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Florida International University

Undergraduate Admissions

Visa Process

International Students who are not on a valid visa for U.S. Study must provide additional documentation for the visa process. The information below should aid students in providing the correct information.


International Student Immigration Document Request Form

As part of the application process international students should complete an International Student Immigration Document Request Form, which provides the information necessary to create a Certificate of Eligibility I-20 or DS-2019. This form is available by download and may be faxed +1 305 348 2100 or emailed to or returned to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions along with your application information. You must provide a copy of your passport to ensure that the information entered into SEVIS and used to create your Form I-20 or DS-2019 is correct. Additionally, if you are currently on a visa please provide a copy of your current visa information. Do not enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 (tourist) visa or visa waiver; students who enter this way are prohibited from enrolling in academic courses and must leave the U.S. to return on the appropriate F-1 or J-1 visa.

Declaration and Certification of Finances

International students are typically on an F-1 visa to pursue U.S. study. In order to receive a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) for the purpose of study, international students are required to submit the Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF) Form. J-1 visa students must also comply with the directions below in order to receive the Form DS-2019. The DCF form will be mailed to the applicant upon receipt of their application, however students can also download the DCF form.

Once completed, please print the form, collect the appropriate signatures and documentation, and mail or submit it electronically to Undergraduate Admissions. The Form I-20 will be issued once the applicant has been admitted to the University and the DCF with appropriate supporting documents has been approved. The University is required by immigration authorities to carefully check the financial resources of each applicant prior to issuing the Form I-20/DS-2019. Failure to comply with requirements may delay your date of entry.

Please Note: We prefer all bank, scholarship, and sponsor letters supporting the DCF form to be originals with original signatures specifying the amount of the funding available. You may submit copies, scans or faxes, but be aware that the Consulate will require original financial information which matches the information on the I-20 or DS-2019 during the visa appointment. Submitting inadequate or falsified information will jeopardize the issuance of the student visa. Letters must be current; documents must not be more than 6 months older than the expected entry date. 

Cost of Attendance

The DCF must reflect the annual estimated cost of undergraduate attendance as stated below. If you are admitted to summer you must show support which reflects the cost of summer attendance as well as the annual cost of the full academic year.

2015-2016 Annual Estimate of Undergraduate Costs


Academic Year


Total Cost


Fall & Spring Semesters

(15 credit hours each semester)

Summer Session

(12 credit hours)


Tuition and Fees




Living Expenses




Books & Supplies




Medical Insurance








Annual estimate of costs are based on the 2015 – 2016 Financial Aid Student Budgets. Tuition and fees are subject to change. International students must be enrolled full-time to maintain their visa status. Full-time undergraduate enrollment is at least 12 credit hours per semester. Students who are admitted in the summer semester must enroll full time. A student admitted to Summer C must enroll in 12 credit hours, while a student admitted to Summer B must enroll for 6 credit hours.

Living expenses are estimated at $1,678.66 per month to cover room, clothing, public transportation and incidentals. Room costs are based on shared on-campus accommodations. Costs for private accommodations off-campus are significantly higher. Students should be aware that often the first month’s rent is higher to fund security deposit, upfront rent, electricity, water and telephone. It is estimated that at least twice the normal monthly amount is needed for the first month to cover deposits and settling in expenses.

Students who will be living with a parent or sponsor may calculate the cost of maintenance at $999.11 per month to cover room & board, transportation and personal expenses. The cost of Fall and Spring is $8,992, while Summer is $2,997. The student must present a notarized, by U.S. Notary Public, a Room & Board Letter in order to provide a reduced DCF form.

Please be aware current F-1/J-1 students may not sponsor other F-1/J-1 students.


Medical Insurance

All international students are required to carry medical insurance which meets University requirements. A policy is available for purchase online on the Student Health Services website. Health insurance coverage for a full year, August 17, 2015 to August 16, 2016, is $2,403. Students admitted into summer pay an additional premium for summer only medical insurance, otherwise insurance premium are paid on an annual basis and cover Fall term – Summer term.

Current F-1 or J-1 Student Visa Holders

If you are currently holding an F-1 or J-1 student visa and plan to transfer from another U.S. institution to FIU you must also submit a DCF with supporting documents as indicated above. Additionally your current institution must release your SEVIS record to FIU before your new Form I-20/DS-2019 will be issued. Therefore, you need to complete the top section of the F-1 Undergraduate Student Transfer Form and have the international student advisor at your current/previous school complete the bottom section. Once we have receive the form and your SEVIS record has been released, we will begin the process to issue a new Form I-20/DS-2019.

Please be aware this process takes a few days; information in SEVIS must be electronically forwarded to FIU before issuance of the new Form I-20/DS-2019 will be possible. Your SEVIS record will only be released at the end of the term in which you are currently enrolled.

Please do not plan any international travel without making appropriate arrangements for securing your new I-20/DS-2019 in advance. A minimum of one full week processing time is needed for your I-20/DS-2019 to be ready. You must use our courier service, described below, or pick up your I-20/DS-2019 at the Undergraduate Admissions Office if you require your I-20/DS-2019 within a week after being released from your current institution. The Office of Admissions cannot guarantee faster processing time.


Married Students

A married student who plans to bring his/her dependent(s) to the U.S. will require additional financial support to cover the dependents. The additional financial support should be reflected on the student’s DCF form in the amount of $6,000 for his/her spouse and $4,000 for each child. Additional insurance for the family of F-1 students is optional but highly recommended. Medical insurance is required for all J-2 dependents. F-2 dependents are not permitted to work or enroll in classes.

Courier Service

To ensure quick and reliable delivery of your documents to FIU or to receive your Form I-20 or DS-2019, please utilize our courier, University Express Mail Service: Students who do not choose to use this courier may arrange to pick up or request someone to pick up their Form I-20/DS-2019 on their behalf, otherwise documents will be sent by United State Postal Service to the address included on the International Student Immigration Document Request Form and may take two weeks to be delivered.

Pick-up Form

Students interested in picking up their documents or having their documents picked up by a third party should complete the Pick-up Request Form. Identification is necessary in order to release the documents, so please make sure to have a Panther ID, Driver’s License or Passport for picking up documents.

Next Steps

Once you receive your Form I-20/DS-2019 you should proceed to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee, schedule an appointment at a U.S. embassy or consulate and apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa. Do not enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 (tourist) visa or visa waiver; students who enter this way are prohibited from enrolling in academic courses. Students will be required to leave the U.S. and reenter on the appropriate F-1 or J-1 visa at their own cost. For more information on the Next Steps refer to the pre-arrival information provided by International Student and Scholar Services.

“CADIVI Letter”

Venezuelan students requiring their funds to be released via CADIVI may request a CADIVI Letter. CADIVI wire transfers will be applied to the appropriate student’s account to cover tuition and fees for the term according to the certification of cost of attendance provide by Enrollment Services/Office of International Student and Scholar Services. Any excess funds released to FIU by CADIVI will be returned by CADIVI.

Mailing Address

Original documents should be sent to the following address:

Florida International University
Office of Undergraduate Admission
P.O. Box 659003
Miami, FL 33265-9003

If you are sending documents by courier please use:

Florida International University
Office of Undergraduate Admission
11200 SW 8th Street, PC 140
Miami, FL 33199

International students should utilize our courier, University Express Mail Service: This courier allows students to send and receive documents from the university.

More information

International Student Requirements are available at the link to the right or if you need additional international information you can contact us at +1 305 348 2363 or email