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 your Gordon College SEVIS Compliance Officer, 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 of 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 an F-2 dependent, we will help you seek a “change of status” to F-1 visa status. 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 F-1 Student Visa status 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 “deferred action” or DACA students are welcome to attend Gordon College, but these students are not eligible for the same type of financial aid and visa assistance as F-1 Visa students.

Citizens of Brazil who are participating in “Science Without Borders” (Brazil Scientific Mobility Program) will obtain a J-1 Visa (not F-1 Visa). Please see the Science Without Borders website for more information. These students are assisted by IIE directly for the visa process.

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.


Step 1: Your International Student Deposit

Accepted students may secure their spot by sending in 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, or 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 upper right of your I-20, beginning with a capital N.
  • Complete line 11 on 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

For detailed instructions, please click hereNote: Students already in the US with F-1 status skip this step.

  • Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee of $200 directly to the US government (not to Gordon College).
  • 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

For detailed instructions, please click hereNote: Students already in the US with F-1 status or F-2 status skip this step.

  • 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.
  • 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 either Tuesday, August 19th (any time) or Wednesday, August 20th (before 6 p.m. if possible, so you don’t miss the Welcome Dinner). A Gordon College driver will pick you up for free 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).

  • As you consider your travel plans, you are welcome to discuss any questions with Caroline. Then, purchase a ticket.
  • If you are planning to purchase a round-trip ticket, please note that the last day of Fall Semester final exams is 12/19/2014 and the last day of Spring Semester final exams is 05/13/2015. View a summary of academic calendar dates for the next four years.
  • Click here to enter your detailed flight information and ask for the free ride to campus from the airport, if you need one.
  • Email  if any of your family will be coming with you to the Welcome Dinner on August 20; they are invited! View a list of hotels and the special rates for Gordon guests (from $89–$165/night).
  • Also, please mark your calendar with the dates of your mandatory orientation programming:

International Student Move In Days | Tuesday August 19 or Wednesday August 20
International Student Welcome Dinner with the President | Wednesday August 20 at 6 p.m.
Mandatory International Student Orientation | Wednesday August 20 (evening)–Friday August 22 (morning)
Mandatory General New Student Orientation | Friday August 22 (afternoon)–Tuesday August 26
First Day of Fall 2014 Semester Classes | Wednesday August 27

More information about International Student Orientation

Additional Visa-Related Links: