Office of International Student & Scholar Services

New Students

New Students

Congratulations on your admission to Texas A&M University-Kingsville! We are confident that you made the right decision to pursue your studies with us and be part of an academic community recognized around the world.

After you have been admitted to the University, OISSS will be notified and will contact you to provide instructions on how to request your certificate of eligibility for the either the F-1 student visa or J-1 student visa. Once OISSS has all the information and documents required, the OISSS will issue form I-20 or DS-2019 to you. Please review it immediately upon receiving the form. If you find an error, please contact our office immediately, so we may correct the situation.  EducationUSA has a good interactive video answering many questions you may have.  Institute of International Education (IIE) has also convened a call with U.S. Department of State officials on what students must know about applying for a F1 visa to study in the United States.  Listen to the call here. If possible, we recommend viewing both, as they each contain different Q&A’s regarding the visa process.

Once you have received your immigration documents and reviewed them, the next step is to schedule an appointment with the US Consulate for your visa application. If you are not sure which US Embassy or Consulate is closest to you, please visit the US Department of State website for a list of US missions around the world:  Once you find the U.S. Consulate closest to you, please visit the “visa” section of the website to learn about the required procedures for setting an appointment and how to prepare for your interview.  It may be useful for you to read the NAFSA Travel Subcommittee's widely used 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa document prior to your visa interview.

All new international students applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at least three business days prior to their visa interview. You may find more information on the I-901 SEVIS Fee, as well as how to pay, by visiting   If you are a Canadian citizen, although you do not need an F-1 or J-1 visa to enter the US, you are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at least three business days prior to your entry into the US.

As a new international student, you are permitted to enter the US no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019. The start date can be found in Section 5 of your I-20, or Section 3 of your DS-2019. When purchasing your air ticket, it is important to keep these dates in mind as you may be denied entry should you arrive in the US prior to that 30-day period. While your schedules may vary, you are encouraged to come to Kingsville as early as possible to obtain housing, register for courses, complete the necessary paperwork for on-campus employment, if applicable, and to become familiar with your new surroundings.  In general, we recommend that you try to arrive at least 15 days before the start date listed on your I-20/DS-2019.  Your academic department may have orientation activities that occur in the week(s) leading up to the beginning of the semester, so it is important that you know what activities you are expected to participate in.

Upon your arrival at our campus, please be sure to check in with OISSS immediately.