Immigration and student visas


The process from application to admission is described in Steps to Admission.

  1. At the time of admission, the Office of Graduate Studies will ask you to complete the online Visa Data Form, which confirms, completes, and updates the information necessary for your immigration forms.
  2. After you submit the Visa Data Form, UNL will create your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 and express-mail it to you with your Certificate of Admission.
  3. If you are not currently in the U.S., take the I-20 or DS-2019 with your Certificate of Admission to the U.S. embassy where you will apply for a visa. For the best available information and advice on applying for a student visa, consult the Education USA resources from the U.S. Department of State.

Transferring in SEVIS

If you already hold an F1 visa and are studying at another U.S. school or have recently graduated from another U.S. school (within the last five months), notify the Office of Graduate Studies. SEVIS requires that you ask your current or recent school to "release" your record to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Only then can the University of Nebraska-Lincoln process a new Form I-20. For more specific information and instructions, contact Graduate Studies.

After you get here: Maintaining legal immigration status

All international students on F-1 or J-1 visas must be enrolled full-time (9 or more credit hours per semester) during the academic year (fall and spring semesters) in order to maintain legal immigration status.

  • What about summer? Summer enrollment may be optional depending on when you start or complete your program.
  • What if I want to enroll for fewer hours? If you plan to enroll for less than 9 credit hours in a fall or spring semester, first discuss your plans with the International Student and Scholar Office and the relevant Program Specialist in Graduate Studies.