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Visa Requirements for International Students

Visa Requirements

International students (except those with an immigration status which allows them to study in the U.S.) accepted to the Washington Semester Certificate Program must apply for a visa. Students from formally affiliated institutions will apply for a J-1 exchange visa. Students coming from institutions that have no written agreement with the Washington Semester Program will apply for an F-1 student visa. Students are not eligible to attend this program on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa or visa waiver program. This program provides a full course of study and is considered a full time program by the U.S. government.

To begin this process, the U.S. government requires that students show financial ability to support their program of study and living expenses while in the United States. Students must submit bank statements indicating available funds in the required amount (contact the Washington Semester International Student Assistant at to receive current cost info). Once you have been accepted to the program and the International Student Director has received these bank statements, they will be submitted to American University's Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). ISSS is responsible for issuing the I-20 or DS-2019 (documents needed to receive a U.S. visa) to authorized students. Students will then take their I-20 or DS-2019, admission letter, and original financial statement to the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy to apply for a student visa.

For more information on obtaining a student visa, consult American University's Office of International Student and Scholar Services.