Obtaining an F-1 Visa

Most international applicants require an F-1 student visa to study in the United States. Stritch's International Education Office helps students obtain and maintain their student visa status.


Step 1: Academic Admission to the University

Before applying for a visa, applicants must be academically admitted.

Step 2: Prove Financial Viability

All F-1 visa applicants are required by the U.S. government to prove that they have sufficient financial resources for one year of living and studying in the United States. Applicants are encouraged to review the Financial Resources Information form which outlines student costs. 

Step 3: Transfer of F-1 Visa Status (for applicants currently studying in the U.S.)

F-1 visa holders who wish to transfer their F-1 visa status from another U.S. institution must complete the International Student Transfer Form. This will transfer the student’s SEVIS government database record from  your former school to Cardinal Stritch University. Once the applicant has been academically admitted and financial viability is determined, a new Stritch Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1 Students (I-20 document) can be issued from the transferred SEVIS file.

Step 4: Obtaining a visa from the U.S. Consulate

Obtaining a U.S. visa is a time-consuming process.  Once an applicant has been academically admitted and provided financial information, a Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1 Students (I-20 document) will be issued by the Stritch International Education Office.  An original copy of this document must be presented to the local U.S. consulate to obtain an F-1 student visa.  Please review this detailed U.S. State Department student visa information.  

Step 5: Entering the United States

Once you have the F-1 visa stamp in your passport, make your airline reservations.  Plan to arrive no more than 30 days earlier than classes begin, and no later than the reporting date listed on your I-20 immigration document.  Remember to have your passport and I-20 with you when going through U.S. immigration. 

IMPORTANT: F-1 visas are not available for programs conducted away from Stritch's main Milwaukee campus. F-1 visas are not available for online programs.