How to apply for your F-1/J-1 Visa

What type of visa do I need?

If you receive an I-20 (see a sample) from Stockton, you will be applying for an F visa;
If you receive a DS-2019 (see a samplefrom Stockton, you will be applying for a J visa.

  1. Form I-20/DS-2019
    For students, once your application for admission to Stockton University is received, processed and an acceptance decision has been made, you will be sent a Letter of Admission and a Form I-20/DS-2019. Check the I-20/DS-2019 against your passport information to make sure your name and date of birth are listed and spelled correctly.

    For scholars, once your application  materials are processed, you will be sent a welcome letter and a Form DS-2019. Review the DS-2019 against your passport for accuracy to make sure your name and date of birth are listed and spelled correctly.
  2. DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
    File the DS-160 Application online. Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee applies. See the most recent fee for visa services here.
  3. I-901 SEVIS Fee
    Once the Form I-20 is received and verified, you will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee next. It is required of all F-1/J-1 students and visitors. F-2/J-2 Dependents do not need to pay separate I-901 SEVIS fee.
    Please make sure to print out and save your I-901 SEVIS fee payment confirmation. This payment confirmation is required for your future visa interview. If you do not pay the fee, your visa application will not be processed.
    Please make sure you pay it prior to your visa interview.

    Note: The I-901 SEVIS fee is valid for 12 months from the date of the payment.
    Visit this page to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. To learn about he SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) please visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.
  4. Visa Appointment 
    After paying the SEVIS fee, you must apply for a visa as soon as possible. You must make an appointment with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate office to apply for the F-1/J-1 visa. To locate the Embassy/Consulate near you, please visit: Embassies and Consulates review a vast number of applications and you may have to wait for an appointment. To learn more about wait and processing times, please go to
  5. Visa Interview
    To prepare for your visa interview, learn as much as you can about the forms and documents required of you. Be prepared to convince the consul that you will return to your home country after completing your study course or program. Place large emphasis on your personal, family and economic ties with your home country, show undeniable reasons why you will return home, such as:
  • present copies of property ownership
  • business ownership by you or your family
  • if you have traveled to the U.S. before, emphasize that you have returned home
  • if your siblings have studied in the U.S. and have returned home, show copies of their diplomas, etc.

Bring with you:

  1. Letter of Admission or Invitation Letter from the Stockton University
  2. I-20/DS-2019 form issued by Stockton University
  3. SEVIS receipt proving you paid the required fee
  4. Official School records/Transcripts for students (translated and certified)
  5. Affidavit of Support
  6. International Student Financial Statement
  7. Affidavit of Room and Board (if applicable)
  8. Anything that will establish an understanding that you have strong ties to your home country and will return home after completion of your program of study – such as proof of property or business ownership, etc.

At the Embassy

A consulate officer makes a decision to grant or deny a visa. The Consul’s job is to make sure that persons who are issued visas will return home after completion of studies or program. As a person wishing to enter the U.S., your task as an interviewee is to convince the Consul that you will return home after completing your study course. The Consul is required to say: “You are not coming back home when you finish your studies!” Do not become offended and make sure, to the best of your ability, to convince the Consul that you will indeed return home after completion of your study course. The Consul’s job is to administer the law so DO NOT try to either negotiate with the Consul or discuss personal matters.

General Questions

Explain the reasons why you are traveling to the U.S.:

  • to enroll in an academic program
  • professional or academic goals
  • financial resource capability (be prepared to prove the ability to pay for all costs)
  • English language proficiency, etc.

Be prepared to answer:

  • Why you want to study in the U.S.?
  • Why did you choose Stockton?
  • Why did you choose your program of study?
  • Be concise, positive and well prepared.

Below please find useful information pertaining to admitted International Students:

Purchasing Tickets

Once the F-1/J-1 visa has been granted and issued please be advised to purchase your travel tickets as soon as possible to cut down on the cost of the tickets and allow you ample time to prepare for your time in the U.S.

