New Student Process

Step 1 - Apply to UNCP

All International students must apply for admission to UNCP with the offices of Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Admissions.

If you are informed that you must improve your English proficiency before you are eligible for admission, please visit the website for the English Language Institute.

Step 2 - Request your immigration documents from OGE

After you have been admitted to UNCP, you will be prompted to upload your immigration documents in your application portal. 

We will create your record in SEVIS once the necessary documents are provided.

Necessary documents may be all or some of the following;

  1. Bank Statements and Certificate of Financial Responsibility Form  
  2. Passport 

Step 3 - Review Your Document

When you receive your electronic I-20 (if you are an F-1 student) or DS-2019 (if you are a J-1 student) you should review your document.

If you want the original I-20 shipped to you, you can purchase a prepaid label from eShipGlobal. If you are a J-1 student, you must ship the original DS-2019. Click here for instructions

Check the spelling of your name, your date of birth, country of citizenship, country of birth, major, the dates of your program, and your education level.

If something needs to be corrected, contact OGE via email,

If everything is correct, sign your I-20 or DS-2019 (at the bottom of the first page).

Be sure to read the second page of your I-20 or DS-2019 for important immigration requirements.

Step 4 - Pay SEVIS Fee

All student visa applicants must pay the SEVIS fee prior to going to the U.S. embassy or Consulate for the visa interview.

Students will use the I-20 or DS-2019 issued by the school where they intend to study in order to pay the fee on-line. Payment will be made via the following website,

Print the receipt and bring it to the Consulate interview as proof of your payment.

Canadian & Bermuda citizens are not required to have an F-1 visa, but they must pay the SEVIS fee and show proof of payment in order to qualify for admission at the Port of Entry (POE).

Step 5 - Apply for Student Visa 

You must apply for a student visa from a U.S. Embassy/Consulate.  (NOTE: a visa is not required for Canadians).

The U. S. Embassy or Consulate closest to your home will usually process your visa application. Use the Study in the States website to locate the nearest embassy or consulate.

When should you apply? 
  • A student visa can be issued no more than 120 days before the start date listed on your Form I-20 or DS-2019. 
  • Students cannot enter the U.S. before 30 days prior to their program start date.

When you plan your visa appointment, reserve enough time to attend the appointment and receive your approval.

Check the embassy’s processing time to ensure your visa will arrive on time.

What should you take to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate?

Go to the State Department website to fill out the Online Form for a visa application.

 It is crucial that you take all of the required documents to your visa appointment. 

Be sure to take:

  • Your valid passport, with at least six months validity on it from the date you will enter the U.S., and all previously issued passports
  • The receipt from your SEVIS I-901 fee payment
  • The I-20 or DS-2019 form provided by UNCP or your sponsoring agency
  • A letter of admission from UNCP
  • A copy of your TOEFL Score, if you are a non-native English speaker
  • Original proof of your financial support
  • Passport-sized photographs for your visa.
  • Previous school transcripts, diplomas, or records
  • Proof of ties to your home country. The F-1 and J-1 visas are non-immigrant visas, which means you must be able to prove that you will return to your home country after you complete of your program of study at UNCP. Visit the embassy website for information about the documentation you should bring.
What happens at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate

You will be required to speak with a consular official who will quickly review your documents and ask about your plans of study.

The officer will verify that you have the academic ability, English language skills, and financial resources to study at UNCP. 

Since you are applying for a non-immigrant visa, the officer will require documentation of proof of intent to return to your home country. 

The officer will  give you instructions about when to return to pick up your documents and your visa, or when to expect them in the mail.

A few applicants may receive a request to submit additional information.

Step 6 - Review Your Visa 

Make sure that the following information is correct:

  • Your first, middle and last name is spelled correctly.
  • Your date of birth is correct in the mm/dd/yyyy format.
  • Your visa type is F-1 or J-1, depending on your status.

The visa is the one immigration document that cannot be applied for or obtained in the U.S.; if you enter the U.S. and your information is incorrect you must exit the U.S. to apply for a new visa.

If your visa is not correct it will affect your ability to obtain a Driver’s License (DL) and/or a Social Security Number (SSN).

WARNING! Do not enter the U.S. on a tourist visa!

You must enter the U.S. on a student visa. If you attempt to enter the U.S. on an incorrect visa you may encounter immigration problems. You cannot attend UNCP if you enter the U.S. on a tourist visa.

Step 7 - Travel Arrangements + Pre-Arrival 

After you obtain the visa, your travel arrangements and preparations can be made. F-1 and J-1 students can enter the US within the 30 day window before the report date on the visa certificate. Make sure to review the Pre-Arrival Guide and sign up for New Student Orientation

Step 8 - International Student Orientation 

You must report to OGE for mandatory check-in within 30 days of your arrival. Failure to do so could result in the termination of your SEVIS record and jeopardize your legal ability to remain in the U.S. 

Check-in will take place at new New Student Orientation before the semester begins. Please bring the following immigration documents with you to the check-in session:

  • 1-20 or DS-2019 Form 
  • Passport, noting your entry stamp
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • I-94 Form 

Transfer Students

Transferring to a new school in the US requires advanced planning. A student may legally stay in the US for the time between finishing classes at one school and starting at another school, if the proper immigration process is followed.

This process requires the old school to "release" the student's SEVIS record to UNCP. Once this is done, UNCP will issue a new "transfer-in" Form I-20 of DS-2019. 

If you have already been admitted to UNCP and would like more information about how to transfer your SEVIS record to UNCP click here.