Pre-Departure

Please click on the links below for important information regarding your student visa and travel requirements.

Fall 2020 Admitted Students

Newly admitted and transfer students who are already in the U.S. can remain in the country and maintain F-1 status while completing a full course load online in the Fall 2020 semester.

    •  Students must complete Passport Verification (PPV) before OIS can activate their SEVIS record. Students should not depart the U.S. before their SEVIS record has been activated.

New students, transfer students with an initial attendance or transfer pending I-20 who are currently outside the U.S. are not eligible to enter the U.S. and enroll in 100% online classes. USC is moving to 100% online instruction for most students.

These students have two options for the Fall 2020 semester:

    • Begin their studies from abroad as a non-F-1 student
      • New and transfer students should contact their academic department to notify them of their plans online. New I-20s with Spring 2021 start dates will be re-issued in August.
    • Contact their admissions or academic advisor to inquire about the possibility of postponing their studies to a future semester.

Understanding F and J Visas

In order for international students to study at USC, they need to have a valid non-immigrant visa status. Most international students admitted to USC obtain F-1 or J-1 visas. More information about the F and J visas is available on this page.

Student Visa Application Process

This section provides detailed instructions on the student visa application process.

Transfer Students

F-1 students who are currently in the US and are transferring their SEVIS records from their previous school to USC must review the information provided on this page.

Planning for Departure

Before departing for the US, it is important for students to inform all concerned parties of arrival plans and update them regularly. Continue on to the next page for some helpful pre-departure tips.

Additional Resources for New Students