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Before Coming to UNG as an International Student

Students must be accepted to UNG and have their DS-2019 or I-20 before applying for a visa. Please review your DS-2019 or I-20 for accuracy. If any of the information listed on this form is incorrect, please contact the Office of Admissions immediately so that a new one can be processed.

We strongly suggest that you wait to purchase your airplane ticket until you receive a visa. Your form DS-2019 or I-20 makes you eligible to apply for a J-1 or F-1 visa, but it does not guarantee the issuance of the visa. When you do purchase your plane tickets, it is important that you plan to arrive no sooner than 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20/DS-2019.

Applying for a Visa

With limited exceptions*, each international student applying for admission to the United States must hold a valid entry visa. Contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for specific details on how to obtain an F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant student visa. In Taiwan, contact the American Institute. The wait time to receive a visa appointment will vary by location; therefore, you are strongly encouraged to apply early. Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160) for F-1 and J-1 status.

Be prepared to present the following at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate:

  • SEVIS Form DS-2019 (J-1) or Form I-20 (F-1)
  • One passport size photograph
  • Evidence of financial support (These should be the same documents you submitted for admission into UNG. These can include bank statements, scholarship letter, approved loan application, etc.)
  • Evidence that you have no intention of abandoning residence in your home country (strong family ties, pre-arranged job in your home country or other economic ties, etc.)
  • Passport (valid at least 6 months beyond your program start date)
  • Proof of English-language proficiency
  • University of North Georgia admission/acceptance letter
  • Student visa application fee
  • SEVIS fee payment receipt (must be paid at least three business days before going to the embassy)
  • DS-160 confirmation receipt
  • Any additional application materials required by the embassy or consulate in your home country. We recommend that you contact the embassy or consulate prior to your interview to ensure you have everything you need.

*Exceptions to the visa requirement: The most common exception to the visa requirement is made for Canadian citizens and certain landed Canadian immigrants. Other notable exceptions currently include citizens of the Freely Associated States or FAS (Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau) who are in direct transit from the FAS to the United States, citizens of Bermuda, citizens of British Overseas Territories, Bahamian nationals, and British subjects residing in the Bahamas who complete immigration inspection at Freeport or Nassau.

If your visa is denied, please contact the Office of Admissions as soon as possible.

Planning for your Arrival

Documents

Upon arrival in the U.S., you must be prepared to show the inspections officer the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • F-1 or J-1 visa entry stamp (unless exempt)
  • Original UNG admissions letter
  • Original financial support documentation
  • Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued by UNG
Insurance

All international students are required to have international student health insurance. This will be included with your tuition and fees on your BANNER account unless you prove that you have sufficient insurance already.

Transportation

Like many other smaller cities in the United States, there are few to no options for public transportation around the UNG campuses. Students who sign up for airport transportation for the Dahlonega campus upon arrival and departure will receive transportation from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to the Dahlonega campus during the pre-scheduled times as arranged by CGE. Students and scholars are responsible for finding a method of transportation to and from class and any mandatory orientations. There are a few public transportation options, but they can be costly and do not service a wide area of the region. Many students choose to obtain a Georgia driver's license during their time in the United States.

Housing

On-campus, residential housing is only available on the Dahlonega campus of UNG. If you are interested in attending the Gainesville, Cumming, or Oconee campuses, you will live off-campus. While the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) staff cannot be responsible for securing housing for you, the Office of Residence Life has put together a list of resources for students interested in off-campus housing. If your primary campus is Gainesville, Cumming, or Oconee, please do not secure off-campus housing until after you have registered for New Student Orientation.

Classes and Degree Programs
Not all degree programs are offered on all campuses. Please refer to the Degrees & Programs Listing to see which degrees are offered on which campus. You may need to take classes on other campuses or complete an internal transfer in order to complete your degree. In addition, you are not guaranteed a class schedule at particular times or locations.

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