Obtaining a U.S. Visa

Follow the steps below if you are a foreign citizen who must be in F-1 Student Visa status to attend Gordon College. Caroline Dixon (, +1-978-867-4020) is the International Student Specialist in the offices of International Student Services, and she is here to help you through this entire process. Please feel free to call or email her or your Admissions Counselor with questions.

Will You Need a Visa?

If you are not a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Resident Alien, you may be required to obtain an F-1 Visa to come to the United States as a documented non-immigrant and Gordon College student.

Which type of incoming international student are you?

Foreign citizens who are currently OUTSIDE of the United States for high school or college must obtain an F-1 Student Visa before they will be permitted to enter the United States and attend Gordon College.

Foreign citizens who are ALREADY IN the United States for high school or college must continue maintaining their active F-1 Student Visa status to attend Gordon College. If you are currently in a dependent-visa status (such as F2, R2, or H4), we can help you seek a “change of status” to F-1 visa status, if you would like. Alternately, if you are currently an F-1 student, we will help you transfer your SEVIS record to Gordon College.

Foreign citizens who are ALREADY IN the United States for high school or college, but who do NOT have active visa status of some kind, are typically unable to get F-1 Visa status while remaining in the U.S. These students should seek the guidance of outside legal counsel for case-by-case advice. Please note that DACA and other students are welcome to attend Gordon College.

The F-1 Visa itself is a physical sticker (or stamp) in your passport. It serves as your “entry document” into the United States. After you have entered the United States using an F-1 Visa stamp, you will be considered to be “in active F-1 status” during the duration of your time as a student at Gordon, as long as you obey the regulations pertaining to your visa status. For more information, please see the U.S. State Department website for Student Visa information. During International Student Orientation, we will go over all of the important rules and regulations pertaining to your F-1 status.



OBTAINING A U.S. VISA:

Step 1: Your International Student Deposit

Accepted students may secure their spot by sending an International Student Deposit payment to Gordon College. Your specific dollar amount requirement is listed in your official Financial Award Letter from the Office of Student Financial Services at Gordon College. You may also contact your Admissions Counselor to learn the specific dollar amount required for your deposit, and to learn about paying your deposit by wire transfer or by check. Next, your Admissions Counselor will send you an email to confirm that the Financial Office at Gordon College received your deposit payment.

Please email your Admissions Counselor for more information.

Step 2: Your Initial I-20

After you have paid your International Student Deposit payment, we will create and mail you the Initial I-20 paperwork. You will have an individual record and identification number in the US government computer system for international students, which is called the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Or, if you are currently in the US for high school or college as an F-1 Visa student at another school, your SEVIS number will probably remain the same; in this case, we simply transfer your SEVIS record from your current school to Gordon College.

  • Complete the “Application for Initial Form I-20” and email to Gordon College.
  • Note your unique SEVIS identification number, printed on the top of your I-20, beginning with a capital N.
  • Complete the student attestation/signature part of page 1 in blue or black pen ink: print your full name, sign your signature, and write the date.
  • Immediately read over your entire Initial I-20 carefully. Are there any errors? Is anything confusing?

Step 3: Your I-901 SEVIS Fee

  • Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee of $200 directly to the US government (not to Gordon College) at https://www.fmjfee.com/
  • After paying the fee, print the receipt (Form I-797), so you can bring it to your Visa Interview as proof of payment.

Step 4: Your Visa Interview

  • Find a local US Embassy or Consulate near you, and review its website for instructions about getting an F-1 Visa.
  • Complete the online DS-160 (or some other visa application form if required), and print the confirmation page.
  • Schedule a Visa Interview appointment at the local US Embassy or Consulate near you.
  • Gather all necessary documents.
  • SEVIS Fee Receipt - showing you paid the $200.
  • DS-160 Confirmation Page – with the barcode.
  • Initial Form I-20 - original paper with signatures.
  • Your Financial Documents - bank statements to show ability to pay for what’s not covered by aid.
  • Letter from Gordon College -- Acceptance, Scholarships, and Deposit Confirmation.
  • Passport - will still be valid 6 months in the future.
  • Two Photos - passport-style photos, 2”x2”
  • Possibly: Any additional fees or documents, as required at your location – listed on their website.
  • Attend your visa interview in person. Receive your F-1 Visa (passport stamp) at the embassy or in the mail.

Step 5: Your Travel Arrangements

Please plan to arrive on campus and move into your assigned dorm room on International Student Move-In Day, which is the Wednesday before fall term classes begin (e.g., exactly one week before the start of the fall term academic process) or the Sunday before spring term classes begin. A Gordon College driver will pick you up (no charge) at Boston Logan International Airport when you arrive there, if you are traveling by yourself. Alternately, you may choose to make your own arrangements to arrive on campus (for example, in a rental car if you are with family).

International Student Move-In Day | Wed. Aug. 17, 2016
International Student Welcome Dinner with the President | Wed. Aug. 17 at 5:00 p.m.
Mandatory International Student Orientation | Wed. Aug. 17 (evening) – Fri. Aug. 19 (morning)
Mandatory General New Student Orientation | Fri. Aug. 19 (afternoon) – Tues. Aug. 23
First Day of Fall 2016 Semester Classes | Wed. Aug. 24

More information about International Student Orientation

Additional Visa-Related Links: