New International Students
Congratulations on your acceptance to Virginia Tech! You are joining the ranks of nearly 4,000 international students from over 100 countries who have chosen to pursue their undergraduate or graduate studies at Virginia Tech. Below you will find information to assist you in preparing for you arrival to the US and/or the Virginia Tech campus.
Once your record has been forwarded to Cranwell International Center by the applicable admissions office, you will be prompted via email to submit the Immigration Information From for New International Students through the IntlHokies Portal, which is Virginia Tech’s online services platform for international students and scholars ("IntlHokies" is an abbreviation for International Hokies). You will be asked to provide additional information in order to confirm your current status, as well as determine if you will require a Form I-20 (F-1 status) or Form DS-2019 (J-1 status) so that you are able to apply for a visa.
National Captial Region (NCR) Campus Students: Students accepted to the NCR campus will need to submit their additional required documents for immigration processing to "Section 4" of the admissions application portal. NCR campus students should contact the NCR international office for additional assistance.
To submit the Immigration Information Form for New International Students, you will need to log in to the IntlHokies Portal. To log in:
- Navigate to https://sun-prod-app.db.vt.edu.
- Select the orange “Login” button - this will take you to a login page, where you will enter your university-issued PID and the password your created - you will need to have your 2-Factor Authentication set up before attempting to log in (see important note below regarding your 2-Factor).
- Once you successfully log in, you will be taken to the “IntlHokies Services Home Page” – if you are not automatically taken to the home page, you may choose the “Full Client Services” option from the drop-down menu in the top, right.
- You will find the e-form in the "Admissions" section of menu to the left.
- Complete the e-form, including uploading required documents, and submit.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Virginia Tech uses a high-security login process referred to as 2-Factor Authentication, which is mandatory for all students, faculty, and staff, and is required to log in to IntlHokies.
To set up 2-Factor, go to http://www.tech.it.vt.edu/2factor/. If you need additional assistance setting up or using 2-factor, you can submit a request through www.4help.vt.edu or call 4Help directly at +1.540.231.4357.
- Copy of your passport ID page
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Sufficient funds will need to cover educational and living expenses for your first year. Please review our Financial Requirements page thouroughly for details on the required amount of funds and acceptable financial documents you may submit.
- Dependent information (if applicable)
- If you have any dependents (spouse and/or children), you will need to provide the passport ID page and additional funds required for each dependent you plan to bring to the US with you.
If you will be transferring your SEVIS record form another US institution, you will also need to provide the following:
- Current SEVIS ID number
- Anticipated date of last attendance at your previous institution OR the end date of your current OPT authorization period (whichever is applicable)
- The full name and email address of your previous International Student Advisor and/or Designated School Official (DSO) at your previous institution who will be facilitating the release of your SEVIS record - they will be sent an electronic "Transfer In" form to complete
If you are inside the US in another status besides F-1 or J-1, you will only need to provide the following:
- Your most recent Form I-94 so that we can confirm your current status and update your student record accordingly; additionally:
- If you confirm via the form that you wish to maintain your current status, no additional action will be required once your form is submitted.
- If you confirm via the form that you wish to change to F-1 or J-1 status, you will be contacted by one of our Cranwell International Center's International Student Advisors to discuss your options.
- If you have been offered admission and are a new student who is outside the US, we ask that you submit your e-form before June 1 (fall admits) or November 1 (spring admits).
- If you have been offered admission and are a transfer student from another US university, you may submit your documents until the week before the semester begins.
We ask that you please allow at least 10 business days for our office to process your request. You will receive an email from Cranwell International Center once your request has been processed.
When will I receive my immigration document?
Immigration documents are generally issued:
- between March and July for fall admits
- between October and December for spring admits
- until the week before the semester begins for transfer students; please note that Cranwell International Center will not be able to create your new immigration document until the transfer of your SEVIS record from your previous institution has been completed, so please be sure that you coordinate the transfer of your SEVIS record with them.
- If you are issued a Form I-20, your document will be sent via email as a secure link where you can download, print and sign it.
- If you are issued a Form DS-2019, your document will be mailed to you or it can be picked up in-person; an International Student Advisor will reach out to you about shipping and/or pick-up options once your form procecssed.
If you were issued an “Initial Attendance” Form I-20 or a “Begin new program” Form DS-2019, you will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee and set up a visa appointment.
If you are transferring your SEVIS record to Virginia Tech or changing academic levels, you do not need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee again and will only require a visa appointment if you are currently outside the US and your current visa has expired. You do not need to renew your visa because you started a new program or if you will remain in the US until your new program begins.
You can pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee by going to the following website:
The purpose of this fee is to support the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), which keeps track of students and exchange visitors, ensuring that they maintain their status while in the US. We recommend that students pay the fee as soon as possible, as failure to pay this fee will result in the denial of your visa.
The current fees amount is $350 USD for F-1 students and $220 USD for J-1 students - there are no additional fees for dependents.
You will need to make an appointment at a US Consulate/Embassy to apply for the required F-1/J-1 entry visa. Below are a few helpful links regarding the visa process:
- US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs “Student Visa” website - since the procedure can vary by US Consulate/Embassy, be sure to consult the instructions on your home country’s specific US Embassy or Consulate website.
- US Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the States “Student” website - the “Prepare to Travel to the United States” section will be most helpful, with instructions regarding the visa application process and document preparation for your arrival to the US.