Note: Before boarding the plane to the U.S. please make sure you have ALL necessary documents handy:

  • Valid Passport (with expiration date of 6 months or more from the projected departure date)
  • Form I-20/DS-2019 endorsed by the Office of Global Engagement within the last year
  • Valid F-1/J-1 Visa
  • I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • Financial Document(s) listed on Form I-20/DS-2019 (strongly recommended)

Before landing in the United States port of entry flight attendants will distribute customs and immigration forms to be completed by all non-immigrants arriving to the United States. Please remember to fill out the distributed forms diligently and correctly. If you find yourself needing help please ask a flight attendant for assistance. 

On the airplane

  • Complete the Custom Declaration.
  • The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) no longer require air and sea visitors to the U.S. to fill out paper Customs and Border Protection  Form I-94.  Your arrival/departure information will be captured automatically from your electronic travel records. Please print out your I-94 after arrival.

*If you arrive by land, you might be issue a paper I-94, for complete information, please click here

At Arrival

Everyone arriving at the port of entry to the United States will be inspected by the CBP officers. They will inspect your immigration documents as well as your customs and agriculture claims.

The Customs and Border Protection officer will ask you several questions like:

  • What is the purpose of your trip
  • How long will you be staying in the U.S. and where
  • What is your residence abroad (citizen/non-citizen, etc.)

Keep your answers clear, honest and to the point. All non-immigrant visitors are fingerprinted and photographed at the Customs.

After processing your documents the CBP will stamp your passport with your visa type, arrival date and the latest date you are allowed to be in the U.S. For F and J visa visitors, the amount of time is written as "D/S" which means you are allowed to stay in  the U.S. for the "Duration of Status" of your academic program.

Proceed to your baggage claim area.

After students go through the customs and claim their luggage they should be prepared to arrange their own transportation.

You can make arrangements for transportation from your port of entry into the United States. Please refer to New Jersey Transit website for bus and train transportation schedules. Use navigation tools to obtain directions to specific locations.

Note: Students arriving before the assigned move-in date are responsible for their own temporary accommodations. International students living on Stockton Campus will be arriving to the Stockton Galloway or Atlantic City campus, where they will have an opportunity to meet with the Residential Life or Global Engagement staff then be transported to the designated housing apartment.

Please be advised that you cannot enter the U.S. any earlier than 30 days before the beginning of classes. The Department of Homeland Security requires international students to report to their school within 30 days of their program start date. Therefore, all students should visit the Office of Global Engagement and bring with them:

• Current unexpired passport
• Form I-20/DS-2019
• Form I-94 (Print it online)
• Valid F/J visa

Remember: Students who do not report to the Office of Global Engagement before the beginning of classes will fall out of status, jeopardizing their ability to study in the U.S.

Students must attend the Mandatory Orientation Session. Those who do not attend the Orientation violate regulation set forth by the Department of Homeland Security and automatically fall out of status, jeopardizing their ability to study in the U.S.

Prior to class registration and housing assignments, all students at Stockton University must meet certain requirements regarding immunizations and health insurance. See the Immunization & Health Records form here.

All students born after January 1, 1957 must present proof of:

  • Measles - 2 doses (at least 30 days apart) or provide proof of immunity.
  • Mumps - 1 dose or provide proof of immunity.
  • Rubella - 1 dose or provide proof of immunity.

Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccines must be on 1st birthday or after. We cannot accept any vaccines prior to 1st birthday.

If vaccinated before 1968, you must produce proof of immunity or be revaccinated.

  • Hepatitis B - 3 dose series or (Adolescent 2 dose series for ages 11-15) accepted.

Students Residing on Campus need a MENINGITIS Vaccine in addition to the above requirements.

International Students Health Insurance Requirements

Program participants and their dependents are required to have medical insurance coverage with the following minimum benefits [22 CFR 62.14].

