Office of International Programs and Services

Visa Information

As an International Student, if you have been accepted to a degree or exchange program here at Western Carolina University you will need to be sure you met all the requirements to obtain the correct Visa. Most WCU International Students arrive with an F-1 Visa and in general, only students who are sponsored by their government or by a U.S. government agency are required to obtain a J-1 Visa. Please Note: The forms associated with the F-1 Visa is the Form I-20 and the form associated with the J-1 Visa is the DS-2019.

J-1 Visa applicants must present evidence that the greatest part of their financial support is from some source other than personal funds, whereas F-2 students may be completely supported by personal or family funds.

Learn more about how to obtain your visa, the specific details related to F-1 or J-1 Visa Status as well as additional training options below: 

Obtaining a Visa 
If you have been accepted into a degree or exchange program with Western Carolina University, follow these steps to obtain your Visa.
F-1 Visa Information 
How to maintain, extend, reinstate and find employment under an F-1 Visa which requires you to maintain full-time student status. 
Optional Practical Training 
Work in a job directly related to your field of study. F-1 students can participate during or after the semester.
J-1 Intern 
An internship can give you a bridge between the formal education of university and the practical application of work experience.
J-1 Visa Information 
Details for J-1 Visas which are issued to research scholars, professors, or students sponsored by their government or a U.S government agency.
Curricular Practical Training 
Available for F-1 Students; gain work experience as a part of your course curriculum on a semester basis.

In consultation with Western Carolina University Faculty and Administration, the Office of International Programs and Services (IPS) determines the visa and employment options for international students, scholars, visitors, and employees, which, in turn, permits the greatest benefit and flexibility to WCU and to the individual.

IPS works with federal and state government agencies, international organizations, U.S. and Foreign consular posts, and other entities to obtain appropriate visa documentation for admission to the U.S., authorization for employment, and maintenance of legal status for the WCU international population. In doing so, IPS uses the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to generate and issue the Visa documents needed to enter and study in the USA.

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