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Student Visa Issuance Process FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a UMass Lowell I-20?

Upon acceptance, our office will reach out to you via your personal email address within 5 business days. You will be required to upload documents to our iStart Portal. For more information, please visit Receiving your Visa Document.

How long will it take to get my I-20?

Your visa document will be processed within 5-7 business days from the date the ISSO receives all your required documents. We will be in touch if any further information is required or if there is an issue with the documentation.

How much funding do I need to show on my bank statement?

For a breakdown of fees (i.e. tuition, housing, etc.) please click on the links below:

(Although the Estimate of Expenses only refers to one academic year, it is the expectation of the U.S. government and of UMass Lowell that you have the ability to fund the duration of your academic program.) 

Please note that on-campus jobs are scarce and off-campus work authorization is very restrictive for international students. In order to even be considered for off-campus work authorization through the issuance of a new Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, you will have to:

  • have fulfilled one-year of full-time study in good academic standing.
  • be in matriculated status (cannot be in a pathway program).
  • have earned at least 18 credits that count towards your degree.
  • have a minimum GPA of 2.0 if undergraduate and 3.0 if graduate.

We ask you to come financially prepared. Registration holds will be placed on students owing more than $1,000. Since international students are legally required to maintain full-time status in order to maintain their legal non-immigrant student status, it is crucial to be able to be fully registered by the first day of classes of each fall and spring semester. Failure to do so will cause automatic termination of their legal status in the U.S.

Are there any scholarships available to new international students?

There are currently no scholarships available through the International Students & Scholars Office. Students may check with international and local organizations for scholarship opportunities. Contacting organizations that share your interests or experiences (i.e., religious organizations that you have been a member of, ethnic or cultural organizations, community or international service groups) is recommended. Use scholarship and grant search engines to find other sources of financial aid. If you are an incoming undergraduate student, you may wish to check with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on any academic scholarship opportunities, but usually this would have been awarded to you at the time of acceptance and listed on your acceptance letter.

For more information, please see our Financial Resources page.

Funding for Graduate Students is dependent upon funds available within each program. Please contact your Graduate Program Coordinator regarding this. A complete list is available at Graduate Coordinators page.

I received my I-20/DS-2019 from UMass Lowell. When can I enter the US?

F-1 or J-1 visa holders are not permitted to enter the U.S. any earlier than 30 days prior to your program start date (first day of the semester). For more information on commencement dates , please visit Academic Calendars.

Where do I check in when I arrive?

You will receive additional information via email on the check in process for new international students. This information is usually included with your visa document.

Where do I pay my bill?

For billing questions please refer to: My Bill.

How do I find an apartment, do you have any housing listings?

To request on-campus housing through the office of Residence Life please visit our Residence Life Page.

The International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) does not assist students in finding housing. We do, however, provide all accepted students a Pre-Arrival Guide that lists Rental Agencies and Websites. The Pre-Arrival guide can be found on our Pre-Arrival Page.

How do I register for my classes? Can I register for classes now?

You should only register for classes AFTER having been issued the visa document from our office. 
Please refer to the UMass Lowell Academic Calendar for registration dates.

Who can assist me with my first semester course selections?

New undergraduate FRESHMAN students must complete their assessment testing prior to course selection. Signing up for the test can be done at Orientation Page

For Transfer Students, you can complete the Online Transfer Registration process, or the on-campus process – your information is on the bottom half of the Student-Transfer Page.

New Graduate Students should check in with their Graduate Coordinator for assistance on first semester registration selection: