Next Steps to Enroll

Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Cincinnati! From all of us at UC International, we can't wait to welcome you into our global Bearcat family.

Confirm your admission

Once you've been accepted to a program, confirm your admission. 

  • Undergraduate students can confirm online
  • Graduate students will receive instructions on confirming their admission from their department.

If you are admitted into one of our distance learning programs, you will not be able to obtain a visa to enter the United States.

Email to confirm that you have been admitted to a distance learning program and that you will be studying in your home country.

If you are a non-immigrant visa holder (E-2, H-4, L-2, etc) you are allowed to study on that status. Email for instructions.

Set up your UC email and get your UCID number

Once you've committed to the University of Cincinnati, you will need your UCID number. You will also need to set up your UC email and check it often for updates.

Submit sources of financial support

International students are required to submit documents showing their financial support using an eForm on iBearcatsGlobal, UC International's online system for international students.

You must demonstrate that you have financial support for all years of study for your degree.

  • Check our estimated expenses page to determine the amount you have to certify. 
  • There is no deadline for submitting financial certification forms, but you will not be issued a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 / DS-2019) until they are received. 
  • Submit your financial documents as soon as possible, but no sooner than 6 months prior to your start date at UC.

If you plan on having accompanying dependents (spouse / children) in F-2 or J-2 status, provide biographical and immigration information regarding those dependents using the Add a New Dependent eForm found at iBearcatsGlobal. Each dependent will then receive his/her own I-20 or DS-2019 to apply for their visa.

Receive I-20 or DS-2019

After you submit your financial certification form, you will be mailed a Certificate of Eligibility. You need this document to apply for your visa.

  • F-1 students will receive an I-20
  • J-1 students will receive a DS-2019

You will receive periodic email updates on the status of your I-20 or DS-2019. Upon admission to UC, you will receive an email from us indicating what documents, if any, are missing. When your documents have been mailed, you will receive an email letting you know when and where they have been mailed.

UC International recommends having your I-20 / DS-2019 sent by express mail. Regular mail overseas takes 4 - 6 weeks.

To request express mail service, go to We have discounted express mail rates negotiated with DHL and FedEx through eshipglobal. Do not go through the DHL or FedEx websites directly.

Our office will be notified once you have requested a shipment. If you have issues registering and processing a shipment, please use the website "Help" section for instructions. If you have additional questions, email

Pay the SEVIS fee

Before you can apply for a visa, you must pay a SEVIS fee to the US Department of Homeland Security. Read all the instructions before paying the fee.

  • The SEVIS fee can be paid by credit card over the internet, by check, or by money order by mail.
  • If you are applying for F-1 status, the SEVIS fee is $350.
  • If you are applying for J-1 status, the SEVIS fee is $220.

The fee must be paid at least three business days prior to the scheduled date of your interview in order for the payment information to show up on the SEVIS system. Bring your I-901 receipt with you to your visa interview. A paper receipt can be used as verification in place of the internet verification.

In order to complete your SEVIS fee form, you will need your I-20 or DS-2019 and the University of Cincinnati's School Code. Our school codes are:

  • CLE214F10355000 for F-1 students with an I-20
  • P-1-00733 for J-1 students/scholars with a DS-2019

DHS allows you or anyone else to pay your SEVIS fee using a credit card, Western Union, or by check/money order. 

We strongly recommend paying by credit card if possible. After paying the fee, print out the payment screen as verification. Take this payment verification with you to your visa interview.

If you are from one of the following countries, you cannot pay with a credit card:

  • Cameroon
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria

If you live in a country where Western Union offers its "Quick Pay" service, you can pay the SEVIS fee using the company.

  • You will still fill out the Form I-901 online and take a payment coupon to Western Union to complete the transaction.
  • Bring your online payment confirmation to your visa interview. 

More instructions are available on the SEVIS website.

When paying by check or money order, there are two options:

  1. Internet-generated coupon
    Students & scholars can go to the fee payment website, enter basic information, print out a coupon, and then mail a check or money order. Once the information and fee are processed, SEVIS will be updated with the fee payment information.

