To come to Tufts as an international student, scholar, or employee, you must first get a visa certificate from the International Center.
Important: a visa certificate is not the same thing as a visa. Instead, it is a document you need to have in order to apply for a visa. In most cases, you must also carry your visa certificate and present it with your when you enter the US with your visa.
Canadian citizens: if you are a Canadian citizen you do not need a visa to enter the US; however, you must still have the appropriate visa certificate in order to enter the US to study, teach, or work.
To request your visa certificate from Tufts and to learn more about the visa certificate process, click on one of the buttons to the right. To learn more details about each type of visa certificate, see the information below.
Learn More About Visa Certificates
Form I-20 for F-1 Students and F-2 Dependents
The visa document for an F-1 student (and any F-2 dependents) is called the Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility. The I-20 provides information about you (including your name, country of citizenship, and date of birth), the school or institution you are attending, your educational objective and major area(s) of study, and the dates of your program. In addition, the I-20 also reflects the estimated cost of attendance for your program (up to one year) and your financial resources.
You must have an I-20 in order to apply for an F-1 visa and to be able to enter the US using an F-1 visa
You must carry your I-20 for the duration of your program at Tufts
If the information on your I-20 changes (e.g., change of name, citizenship, major / degree objective, or expected start and end dates), you must get an updated I-20 from the International Center
If your school changes, you may need to transfer your F-1 sponsorship and get a new I-20 from your new school, since your I-20 must be from the school or institution you will be or are attending as a full-time student
The visa document for a J-1 Exchange Visitor (and any J-2 dependents) is called the Form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility. The DS-2019 provides information about you (including your name, country of citizenship, and city and date of birth), your J-1 sponsor, your educational objective and major area(s) of study, and the dates of your J-1 program. In addition, the DS-2019 also indicates your financial resources, among other items.
You must have a DS-2019 in order to apply for an J-1 visa and to be able to enter the US using an J-1 visa
You must carry your DS-2019 for the duration of your J-1 program at Tufts
Your DS-2019 may have been issued by Tufts or by another external J-1 sponsor such as Fulbright / IIE, AMIDEAST, LASPAU, or others
If the information on your DS-2019 changes (e.g., change of name, citizenship, major / degree objective, or expected start and end dates), you must get an updated form from the International Center or your J-1 sponsor
If your J-1 sponsor changes, you may need to arrange for a transfer of your J-1 sponsorship from one J-1 sponsor to another
Form I-797 Approval Notice for H-1B Workers / Others
H-1B temporary workers and certain other types of visa holders will receive an I-797 Approval Notice indicating that they have been approved for H-1B or other status. The I-797 is issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) based on a petition submitted by the International Center on behalf of your Tufts department or employer. Once USCIS approves the petition, the International Center will arrange to have your I-797 sent to you so that you can apply for an H-1B visa and enter the US in H-1B status.
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