Welcome to Virginia Tech!
This webpage is designed to assist you with your preparations for coming to the United States and help you through the first couple of weeks of adjustment and settling down in Blacksburg. We hope that you will find the information on these pages useful and will not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions after looking at the information presented here. We will be happy to assist you!
Provides information for international students who want to study in the U.S.
Basic information and important procedures for all new graduate students.
- Be accepted into an academic program by the academic department and the Graduate School. You will receive the admission letter from the Graduate School.
- Show proof of having sufficient funds to cover all educational and living expenses for the first year; one or a combination of documents in the list below is accepted as proof:
- Original bank statement showing sufficient funds, accompanied by an original letter of support from sponsor stating the amount and time period of support ;
- Assistantship agreement signed by the academic department;
- Original, written confirmation from the sponsoring institution or government agency of a scholarship, fellowship, or other type of funding. NOTE: copies of external funding documents also MUST be provided by the student to the University Bursar's Office so they can set up billing to these agencies.
- Be in legal status, eligible for transfer, if already in the U.S. Submit transfer information form signed by current international student advisor.
- All documents must be original and less than 6 months old.
- Complete the Immigration Information Form. Provide a copy of your passport ID page, and fill out the Immigration Information Form with your name as it appears on your passport. Data consistency with immigration documents is critical, so please refer to the Fact Sheet: F/M/J Nonimmigrants: Managing Information that the U.S. Government Needs About Nonimmigrants During Their Visit. This will help you to understand why it is important that ALL of your documents--passport, visa, I-20 or DS-2019, I-94 card, Social Security card and driver's license--use the same name consistently.
Be sure to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee at least three days before you go for your visa appointment. Failure to do so will result in a denial of your visa application. You can pay the fee online. If you do not have a credit card, there are instructions for processing by mail or through Western Union. Review our guidelines.
Please remember that new international students cannot enter the US more than 30 days before the Program Start Date on the I-20 or DS-2019 form. This is immigration law. You need to make your travel plans based on this restriction.
Aetna is the company under contract with Virginia Tech to provide insurance coverage for students which meets the minimum university requirements. Students must be enrolled full-time to qualify for this insurance policy. Questions regarding the insurance policy, eligibility and costs may be referred to:
Students who do not purchase Aetna insurance must complete the Alternative Insurance Compliance Form, have it endorsed by their insurance provider and submit it to the Student Medical Insurance Office. Failure to provide proof of sufficient insurance coverage may result in the blocking of your records for registration, transfer or other academic actions. Additional details may be found on the Insurance Requirements for International Students web page.
- Hand carry (do not check) the following documents:
- Your passport;
- Your I-20 or DS-2019 form;
- Evidence of financial resources;
- Evidence of student or exchange visitor status, such as transcripts or letter of acceptance;
- Paper receipt for the SEVIS fee (if applicable);
- The name and contact information of your designated school official or sponsor
- Important Note: If you are a new student or a new exchange visitor participant, remember to carry with you the sealed envelope given to you by the U.S. Department of State's Consular Officer - attached to your passport. It is important that you do not open this envelope.
- Please visit the website for U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement. This site provides useful information on what students can expect at a U.S. Port of Entry, as well as important information about immigration documents. The link called "I-515A Tool Kit" provides information to help you understand what documents you need to carry with you when arriving in the U.S., and anytime you travel outside of the U.S.
- Inform the CBP Officer at the port of entry that you are a new or returning student or exchange visitor.
- Report to your school or program upon arrival so that your school official can validate your participation in SEVIS.
- Maintain contact with your designated school or sponsor official throughout your stay to ensure your SEVIS data is updated and accurate.
Make sure that you have provided a copy of any external funding documents, like government funding letters, to the University Bursar's Office. This is REQUIRED so that your sponsoring agency can be billed for tuition and fees in a timely manner.
We are glad that you chose Virginia Tech for your academic pursuits. We look forward to you joining the Virginia Tech community.