Welcome to Florida State University and the Center for Global Engagement (CGE).
As professionals at the CGE, we support international students with F-1 and (FSU-sponsored) J-1 visa statuses by providing pre-arrival information, orientation, and immigration advising. We also host many educational, social and cultural programs and events throughout the year for all international and domestic students at FSU.
If you are not a U.S. citizen, permanent resident (green card holder), or do not already hold a status that allows you to study in the U.S., please read the following information to help you understand which visa status you should obtain in order to study at FSU’s main campus in Tallahassee, Florida.
Note: FSU visa sponsorship is not available if you are enrolling in an FSU Online Degree Program.
Study at FSU in Nonimmigrant Student (F-1 Visa) Status
F-1 is the primary U.S. student visa status for regular, degree-seeking study. If you are an international student planning to attend FSU and complete a degree program, you will most likely first need to obtain F-1 visa status.
The following steps take you through the process of obtaining F-1 status and beginning your studies at FSU.
Note: if you currently are an F-1 student at another university, please first read about how to have your SEVIS record transferred to FSU.
Study at FSU in Exchange Visitor (J-1 Visa) Status
If you are receiving a grant/scholarship from the U.S. government or your home government, or are participating in a special program or exchange program, you may need to obtain the J-1 visa to study at FSU. If you belong to one of the following categories, click on it to read more information about the J-1 visa process.
Note: if you currently are a J-1 student at another university, please first read about how to have your SEVIS record transferred to FSU.
Agency-Administered Scholarship Students (IIE, LASPAU, AMIDEAST, OAS)
If you are receiving a (Fulbright or home government) scholarship that is administered through an agency such as IIE, LASPAU, AMIDEAST or OAS, you will work with your agency to provide all documentation necessary for admission. In most cases, the agency will apply for admission to FSU on your behalf; you will not initiate the admission application yourself or contact academic departments or faculty directly. If the agency decides to place you at FSU, we will email you further information to help you prepare to arrive on campus. Your agency will guide you through the required immigration procedures, orientation or gateway programs, and scholarship obligations.
Self-Placed Fulbright Students
If you are awarded a Fulbright scholarship through a self-placed type of grant (not administered through an agency such as IIE, LASPAU, AMIDEAST, or OAS), you must apply for admission to FSU online at admissions.fsu.edu. In addition to all other documentation required in the online application, you should indicate that you will need the J-1 visa and upload a copy of your Fulbright award letter. You should also email a copy of the award letter to FSU's Office of Graduate Admissions and the CGE's Exchange Visitor Advisor. Emailing the award letter helps to ensure that you receive important pre-arrival information upon admission. If you decide not to attend FSU, please notify both FSU's Office of Graduate Admissions and the CGE's Exchange Visitor Advisor.
Self-Placed Home Government Scholarship Students
If your home government is sponsoring your study in the US, you may be required to use the J-1 visa instead of the F-1 visa. This requirement should be indicated in your award letter. If your scholarship is not administered through an agency such as IIE, LASPAU, AMIDEAST or OAS, you will need to submit your own FSU admissions application online at admissions.fsu.edu. In addition to all other documentation required in the online application, you should indicate that you will need the J-1 visa and upload a copy of your scholarship award letter. After you are formally admitted to FSU, the CGE's Exchange Visitor Advisor will email you instructions to complete the online Certification of Financial Responsibility, which collects information used to issue the DS-2019 form needed to apply for the J-1 visa.
Immigration regulations restrict short-term, non-degree study to students who are coming to FSU under an exchange or special agreement between their home institution and FSU or through a scholarship program, (cooperative agreements do not allow for enrollment in coursework). For a full list of exchange and special agreements, go to global.fsu.edu/global-footprint/global-partners. If your home institution appears on this list, contact the exchange coordinator at your home institution for procedures to apply. Because there are limited exchange spaces available each year, the process may be competitive. Contact your exchange coordinator at least 6 months before your intended semester of enrollment.
Those intending to come to FSU for research or teaching only (no course enrollment) must be invited by an FSU faculty member, after the faculty member has obtained university approval for the visit or paid employment. This process will also be followed by those transferring their J research program from another sponsor to FSU or changing from another status. Please note that FSU cannot issue immigration documents for anyone who is not going to be working directly with an FSU department.
Study at FSU in a visa status other than F-1 or J-1
If you are already in the US in nonimmigrant visa status other than F-1 or J-1, you might be permitted to study. Carefully read this summary of study restrictions associated with nonimmigrant visas: Nonimmigrants: Who Can Study.
However, depending upon your situation, you may need to change status to F-1. Here are some examples:
- Your visa status is derived from your parent’s status, for which, in most cases, you will no longer be eligible when you turn 21. To remain in the US, you will need to change to F-1 status before you turn 21.
- Your visa status is derived from a spouse or parent’s status that is ending. To remain in the US, you will need to change to F-1 status before your present status ends.
- You have F-2 dependent visa status, which only permits you to study in the US part-time. Before enrolling in course full-time (9 graduate credit hours or 12 undergraduate credit hours), you will need to change to F-1 status.
- You are currently in the U.S. in J-1 visa status and want to remain in the U.S. to study after the completion of your J program.*
You can change status to F-1 in two ways: travel outside of the US to obtain an F-1 visa or submit a Change of Status application to USCIS,* which can take months to have adjudicated. For more details, go to studyinthestates.dhs.gov/change-of-status.
*Note: If you are in J-1 or J-2 status and your DS-2019 shows that you are subject to the two-year residence requirement, you are not eligible to apply to change status in the U.S.; your only option would be to travel to obtain an F-1 visa.
If you have questions about changing to F-1 status or are ready to begin the process, contact the International Student Services Coordinator at CGE-NewStudents@fsu.edu or 850-645-1424.