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Visa Information

Most students coming to the United States to study in either F1 or J1 status must apply for a student visa. The visa is a stamp in the passport which permits an individual to apply for entry at the US Port of Entry. The visa only needs to be valid for when you are entering the US. It does not need to be valid for the entire duration of your studies.

Visa Exceptions: Canadian Citizens

Canadian citizens do not need an F-1 or J-1 visa stamp to enter the United States. However, Canadian citizens are required to carry the following when entering in student status:

1. I-20 or DS-2019;
2. Proof of SEVIS fee (I-901) payment; and
3. A valid passport.

Make sure to have your Illinois Tech (Chicago-Kent/ Institute of Design) Admission letter

Canadian Landed Immigrants need to apply for the F-1 or J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy.

Applying for a Visa

Visa processing times may vary depending on the country and the time of year. To find processing times at the consulate/embassy you will be applying at, please click here

Prior to applying for the visa, you will need to complete the following steps:

1. Pay the SEVIS Fee
2. Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to schedule a visa appointment. To find the nearest embassy, please refer to

If you are in the process of obtaining your F-1 or J-1 visa, the following websites may be of help to you as you prepare for your visit to the US Embassy/Consulate:

Education USA- tips and videos to be ready for the visa process:

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