You need to leave the U.S. before commencing your academic program, obtain an F-1 US Entry Visa while abroad, and re-enter the US in F-1 status.

Steps in detail:

  1. Obtain an I-20 issued by Harrisburg University. Submit a request for the I-20 HERE
  2. Pay the SEVIS fee when you receive the I-20 and use it to apply for the U.S. Entry Visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. The fee is payable at the following website: fmjfee.com.
    • The International Student Office recommends that you apply for the Entry Visa in your country of citizenship or permanent residence.
  3. Upon entry to the U.S., present the I-20, passport, Entry Visa, and SEVIS fee payment confirmation (that can be printed from the fee website) to the immigration inspector.
    • You will receive a Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record (if issued paper I-94), or an entry/admission stamp in your passport (if issued electronic I-94) indicating F-1 status

PLEASE NOTE: Upon arrival in the United States, all F-1 students new to Harrisburg University or beginning programs in F status for the first time

  • Must report to the International Student Office to register their F-1 SEVIS record within 15 days from the program start date listed on the I-20. Complete the Arrival and Check In Procedures HERE
  • The International Student Office will in turn report their arrival to the government through the SEVIS system.
  • Please visit International Student Orientation check-in and orientation schedules.