- Exchange Visitor Program Welcome Brochure, published by US Department of State (J-1 students ONLY)
IMPORTANT NOTE: As of March 20, 2020, the US Department of State suspended routine visa services at all US Embassies and Consulates and are unable to provide a specific date they will re-open at this time. We understand that this uncertainty may cause issues or delays for you as you prepare to start your program here at Virginia Tech and we will provide updates as soon as they become available. For the latest updates, please review the “Suspension of Routine Visa Services” memo on the US Department of State’s website.
Once you have obtained your visa and are preparing to make travel arrangments, please note that students who have been issued an "Initial Attendance" Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 cannot enter the US more than 30 days before the program start date listed on their immigration document, so be sure to plan accordingly. Additionally, be sure that you follow all necessary and required precautions while traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. You will need to the confirm the any travel requirements and/or restrictions with your chosen airline(s).
When your travel day comes, make sure that you have the following documents in your carry-on (do not place them in your checked luggage):
- Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
- Evidence of financial support (see Financial Requirements page for more details)
- Evidence of student or exchange visitor status, such as transcripts or admission letter
- Paper receipt for payment of SEVIS I-901 fee (if applicable)
- The name and contact information of your designated school official or program sponsor
You can visit the US Immigration Customs and Enforcement website for more information on what students can expect at a US Port of Entry, as well as information about immigration documents.
Completing the mandatory Immigration Check-In:
All new international students must complete a mandatory immigration check-in process after arrival to the US and/or campus by submitting the Immigration Check-In e-form through the IntlHokies Portal.
Your SEVIS record will be activated only after you complete this mandatory check-in. Failure to check in may result in the de-activation/cancellation of your SEVIS record and could mean you are no longer able to legally stay in the US.
Applying for Social Security Number (SSN):
If you have secured on-campus employment in the form of an assistantship or wage position, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). Before you can go to the Social Security Administrative office to apply, the following steps must be taken:
- Submit the mandatory Immigration Check-In e-form.
- Submit the Social Security Number Letter Request e-form - please note that this e-form cannot be approved until after your Immigration Check-In e-form is submitted and approved.
- Follow the instructions in your approval email regarding how to set up an appointment at the Social Security Administrative office.
To learn more about getting started as a student - from getting your PID, registering for classes, dates and deadlines, housing in Blacksburg, and more - be sure to visit and review the applicable new student guides for undergraduate students (faciliated by New Student and Family Programs) and graduate students (faciliated by the Graduate School).
Below, you will find resources regarding orientation, Immunization History Form and Student Medical Insurance requirements, as well as welcome events and services for new students.
Orientation programs are offered for all new students.
- Orientation for undergraduate students is facilitated by New Student and Family Programs, which you can read more about on their orientation website.
- Orientation for graduate students is facilitated by the Graduate School, which you can read more about on their orientation website.
Individual colleges and/or departments may also hold additional orientation sessions, so please be sure to check with your college and/or department to confirm these additional sessions.
All new students are required to submit a completed Immunization History Form to the Schiffert Health Center. Students who do not comply with this requirement will receive a registration hold on their record.
- Students who are enrolled full-time are encouraged to purchase coverage through Aetna, which provides a plan through Virginia Tech that meets the minimum university requirements (see below).
- Students who choose to purchase a policy not associated with Virginia Tech, however, it must meet the minimum university requirements (see below) and students must submit a waiver to the Student Medicial Insurance office.
Minimum policy requirements for all F-1 students and any accompanying dependents are as follows:
- Adequate provider care within a 50 mile radius of campus of enrollment
- Deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness
- Major medical benefits of at least $500,000 per insured per policy year
- Repatriation and medical evacuation coverage to home country at no less than $10,000
- Pregnancy, childbirth and complications of pregnancy must be treated as any other illness under the policy
- Prescription coverage of no less than $500,000 per insured per policy year
- Mental health care (in- and outpatient) covered as any other illness
- No pre-existing condition exclusions or waiting period
- No limits or internal dollar caps on coverage, including services, treatment or surgery
- Coverage is valid for one year, beginning on August 1st or first day of enrollment in school, and is effective through July 31st of the following year or the last day of the month of the student's graduation
J-1 students and any accompanying dependents must meet the same minimum requirements as outlined for F-1 students, as well as the following additional requirements, as set by the Department of State:
- Major medical benefits per accident or illness: $100,000 (formerly $50,000)
- Medical evacuation: $50,000 (formerly $10,000)
- Repatriation of remains to home country: $25,000 (formerly $7,500)
- Deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
- Coinsurance not to exceed 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness.
Students who do not comply with this requirement will receive a registration hold on their record.
For additional questions regarding this requirement and more information about enrolling in an Aetna plan or submitting a waiver, students may contact the Student Medical Insurance office at +1.540.231.6226 or at email@example.com.
There are many opportunities available to help new international students get acquainted with studying and life in the US and at Virginia Tech. We hope that you will participate in many of these to get to know the university and all of its available services and opportunities. We look forward to welcoming you to Virginia Tech - Go Hokies!
- Undergraduate Welcome Week - Welcome Week is the official opening to the semester and the start of the Virginia Tech academic and co-curricular experience for new Hokies.
- Graduate Welcome Events - Events offered include GTA workshops, Lunch with the Dean, Career Fairs, and more.
- Graduate Life Center - the Graduate Life Center (GLC) brings graduate academics, residence life and community together, providing spaces, services, housing, and programming that meet the unique needs of graduate students.