The Immigration Process

Immigration & Visa Process Checklist

  • Pay your BU Enrollment Deposit
  • Create your BU Google Email Account. This is an important step to creating your student record with the University and should be done as soon as possible after submitting your enrollment deposit. (You should have received an email after you submitted your enrollment deposit from with these steps)
  • Create your BU ISSO Portal and collect your I-20 on this site
  • Make sure immigration documents are correct (1-20 Form)
  • Pay the SEVIS Fee
  • Check your passport dates
  • Contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate to apply for a Visa
  • Schedule a Visa appointment
  • Prepare documents for the Visa interview
  • Wait for your Visa / Notify ISSO of any issues
  • Schedule your travel to the US
  • Pass through Immigration at your US port of entry
  • Arrive at BU and check in with ISSO

For detailed guidelines for students applying for the F-1 student visa and for entering the United States, please visit:

Guidelines for Applying for the F-1 Student Visa and for Entering the United States

For immigration questions, please contact one of our International Student Advisors:

Address: 881 Commonwealth Avenue, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-4492

International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO)

The ISSO provides essential services to ensure student success in the US. It also promotes the academic, professional, and personal growth of this diverse community.

Assistance with processing:

  • Travel outside of and returning to the US, employment on campus, a drop below a full course of study, withdrawal from school, an extended time limit for completion of study, a change to your major or field of study, a change in academic level, or a transfer to or from another school.

Assistance with immigration authorization:

  • To work off campus, change immigration status, or work after graduation.
  • To maintain lawful immigration status or renew/replacement a passport, Visa, I-94, I-20, or DS-2019 documents.

Resources for:

  • New Student Orientation, cultural adjustment, intercultural programs and events, and Social Security card application

Information on:

  • BU services, policies, and procedures; community programs and services; holiday programs and travel opportunities; scholarships, fellowships, and educational loans; and Embassies and Consulates