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
  • A policy must be underwritten by an insurance carrier with:

- an AM Best rating of "A-" or above
- an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above
- a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above
- or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of "B+" or above

J-1 Exchange visitors and their dependents must have health insurance in effect during the period of time they are participating in Stockton's program.  In addition, you and your spouse or dependents may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. [22 CFR 62.14(a)]. 

Listed below are some insurance companies that provide insurance plans for international students and visitors. Please visit their Web sites or call to determine the insurance policy that would best suit your needs.

Compass Student Insurance, 1-800-767-0169

GeoBlue, 1-800-257-4823 (inside of  the U.S.) or 1-610-254-8771 (outside of the U.S.)

iNext International Insurance 1-855-578-6398

International Student Insurance, 1-877-758-4391

International Student Organization, 1-800-244-1180

Student Medicover, 1-812-360-2313

For more information regarding Health and Immunization services please visit:

 The Wellness Center Website

Housing Placement

At Stockton University we prefer that all Freshmen (First-Year students) reside in Housing II and Housing III because the Office of Residential Life promotes and values the First Year Residential Experience, to better acquaint the incoming students with Stockton University.

To be eligible for on-campus housing students must:

  • Maintain Full-Time course load
  • Meet all health immunization requirements
  • Pay for a meal plan (if not living in the apartment with a kitchen)
  • Pay Housing Deposit and sign Housing Contract

Note: Please be aware that electronic payments can also be made by logging into your student’s goPortal account via web check at no charge (U.S. accounts only) or via credit card (2.75% fee will be charged).

Housing Facilities

Freshmen (First-Year students) reside in Housing II and III. All housing facilities are wireless and are furnished completely.

  • Housing II - 1, 2 or 3 person room where students have access to a micro-fridge and microwave and share bathrooms and shower stalls in a traditional residence hall style suites. Meal Plan is required.
  • Housing III - 1 and 2 person rooms where students have access to a micro-fridge and microwave and share bathrooms and shower stalls in a traditional residence hall style suites. Meal Plan is required.

To view additional information and pictures of the living areas please view the Residence Halls information on the Stockton University Office of Residential Life’s website.

Sophomore, Junior and Senior (2nd, 3rd, and Final-Year students) can reside in Housing I, IV, V, Chris Gaupp or Atlantic City Residential Complex. All housing facilities are wireless and are furnished completely. Free shuttle service is offered for students, faculty, and staff 7 days a week between Atlantic City and Galloway Campuses.

  • Housing I: 4 and 5 person apartments where 2 to 3 students share a bedroom. Students have access to a full size refrigerator and a gas oven. No meal plan is required.
  • Housing IV: 4 person apartments where 2 students share a bedroom with lofted beds. Students have access to a full size refrigerator and an electric oven. No meal plan is required.
  • Housing V: 4 person apartments where each student has their own bedroom. Students have access to a full size refrigerator however there is no oven, so a minimum meal plan is required.
  • Chris Gaupp: options of 2 beds or 3 beds per room; generally reserved for transfer and continuing students
  • Atlantic City Residential Complex: the new Atlantic City residential complex which can house more than 530 students in a variety of affordable campus apartments. Additionally, every unit in the building has a full kitchen which means there is no meal plan required.
    • 1 Person Studio
    • 2 Person Private
    • 4 Person Shared
    • 4 Person Private
    • 6 Person Private
    • Family Housing 

To view additional information and pictures of the living areas please view the Apartments and Suite Housing information on the Stockton University Office of Residential Life’s website.

Housing Contract

All students living on campus must submit a signed Housing Contract. This contract is:

  • A binding agreement for one full academic year between the student and the Office of Residential Life.
  • If you will be living on campus you must sign the contract and return it to the Office of Residential Life with a $150 Housing Deposit
  • If you do not submit the contract with a Housing Deposit you will NOT receive housing

For more information about Stockton’s Housing Policies and Procedures please click here.

International students assigned to Housing II, III, V are required to purchase a year-long meal plan as stated in the Tuition & Fees cost sheet. For more information about places to purchase meals or other Meal Plan related topics please refer to the Meal Plan Information.