Visa Process for Students

Congratulations on your admission to Yale! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our office using this email address set up specifically for new students: Yale College students should contact their designated adviser at

COVID-19 Considerations

The worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 virus currently presents many challenges to the process of obtaining a U.S. visa and traveling to Yale to begin your studies. We are hopeful that both visa issuance and air travel will be restored so that you can arrive at Yale for the fall semester. Please know that both OISS and Yale University are closely monitoring the COVID-19 global health emergency and will stay in close communication with you about any updates or changes. 

Please read our FAQs for newly admitted students, and find more resources on our COVID-19 page.

Preliminary Steps

Accept Your Offer of Admission

All new students are sent an admission letter with a reply form to accept the offer. Your first step in the visa process is to accept the offer of admission! GSAS students should accept their offer of admission via the Reply Form on the Graduate School Admissions Application Status Portal

Financial Certification

Professional School and GSAS Masters students should go to the Application Status Portal to submit your Financial Certification form and supporting documents. The form will be available on your Application Status Portal only after you accept an offer of admission, and it should be completed no later than June 1.

Obtaining an Immigration Document

After accepting your offer of admission, you will receive an email from OISS with a link to an online survey. We typically send this email the week after you accept your offer of admission. Completing the online survey is necessary for obtaining an immigration document (an I-20 for F visa or DS-2019 for J visa), so please send your response as soon as possible. Yale College students should include evidence of funding for your first year at Yale.

After receiving your information and all required supporting documentation, OISS will issue your immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019). This generally takes two weeks. Your school or admissions office will mail this document to you via courier service to the address listed on your application.

SEVIS Number

In order to begin the visa application process, you'll need your SEVIS number along with your school or program code. This information was emailed to you by OISS and can also be found on the immigration document that was mailed to your home address after you were admitted to Yale.

Pay the SEVIS Fee

All new students coming in F-1 or J-1 status must pay a one-time SEVIS fee prior to applying for their visa. Learn more about paying your SEVIS fee.

Important Note: Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, you may want to consider waiting to pay the $350 SEVIS fee until U.S. consular services are fully restored. SEVP will not issue a refund if you cannot come to the U.S. for any reason.

Apply for Your Visa

Once you have your SEVIS number and have obtained a receipt for the SEVIS fee, you can start the visa application by completing the DS-160 online application and eventually scheduling an appointment at the embassy or consulate. Follow the links below to learn more.

Currently in the U.S.?

If you are currently in F-1 status, see this website for F-1 transfer information. Yale College students who are currently in a nonimmigrant status other than F-1, should send an email to with their name and information about their current status.

Next Steps

Once you receive your visa, upload a copy of it to OISS Connect. If you are experiencing a delay in obtaining your visa due to administrative processing or if you are finding it difficult to schedule a timely appointment, please submit the ‘Report a Visa Delay’ questionnaire.

For Canadians Special note for Canadians: you do not need to apply for a U.S. visa.