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Requirements for Receiving your Visa Document

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How to receive an I-20/DS-2019 from UMass Lowell


All F-1/J-1 visa-related documentation must be sent to the International Students & Scholars Office. Admitted students will receive an email on the Friday after their acceptance, with detailed instructions on how to apply for a UMass Lowell Visa Document. Please note that our office is now paperless, so you should complete the e-form sent to you via email. Sending materials via email or mail to our office or any other campus office will delay the processing of your visa document. You must upload these materials directly to our office even if you previously mailed them in your admissions application.

In order to be issued either a Form I-20 (to obtain F-1 visa status) or Form DS-2019 (to obtain J-1 visa status), you will need to provide us with the following documents:

  • A completed Visa Document E-Form (link provided in the email you receive the Friday after your acceptance) - Review our How-to-Guide for the New International Student E-Form.
  • Copy of passport identification page(s) for you and any accompanying family member(s)
  • Copy of Financial documentation:If you are receiving any funding from UMass Lowell, please provide details of such funding. Students who are funding their own educational costs must send us personal or sponsor financial documentation including an Affidavit of Support if funding is provided by a sponsor. For financial requirements please refer to the Graduate Estimate of Expenses; or Undergraduate Estimate of Expenses.

Financial documentation must be liquid funding submitted in the form of a bank statement. Other forms of financial documentation may be scholarship or education loans. Our office does not accept investment accounts, home equity, tax returns, or proof of salary.

Although you’re only asked to present proof of one year of funding as per our Estimate of Expenses, you are legally expected to be able to continue to fund your U.S. educational costs for the duration of your academic program.  On-campus jobs are scarce and off-campus work authorization is very restrictive for international students, so it is imperative that you have access to the needed funding in order to be able to cover your expenses.  Once on campus, students are not permitted to register for future semesters unless they’ve paid up their previous semester’s bill and if they’re international, they’re legal status depends on them being able to continue to register as full-time students.


Please keep in mind that we strongly discourage students to depend on on-campus work to assist with the costs of study while in the U.S. There is no guarantee that you will secure employment on campus, and if you do, the hours available may not be reliable (you may only receive a few hours or inconsistent hours). On-campus work opportunities can be challenging to find, and for some student it can take 1 or 2 semester to find work. This type of income is supplementary spending money, not the type to support daily living expenses, bills, or school tuition/fees.

If you have been in the U.S. any time over the past 12 months, you will be asked to provide a copy of:

Please upload all documents to the E-form link you were provided in the email you received the Friday after your acceptance. If you did not receive this email, please email with the date of your acceptance. 

Spring 2018 - Deadline is December 12, 2017
Fall 2018 - Deadline is August 12, 2018

Note: Do not enter on a tourist visa. Students on F-2; B-1; B-2; WB; or WT status are not permitted to be enrolled in a degree program, either part or full-time. If you enter on this status, you will be asked to depart the U.S. and re-enter with the proper F-1 or J-1 student status.


An international student who has failed to maintain valid F–1 (student) status prior to the issuance of their first Form I-20 from UMass Lowell will be required to apply for Reinstatement through Travel. If you have lost your F–1 status, you must immediately contact our office for instructions on Reinstatement through travel.

UMass Lowell does not support Reinstatement through the Vermont Service Center for incoming/new students. There are no exceptions to this rule.


If you require a change of status, the ISSO strongly advises that students travel back to their home countries to change their immigration status. The process of changing ones status within the U.S. can take 5+ months. 

Note about online programs:

If you are currently in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, you are responsible for ensuring that your current non-immigrant status permits you to take online courses (F-1/J-1 students have significant restrictions on enrolling in online courses for example). Most online programs are intended for international students residing outside of the United States.

Our office does not issue visa documents for those students who intend to complete an online program. F-1 and J-1 students are expected to attend courses in person with the exception of one online course permitted per semester.


Our office will not only guide you prior to your arrival at UMass Lowell but we will continue to assist you and any accompanying family member throughout your academic program. We provide a mandatory New International Student Immigration Clearance which is usually held one week before the first day of the semester. More detailed information will be included with your visa document.

We strongly encourage that you do not make travel arrangements until you have been issued a visa document from our office and obtained the respective visa in your passport.

We all very much look forward to hearing from you and eventually meeting you in person!