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International Student FAQ

Updated March 22, 2022

Most U.S. Consulates accept regularly scheduled visa appointments.  Some applicants are reporting visa appointments outside of the necessary time period needed to obtain the visa for U.S. entry prior to the academic program start date.  In such cases, applicants may be eligible to request an emergency or expedited visa appointment within 30 days of the I-20 or DS-2019 start date. Review the information on your U.S. Consulate's website.

The Department of State has indicated that "Student visas are a high priority, and we will make every effort to assist student visa applicants in a timely fashion."

No. A hard copy (printed) I-20 or DS-2019 must be presented during a visa interview and for entry to the United States.  SEVP currently allows electronic issuance of the I-20 for F-1, thus ISP can send the I-20 to students via email. The DS-2019 for J-1 cannot be transmitted electronically, thus ISP will send the DS-2019 via FedEx.

Prior to your travel date, you can request the Associate Director's contact by emailing ISP.

International Student Programs (isp@caltech.edu) provides international students with direct links to relevant information for their upcoming programs at Caltech.  General information about visa applications, international travel, and nonimmigrant statuses can be found on international.caltech.edu.