The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has authorized Longwood to issue visa documents appropriate for the F-1 non-immigration student status.
Following application to a full-time degree-seeking program, the Admissions Office reviews the academic status, financial qualifications, and English language proficiency of the applicant to determine if all admissions requirements are met. If so, the applicant will receive a formal letter of acceptance. The student must then pay the deposit ($400) indicating their intent to enroll. A Certification of Eligibility (I-20 or IAP-66) is issued to the student who has shown intent to enroll. The Certificate of Eligibility must be presented to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate along with a passport, the Longwood acceptance letter, and proof of payment of SEVIS I-901 Fee. Check Embassy or Consulate website for additional requirements.
Most students who enter the U.S. use an F-1 visa. The J-1 visa is appropriate for exchange students receiving a significant portion of their financial support from a government agency of their country, international foundation, or other educational sponsors. Students in the U.S. on F-1 or J-1 status must maintain a schedule of full-time study during the fall and spring semesters, and must report to the institution that issued the Certificate of Eligibility. Transfer from one college/university to another requires authorization from the new college/university. A prospective international student must have a current, valid, and legal non-immigration status before he/she can be offered final admission to Longwood. Do not plan to enter the U.S. on the tourist B-2 visa if you wish to pursue a full course of academic study. Transfer from the B-2 to the F-1 is very difficult, unless the B-2 is stamped "Prospective Student."
All non-immigrant visas carry restrictions about employment and the length of stay in the U.S. Read the Certificate of Eligibility carefully. You must be willing and able to abide by regulations for your visa status. The Admissions Office is informed on INS policies; however, the student has ultimate responsibility to follow new policies and to maintain valid status.