Student Visa Information

Getting Your Student Visa for Study at MSU Law

First-Time Visa Applicants

Upon admission, students will be emailed instructions on how to complete the I-20 application in the Online Application Portal. The I-20 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, our office will work with the student so that the proper paperwork is made available.

Students will need to provide the following items to complete the I-20 application process:

  • I-20 Application - This application is found in the Online Application Portal.
  • A copy of the passport identification page
  • Proof of financial ability to pay for the program -A crucial part of acquiring an I-20 is showing that student, has adequate funding to pay for their studies. Incoming students must show that they have funds available to afford the budget for the first year and the ability to raise the funds needed for subsequent years.
  • Sponsor Affidavit Form - If someone other than the student is paying for all or part of their costs a Sponsor Affidavit Form (PDF) must be completed. If the sponsor is a government or business, a financial guarantee or letter affirming payment must be included.

After funding documents are submitted to 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. Canadian students will not have to obtain an F-1 visa but will have to present their I-20 at the border.

Transferring an I-20

Students who are currently in F-1 student status must request that their current school transfer their SEVIS record to MSU College of Law before they can begin full-time studies.

Benefits of a SEVIS Transfer:

  • Do not have to pay the $200 SEVIS fee again
  • Can remain the U.S. in between your programs
  • Will maintain the same SEVIS ID number

SEVIS Transfer Situations:

  • Completing a program at one school and beginning studies at MSU Law
  • Transferring from another school to MSU Law
  • Currently participating in OPT and will begin studies at MSU Law

SEVIS Transfer Eligibility:

  • Must be currently maintaining F-1 status
  • Have an offer of admission from MSU Law
  • If already graduated or completed OPT, must still be within the 60-day grace period
  • The start of classes are within five months of the SEVIS transfer date

Steps to complete a SEVIS Transfer:

1) Complete the Transfer-In Form (PDF) along with the rest of the I-20 application requirements

2) Decide on a Transfer-In Date

3) Request that your current school release your record in SEVIS. Once that record has been electronically transferred, MSU Law will be able to issue the I-20

Please be aware that if you intend to travel outside the United States after your Transfer-In Date you must re-enter the United States on the MSU Law I-20.

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 coordinator for more information by emailing OGIP@law.msu.edu.