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Visa and Immigration Information for Summer Pre-College Programs

Updated: March 15, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, travel to the United States may be subject to different restrictions, including travel suspensions and bars on entry to the US. Please read our updates at and Tufts University's coronavirus updates at

Tufts currently offers summer programs primarily through our University College Pre-College summer programs and International Programs and Partnerships's Summer English Language Programs. Please read below for more information about immigration and visa regulations, and contact the Tufts International Center at with any questions.

F-1 Student Visa

Updated June 15, 2021: Due to the COVID pandemic, at this time, F-1 student visa sponsorship is not available for summer programs through Tufts.

Students Already in the US in F-1 or Other Visas

If you are already in the US as an F-1 student at another school, you should discuss your summer plans with your current international student advisor. In most cases, F-1 students can attend summer courses as long as they are returning to their current school to continue studies after the summer is over. Tufts does not require that you transfer your F-1 sponsorship in order to attend any of our summer programs.

If you are already in the US on a visa other than F-1 (e.g., H-4, E-3), etc., please check with your primary visa holder (e.g., your parent or other visa sponsor) to see if there are any visa restrictions on taking summer classes. In most case, dependent family members already in the US are allowed to study. Tufts does not require you to provide your visa information as a condition of participating in these programs.

B-1/B-2 or Visa Waiver ("ESTA") Program

If you are outside the US, you may consider the B-1/B-2 visa or the Visa Waiver program as options. These options are for persons coming to visit the US for short visits for business, pleasure (tourism), or medical treatment.

Persons who come to the US in B-1/B-2 status or on the Visa Waiver program are not allowed to study full-time or take for-credit classes as a part of a degree program. Tufts does not recommend you use these options if your plan is to study full-time or to take college-level credit. However, the B-1/B-2 visa and the Visa Waiver program does allow participation in recreational or casual classwork that is incidental (i.e., secondary) to the main purpose of visiting the US, such as tourism. Study is generally acceptable only if coursework is limited and short-term in nature, part-time, not-for-credit, and are not part of a degree, certificate, or similar program with an educational objective. Campus visitation and enrichment programs as well as informal study that does not involve for-credit classes may also be permitted under the B-1/B-2 visa or Visa Waiver program.

  • Applying for a B-1/B-2 Visa: If you do not already have a B-1/B-2 visa, you must apply for one at a US consulate near you (go to for a listing of US consulates worldwide). Follow visa application instructions provided by the consulate, as instructions vary from consulate to consulate. Be prepared to show evidence that your visit to the US will be for a temporary, limited period and that the purpose of the visit is consistent with the B-1/B-2 visa.
  • The Visa Waiver / ESTA Program: The Visa Waiver Program allows visa-free travel to the US, but is limited to citizens of certain countries. While no visa application is needed, you are required to have a valid ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) clearance before you leave for the US. For more information about the Visa Waiver Program and how to submit an ESTA application, go to Entry on a visa waiver is for a maximum of up to 90 days or less, and cannot be extended.

Unfortunately, Tufts is unable to provide direct assistance to persons applying for B-1/B-2 visas or entry under the Visa Waiver / ESTA program.