern
  • Step 2. Pay SEVIS I-901 fee online
  • Step 3. Fill out the visa application online (DS-160)
  • Step 4. Schedule a visa interview appointment online
  • Step 5. Go to the visa interview at the US embassy
  • Step 6. Receive the visa stamp on their passport

Please use the following resources and your U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for more information on how to apply for an F-1 visa.

Scheduling the F-1 visa appointment is a responsibility of the student. The OGS can issue you an I-20, but you will need to reach out to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and schedule your visa appointment. For any questions and concerns we suggest that you contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate directly. If an appointment in you N.U. in location is not possible, you need to look into the option of returning home and obtaining your F-1 visa prior to your departure to the U.S.


Note: For the “U.S. Point of Contact Information,” you can state the name of the Designated School Official who signed your I-20 and if you don’t know your U.S. address, you can state the following address: (Northeastern University 360 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115).

For “Present Employer or school name” please write the name of your current school.

If you have further questions for your F-1 visa application please reach out to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Additional Helpful Resources:

  • DS-160 FAQs from the Department of State you can find here
  • 10 Points to remember When Applying for a Student Visa from NAFSA

Applying for the spring semester

You can submit an initial I-20 request only after you have been admitted to a program at Northeastern University. You will also need to be sure to confirm other requirements needed by the admissions office before your I-20 request submission. At that time, you will then be able to submit an electronic I-20 request through myOGS. The Office of Global Services encourages you to submit your initial I-20 request as soon as possible to provide ample time for the issuance of the I-20 and your F-1 visa application process prior to your enrollment.

How to prepare and submit an online request

1 Required documents (must be in digital format of PDF or JPEG):

  • Color copy of the identity page of your valid passport
  • Financial documents meeting your program’s expenses:
    • To access the estimated expenses for the Northeastern college of your program, please see “New Student I-20 Request Forms” under the Forms & Guides page
  • Currency conversion:
    • If you are submitting financial documents that are not in USA Dollars, please provide a currency conversion from a currency conversion calculator and upload it to the e-form.
  • Sponsor letter or affidavit of support (only required when your sponsor is a non-blood relative)

2 Accessing the I-20 request e-form.

  • Please see “New Student I-20 Request Forms” under the Forms & Guides page for the e-form to select your Northeastern college
  • You will be prompted to enter your myNortheastern username and password login. The myOGS I-20 request e-form will respond to your individual situation and guide you through the process. (Contact the Office of Global Services with any questions)

Entering the U.S.

When preparing for your arrival to the U.S., you should plan your travel according to the information provided by your college. According to immigration regulations, F-1 student visa holders can enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program report date on the I-20.

When you travel, please have the following documents in your carry-on bag:

  • Valid passport with an official F-1 visa sticker
  • Your original I-20 issued by Northeastern University
  • I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System fee receipt
  • Financial documents
  • Admissions letter

At the U.S. port of entry, you will be required to present your passport and I-20 to the immigration officer who will stamp your passport. In most cases, the officer notes “D/S” (Duration of Status) on your passport pages. This means you are allowed to stay in the U.S. for the length of time indicated on your I-20, provided that you maintain full-time enrollment and a valid F-1 visa status. Ensure your passport is properly stamped before exiting the immigration inspection area. Do not enter the U.S. in visitor status (B-1/B-2, WT, or WB). This status does not permit full-time study in the U.S. After your arrival, print your Admission (I-94) number at and keep a copy of all travel documents (I-94 information, F-1 visa, and I-20) for your personal records. Ensure your I-94 print out contains the correct information, including F-1 visa status and “Duration of Status.”