  2. Paper option
    Students & scholars can download or obtain Form I-901, fill it in, and mail it with a check or money order. Once the information and fee are processed, SEVIS will be updated with the fee payment information.

All checks and money orders must be made payable to the "I-901 Student/Exchange Visitor Processing Fee." The check or money order must be made in US dollars and drawn on a bank located in the US. You will receive a receipt notice when the fee is processed.

You need to pay the SEVIS fee if:

  • You are seeking an F-1 or J-1 visa for initial attendance at a university or initial participation in an exchange program. The fee must be paid before applying for the visa.
  • You will enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status, but are not required to have a visa. The fee must be paid before you apply for admission to the US.
  • You are applying for a change of status to F-1 or J-1. The fee must be paid before you submit your change of status application.

You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee if:

  • You are an F-2 or J-2 dependent.
  • You are a J-1 participant in an exchange program sponsored by the US government.
  • You are transferring to another school, program, or program category.
  • You are requesting an extension.
  • You paid the fee, your application for a visa was denied and, within 12 months of the denial, you re-apply for the same status.

If you have been accepted to more than one institution and paid the fee using the SEVIS ID number of another institution, but you wish to attend UC, you will not have to pay the fee again.

Bring the I-20 or DS-2019 of both the schools to the consulate or port-of-entry and tell the officer you will be a student or scholar at the University of Cincinnati.

Apply for a visa

Once you have confirmed your admission, received your I-20 or DS-2019 and paid the SEVIS fee, you can apply for your student visa. You can apply at any US consulate or embassy, but it may be more difficult outside of your country.

Appointments are mandatory for all visas, and some US embassies and consulates require appointments to be made at least four to eight weeks in advance. Apply for your visa well before the date you would like to depart for Cincinnati so you can arrive in time to begin your program.

  • Passport
  • Required photo(s)
  • Visa fee or proof of visa fee payment
  • SEVIS fee payment receipt
  • U.S. nonimmigrant visa application forms (unless you will completing it at the consulate or embassy)
  • University of Cincinnati admission letter or departmental invitation letter
  • University of Cincinnati I-20 or DS-2019
  • Test scores and academic records
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Proof of financial support (if applicable)
  • Evidence of ties to your home country
  • Any other documents required by the embassy or consulate

US law states that F and J visas may be given only to persons who intend to be in the US temporarily. You must prove that you intend to return to your country after completing your program. Follow these tips:

  • Show a definite academic or professional objective. You must know what you are going to study and where it will lead. Be ready to say what you want to study, what kind of career it will prepare you for in your home country and why it is better for you to study in the US than at home.
  • Show that you are qualified for the program.
  • Be definite about your choice of schools. If you are not certain that you want to study at the University of Cincinnati, you will not get a visa.
  • Show adequate financing and have documents to prove it. You may not plan to use employment as support while you are in the US.
  • Remain calm and impersonal when speaking to the consular officer. Do not try to negotiate or discuss personal matters.
  • Do not emphasize any ties you may have to the United States or to family members in the United States. 

US government officials are convinced more easily by written documents than by spoken statements. When possible, show your connections to your home country.

  • Your visa application, if at least part of your financial support comes from your home country.
  • If your family owns property, take the deeds.
  • If you have a brother or sister who studied in the US and then returned home, take a copy of the brother’s or sister’s diploma and a statement  showing that they have returned home.
  • If possible, show that an individual or company in your home country will give you a job when you return. If you cannot get a promise of a job, get a letter saying that you will be considered for a job.
  • If your family owns a business, take letters from a bank describing the business.

If you have been accepted, congratulations!

Most UC students and scholars will be successful in obtaining their visas, but a small number have their visa applications denied. The visa officer must verbally inform you of the reason for the visa denial.

If your visa is denied, email UC International at Provide the date and location of your visa interview, and the reason given by the visa officer for the denial. We will help you reapply or determine your next steps.

You may reapply for a visa within 12 months without having to pay the SEVIS fee again.

Complete the pre-arrival checklist