The Student Visa Process

Babson College provides student immigration documents for students who have been admitted into a full-time program.

To enter the United States for educational purposes, most full-time undergraduate and graduate international students obtain a Form I-20, receive an F-1 student entry visa, and enter the United States in F-1 student immigration status. J-1 Status may be an alternative to F-1 status for certain degree-seeking students who meet the qualifications for J-1 status. View the Comparing F-1 and J-1 Status page for additional details and email if you wish to pursue J-1 status.

Exchange students coming to Babson for a semester or academic year through partner institutions will receive separate instructions for obtaining a Form DS-2019 for their J-1 visa process.

Degree-seeking students should follow the steps outlined below upon acceptance/deposit. The Glavin Office will typically begin processing immigration document requests once an individual is about four months from the start date of an academic program. Students must have made their first deposit, met all conditions for admission, and have an active Babson email before the document can be issued.

U.S. Visa Policy and Procedure Planning

120 Days: The earliest an F-1  student can obtain a visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy

30 Days: The earliest a student can enter the U.S. (based on program start date)

Two Weeks: Estimated processing time for Form I-20/Form DS-2019 issuance

Our online Form I-20/DS-2019 request will provide you with additional information and prompt you for specific documents based on your individual situation. Below are recommended documents to have ready before starting the request to expedite the amount of time it takes you to complete the request. 

  • Passport identification and expiration page(s)
  • Evidence of funding
    • review this important page to determine what types of financial documents are accepted. The request will present the exact amount you need to document for your program/situation. 
  • If applicable:
    • Passport identification page(s) for any dependent family member(s)
    • Students on an F-1 visa who will transfer their immigration record to Babson will need to submit their current entry visa (even if expired) and Form I-20
      • Visit our Transfer to Babson page for more information
      • Additionally, students in a period of OPT will need to submit a copy of their EAD (OPT approval card)
    • Individuals in the U.S. in a visa category other than F-1 or J-1 will need to submit a copy of their current entry visa
  • Request a Form I-20 >> from Babson College
    • Exchange students receive separate information about requesting their Form DS-2019 for J-1 status
  • Once your request is complete, your Form I-20/Form DS-2019 will be issued within two weeks. Please do not contact ISSS within the two-week processing window. If more information is needed, you will receive an email.
    • Form I-20s will be issued electronically and emailed emailed to students at their Babson email. Make sure your Babson account has been activated to prevent delays. Upon receipt, Form I-20s should be printed, signed, and used for the student visa process and entry to the U.S. 
    • Form DS-2019s will be mailed via DHL

Follow the detailed instructions on paying the SEVIS fee. Students not already in F-1 or J-1 status must pay this fee before starting the visa application process. Make sure to keep proof of payment for your records. The SEVIS fee does not need to be paid for F2/J2 dependents.

Security note: Be aware of scams and fraud sites. The SEVIS fee should only be paid through the site. 

  • Apply for your visa as early as possible after receiving your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. Make sure you have paid the SEVIS Fee prior to your visa appointment.
  • Specific instructions on scheduling an interview at your local U.S consulate/embassy can be found on the specific consulate/embassy's website.
    • Some individuals may qualify for a waiver of the visa interview through the end of 2022. A visa application is still required and procedures should be followed based on local embassy/consulate instructions.
    • If needed, follow local office procedures for scheduling an emergency appointment after scheduling an initial interview date (based on your program start date listed on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019)
    • You may consider exploring the option to apply in another country (as a "third national" but will need to explore eligibility and procedures at that specific U.S. Embassy or Consulate
  • Report your visa appointment information (even if unable to schedule an appointment) and provide updates throughout the process using Babson's Visa Reporting Tool (at the bottom of this webpage). 
  • Prepare for your appointment/interview using the information and videos found on the 10 Points to Remember page.
Canadian or Bermudian citizens are not required to apply for an F-1/J-1 entry visa but must still pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and request entry in F-1 or J-1 status (as applicable) upon arrival to the U.S. Port of Entry (land or air).

Confirm with the consulate/embassy what documentation is required. Below is a general checklist:

    • Passport valid at least six months into the future
    • Printed Babson Form I-20 or Original Form DS-2019 (with your signature on page 1)
    • Proof of admission to Babson (letter demonstrating your full admission without conditions)
    • Completed and signed visa application form(s)
    • Photograph(s) in the prescribed format
    • Receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee payment
    • Receipt of visa fee(s) payment
    • Evidence of funding sufficient to cover your tuition and living expenses during the first year of your program
    • Any information that proves that you will return to your home country after finishing your studies in the U.S (non-immigrant intent). This may include proof of property, family, or other ties to your community.

Again, prepare for your interview using the information and videos found on the 10 Points to Remember page and update information using the Babson Visa Reporting Tool once you receive a decision.

Note: An entry visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request permission from the U.S. immigration officer to enter the U.S. It does not automatically guarantee entry into the U.S.

Note: Students who had their immigration record transferred from another U.S. school do not need to depart/re-enter the U.S. between programs.

  • Orientation schedules vary by program and will be communicated from other Babson offices. New international students will receive an invitation for the online International Student Orientation course in Canvas. 
  • You are required to check in with the Glavin Office upon arrival to the U.S. as part of New International Student Check-in

Babson Visa Reporting Tool

All incoming F-1 or J-1 students should use our simple form to initially report and provide ongoing updates related to their U.S. visa application progress and their planned U.S. arrival information. Log in with your Babson credentials.