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Visa Information

Getting Your Student Visa for Study at MSU Law

First-Time Visa Applicants

Upon admission, students will be mailed the documentation necessary to apply for an I-20, which is essentially the invitation from MSU Law necessary to apply for an F-1 student visa. If a different type of student/scholar visa is needed, please notify the Office of Graduate and International Programs so that the proper paperwork is made available.

Students will need to show proof of funding for their studies as well as living expenses in a total amount of $44,010. This represents 24 credit hours of classes and living expenses for a one-year period. Proof may be shown in the form of bank statements, a letter from a government or agency sponsor, or other means. Students must provide additional funding proof if they are bringing a spouse and/or other dependents into the country during their studies.

After visa documents are submitted MSU Law, students will receive an I-20 in the mail. Students must take the I-20 to their local consulate/embassy for an interview, at which time students will be granted or denied an F-1 student visa or asked to provide additional information.

Transferring an I-20 or DS-2019 or Changing a Visa Status

Students who are transferring to Michigan State University College of Law from another school in the United States (high school, community college, university, or technical school, etc.) and are seeking an I-20 or a DS-2019, please follow these steps to obtain a new I-20 or DS-2019.

1) MSU Law cannot issue an I-20 or DS-2019 until a student's current school has released his or her record in SEVIS. Students must work with their current school to ensure electronic transfer of their SEVIS record. Once that record has been electronically transferred, MSU will issue the immigration document.

Each student and his or her current school are required to complete the Transfer In form in order to process his or her transfer to MSU.

2) Students who ask for an immigration document that DOES NOT correspond to their current visa status must change their visa status. ISSUING AN I-20 or a DS-2019 DOCUMENT DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY CHANGE STATUS TO AN F-1 or J-1 STUDENT.

To obtain F-1 or J-1 status:
• leave the United States with the MSU Law I-20 or DS-2019 and re-enter AFTER having obtained the required VISA Stamp at a U.S. consulate OUTSIDE of the United States.


  • apply for a change of status within the United States. This is a lengthy process and in some cases a student cannot begin school until he or she been officially granted the Change of Status. In all cases, students cannot begin work or an assistantship. If the change of status is approved, the student then seeks the appropriate visa stamp at a U.S. consulate on his or her next trip outside of the Unites States. Please consult OISS for more information.

3) If a student intends to travel outside the United States after he or she has transferred out of his or her current school and before he or she receives the MSU Law I-20 or DS-2019 he or she MUST re-enter the United States on the MSU Law I-20 or DS-2019. In this case students must get in touch with the OISS to provide them with an overseas mailing address so their documents can be sent to them. MSU Law will charge students for the cost of the express mail service so please be ready to provide credit card details.

Seeking a New Visa Status

If a student's visa type is NOT currently F-1 or J-1 and he or she is asking for an I-20 or a DS-2019 to be issued, that student will need to change your visa status. REMEMBER THAT OBTAINING THE I-20 or DS-2019 is only the first step in this process, FURTHER ACTION IS NEEDED TO BECOME AN F-1 or a J-1 student. Please consult the College of Law SEVIS Designated Officials for more information by emailing

Students who are A J-1 in the scholar or researcher category and would like to enroll at MSU Law, please consult MSU Law's SEVIS Designated officials for more information by emailing

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