Texas A&M University-Kingsville

International students who currently reside outside the U.S.

Most students enter the United States in F-1 student status to be enrolled in a full-time degree program. A Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for an F-1 student visa) is issued to students by Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) for entry into the United States. Dependents of an F-1 visa holder are classified as F-2, and are not permitted to seek employment in the U.S.

Some students enter the U.S. in J-1 student status. The J-1 visa is administered by the Department of State and is used for a variety of educational purposes. The DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for a J-1 visa) may be issued to a student with a scholarship, either by a sponsoring agency or organization or by TAMUK. Dependents of a J-1 visa holder are classified as J-2, and may apply for permission to work in the U.S.

If you reside outside the U.S., International Admission at TAMUK will mail the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019), with the official letter of acceptance, after you have submitted the required evidence of financial support and meet all admission requirements. The Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019) must be presented at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your home country when applying for your F-1 or J-1 student visa, together with your unexpired passport and evidence of financial support.

If you do not receive the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, do NOT enter the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 tourist visa. If you enter the US on a tourist visa, a change to F-1 student status will not be possible after you are in the U.S. If it is absolutely necessary for you to enter the U.S. prior to receiving the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, you should request at the U.S. Consulate that “prospective student” be noted on the B-1/B-2 visa to make a change of status easier to obtain. Do NOT enter the U.S. on the visa waiver program! You will be required to leave the United States to change your status!


The SEVIS fee is required for all F-1 and J-1 nonimmigrants who come to the U.S. for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at institutions such as colleges, universities, and language training programs, as well as, exchange programs. It is normally a one-time fee, with a few exceptions, which are discussed on the following link.

Sevis Fee

Last Updated: 2/6/08

This page was last updated on: February 12, 2014