Eligibility for I-20 Issuance
A. Student Must Enroll Full-time
Unfortunately, not all of Eastern’s programs fit the F-1 visa regulations for full-time enrollment, so not all programs can take international students. To be eligible to receive international students, the academic program must meet the following standards:
Undergraduate programs – Student must enroll in at least 12 credit hours per term, in a traditional semester or trimester delivery. Cohort programs are not acceptable.
Graduate programs - Cohort programs are acceptable. The student must enroll in continuous, consecutive terms and complete the equivalent of at least 9 credits per semester or 18 credits per academic year.
- Residency-based graduate programs must meet at least once every four months. International students may commute in and out of the U.S. for residency periods, but must do so in F-1 visa status.
Palmer Seminary degree programs - at least 16 units per academic year.
IESL Programs – Student must enroll full-time in the intensive program, which runs five days per week, or in bridge programs as they are structured. Regular attendance is required for successful completion.
In all cases, the student must remain continuously enrolled in consecutive terms. Doctoral programs may include time for research and dissertation writing even if the student is not carrying a specific number of credits, but the student must complete the degree in the appropriate amount of time considered equivalent to full-time. Only one on-line course per term can count toward full-time enrollment.
Students who are here in the U.S. on other types of non-immigrant visas which permit study, may enroll in any Eastern program as long as they otherwise maintain their visa status.
Programs such as the MA in Clinical Counseling or the M.Ed in School Health Services are geared toward PA certification, which is limited to citizens and permanent residents. These programs, although full-time, are not practical for international students.
On-line programs are not eligible for I-20 or DS-2019 issuance.
B. Student Must Complete All Admissions Requirements, including international credential evaluation and English proficiency, and be Accepted to Their Degree Program.
Student who don’t make the minimum English proficiency score on a standardized test (TOEFL or IELTS), or who choose not to present the TOEFL or IELTS, may opt to start in the IESL program. Upon successful completion of IESL, they will enter their degree program. Start by applying online to the program of your choice.
C. Student Must Certify Sufficient Finances
The F-1 visa application requires documentation of adequate finances to pay both academic expenses like tuition, AND living expenses like room and board. Click here for instructions on how to document finances. A statement of financial support form is used for this purpose. Please note that employment may not be considered as financial support because the F-1 visa restricts employment to on-campus jobs. Eastern University cannot guarantee on-campus jobs for F-1 students. Do not think you can pay your way by working in the U.S., because the student visa does not permit this.
D. Student Must Submit the Required Health Forms
All F-1 international students must take the student health insurance plan. Please go to the Student Health Center page to download the forms. Forms must be submitted prior to I-20 issuance.