F-1 Visa Classification
This nonimmigrant visa category is available only to full-time, enrolled students working toward a degree, certificate or specified course of study at a United States institution of higher education. The F-1 status is valid for as long as the student enrolled at the university or school sponsoring the F-1 status and carries a full course load. Individuals seeking admission to Duke academic program must go through the admissions process, provide evidence of funding and receive a Form I-20. The Form I-20 must be presented to a United States consulate overseas to request an F-1 visa for entry to the United States. The Form I-20 can also be filed with the appropriate application and supporting documentation to request a change to F-1 status in the United States.
Duke University has a large variety of academic programs. Our current international student population is over 3000 students and Duke has received national recognition for our internationalization efforts. Each school has an Admissions Office dedicated to admitting new students. Contact information for each school can be found at Duke's Admissions and Aid webpage.
Students offered admission to Duke would receive an electronic application (Webform Application) with instructions to complete and electronically submit the application with the supporting paper documentation to the admitting schools or programs. Funding Guidelines will provide instructions on the required funding documentation. The F-1/J-1 Comparison Chart will clarify basic regulations for the F-1 and J-1 visa categories. This information will assist students in determining the appropriate category for their academic programs.
New students should submit the following documents to the program or school at Duke where admitted. The department will forward the completed materials to Duke Visa Services.
- Print and sign the last page of the web form.
- Submit the original signed form.
- Electronically submit the web form.
- Proof of funding.
- Photocopy of passport biographic and expiration page.
Transfer students should submit the following documents to the program or school at Duke where admitted. The department will forward the completed materials to Duke Visa Services.
- Print and sign the last page of the Webform.
- Submit the original signed form
- Electronically submit the web form.
- Proof of funding
- Copy of passport biographic and expiration page(s).
- Copy of I-94 record, if currently in the United States.
- Copy of all prior visa documents (I-20, DS-2019, I-797, EAD or other).
- Copy of visa stamp.
- Students must request the transfer of their SEVIS record from current school to Duke. Contact the international office at current school to request a SEVIS transfer and inform DVS of the SEVIS release date.
Detailed information for each Duke Sponsored visa category can be found on our Visa Application and Entry into the United States webpage.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires all F-1 students to register with the Duke Visa Services Office (DVS) before the start of classes. Due to the large number of students reporting for registration and the time required to complete the registration process, the Duke Visa Services Office has created an electronic registration process, E-Registration, which addresses this regulatory requirement. Completing the E-Registration PowerPoint BEFORE reporting to the Duke Visa Services Office will shorten the time required to submit the required registration documentation. Several schools and academic programs have included international student registrations as part of their overall orientations. The Fall Mass Registration Schedule is updated by June of each year, providing students with two options to meet DHS regulatory requirements.
Student E-Registration Instructions PowerPoint presentation.
After arrival, F-1 students have detailed regulatory requirements. Maintaining F-1 visa category will ensure continued eligibility to reenter the United States after holidays and vacations with very little difficulty, pursue employment opportunities as well as transfer to other academic institutions after the conclusion of the Duke academic program. Details can be found on our Maintaining Student Status webpage.
While the primary purpose of this category is the pursuit of an educational program, the F-1 regulations also provide an employment benefits for students to pursue employment opportunities on campus as well as degree-related employment off campus. For more information, please visit our Employment Authorization webpage.
F-1 students have the opportunity to bring their spouses and children as F-2 dependents to the United States during their academic programs, however, F-2 regulations will not allow F-2 dependents to work. If the dependents do not initially arrive with the student, the Add Dependent Request Form provides details on the required information needed to issue F-2 visa documents for entry into the United States.