Prospective International Students
From the Office of International Student, Scholar and Immigration Services...
Our office seeks to serve as a liaison between the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) and international students at UGA. We offer immigration advice and counselling, and we expect that students will be responsible for taking an active role in maintaining legal student status while studying at UGA. Our immigration advisors provide students with multiple avenues for obtaining immigration-related information to assit students in maintaining legal student status.
Our assistance includes an international student handbook provided at orientation, weekly e-mail reminders, easily accessible educational handouts, walk-in advising hours and individual appointment times to meet with an advisor, in addition to the information available on this web site.
Please see the information below regarding the different types of international student programs available at UGA
Degree Seeking Students
The appropriate Admissions office will evaluate the academic application materials to determine if the student is admissible. For Graduate programs, the Graduate School will issue and send to you your immigration form, either the initial I-20 form (F1 students) or the DS- 2019 form (J1 students). These forms are required to apply for the appropriate visa from the U.S. Consulate in your home country. For Undergraduate students, your I-20 or DS-2019 form will be issued by ISSIS, and then sent to you by the Undergraduate Admissions Office.
Non-degree Seeking Students
If your institution has a formal exchange agreement with the University of Georgia, you will be admitted as a non-degree exchange student. Please click here for a list of UGA exchange agreements. You will need to apply for and receive a J-1 Non-degree category visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You will first, however, need to apply to our offices for the required paperwork - called a "DS-2019 form". If you have been admitted to UGA as a non-degree exchange student, then you may request a DS 2019 form. Please click here to do so.
English Language Summer School Students
If you are coming to UGA for an Intensive English Language program over the summer, please click here for application and admission and information: www.iep.uga.edu.
Transferring from another U.S. institution
Transferring to a new school in the U.S. requires a lot of advance planning. A student may legally stay in the U.S. between finishing classes at one school and starting at another if the proper immigration process is followed. This process requires the old U.S. school to "release" the student's SEVIS (Student & Exchange Visitor Information System) immigration record to UGA, so that we may issue a new "transfer-in" I-20 or DS-2019 form. Click here for more information on the "Transfer-in" process.
Verification of Lawful Presence (VLP):
The Georgia State Board of Regents requires that all admitted students have thier lawful presence verified prior to enrolling for classes. International students on F-1 or J-1 visas will have their VLP "flag" lifted after they successfully complete an immigration check in with ISSIS, during international orientation. More information on VLP requirements can be found in the ISSIS VLP FAQ, linked to the left, and also on the Admissions website: https://www.admissions.uga.edu/article/vlp-info.html