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F-1 and J-1 Students

CSUSB defines an international student as someone who is enrolled in classes and holds an F-1 (student), or J-1 (exchange visitor) visa or a dependent visa such as F-2* or J-2 sponsored by CSUSB.

*F-2 spouses may not engage in a full course of study. To engage in a full course of study, an F-2 spouse must apply for and be granted an F-1 visa status.

For other visa types allowed to study in the U.S. for incidental purposes, please refer to the Non-Immigrants: Who Can Study? chart maintained by the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Immigration Regulations

It is students' responsibility to be familiar with the governing immigration requirements for their visa.  International students must maintain full-time enrollment each term, registering for at least 12 units for undergraduates and 6 units for graduates. In addition, students must:

  1. Keep a valid passport at all times;
  2. Attend CSUSB as noted on the Form I-20 or Form DS 2019;
  3. Report any program changes in a timely manner; and
  4. Maintain full-time enrollment.

F-1 and J-1 Student FAQs

What Is a degree seeking F-1 student?

Most international students attending CSUSB are on F-1 visas.  The F-1 status is for students pursuing a full-course of study in a bachelor’s or master's program. 

The F-1 status is a non-immigrant, full-time student visa that allows foreign nationals to pursue education in the U.S. When an applicant is accepted into an academic program at CSUSB, the International Admissions office will issue a Form I-20 which lists student's program and biographical information.  For additional questions on receiving your initial I-20 from CSUSB, please contact International Admissions at The Form I-20 is used to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate.  For additional information on how to apply for an F-1 visa, please contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate nearest to you.

Once you start your academic program at CSUSB, Center for International Studies and Programs (CISP) staff help to maintain students' immigration status. For more details, visit

What is a non-degree seeking F-1 student?

The purpose of the F-1 visa's non-degree category is for students who are not enrolled in a degree program.  Students are required to adhere to all the F-1 regulations to maintain valid immigration status including enrolling in at least 12 units for undergraduate programs or studying fulltime in the Study in the USA (SUSA), English Language Program (ELP), or Academic Pathway Programs (APP).

What is a degree seeking J-1 student?

Students seeking to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree from CSUSB who are issued the Form DS-2019 and obtain a J-1 visa through the U.S. Department of State.

What is a non-degree seeking J-1 student?

This visa type is for students seeking to enroll in a full course of study for a limited duration (i.e., one or two semesters) without obtaining a CSUSB degree. J-1 non-degree seeking students can study for up to 12 months. Non-degree students cannot matriculate into a degree seeking program and are considered "transitory" students at CSUSB.

The Education Abroad team can confirm that there is an exchange or study abroad agreement between CSUSB and your home institution.

To apply as a J-1 student visit the International Admissions website and click on Non-Degree Seeking (Transitory).

What are dependent visas?

F-2 and J-2 dependent visas are available to students' spouses or children under the age 21. 

What is a transitory (visiting) student?

Transitory – visiting -- students usually attend CSUSB under the F-1 non-degree or J-1 non-degree visa category.

What Should I Know About Sevis Fees

Once an I-20 (F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (J-1 visa) is issued, students must schedule an interview at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee prior to a visa interview.  To confirm costs, please visit

SEVIS I-901 fees can be paid directly on the SEVIS fee website. You can also watch a how-to video on paying the I-901 SEVIS fee at

For more information on SEVIS fees please visit the Study in the States website at