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First, apply for academic admission to the degree program of your choice by the posted deadlines. Georgia State admits all academically qualified undergraduate students, regardless of immigration status. However, ISSS is not involved in the application process or admission decisions.
|Fall Semester||Starts in August|
|Spring Semester||Starts in January|
|Summer Semester||Starts in June|
Associate Degree Programs
Bachelor Degree Programs
- Contact: Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Graduate Degree Programs
- Contact: The Graduate School.
- Graduate Programs lead to Masters and PhD level degrees. Unique admissions requirements and deadlines are indicated on their websites.
Exchange Program Options
- Contact: Program Coordinators of the exchange agreement of interest to you.
Next, after academic acceptance, our International Admissions Coordinator in ISSS will contact you about your I-20 or DS-2019.
- You’ll be directed to upload required documentation via an online system called “iStart.”
- After all required documentation is uploaded and your file is complete, your form I-20 or DS-2019 will be processed and sent to you in the manner that you select.
- When you receive your I-20 or DS-2019, then you can apply for a Visa in your home country.
If you are overseas and need assistance with the U.S. academic admissions process, please contact the nearest EducationUSA advising center. These helpful centers advise prospective international students and others on higher education options in the United States.
Please email the front and back of your green card (or relevant immigration documents) to email@example.com. Request that we review your documents to remove you from iStart, remove holds and update your citizenship status accordingly.
Official Transcripts (Required)
Colleges that require an official transcript:
- Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing & Health Professions
- College of Education & Human Development
- Institute for Biomedical Sciences (including the M.I.S.; Biomedical Enterprise)
- School of Public Health
Mailing Address (U.S. Postal Service)
Office of Admissions - Graduate Programs
Delivery Address (FedEx, DHL, UPS)
Office of Admissions - Graduate Programs
Submission of Electronic Transcripts:
Electronic transcripts must be submitted directly from the institution by email or through the use of a transcript ordering site:
Unofficial (Copies of Official University) Transcripts
Colleges that accept unofficial transcripts:
- Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (including the M.I.S.; Criminal Justice Administration)
- College of Arts & Sciences
- J. Mack Robinson College of Business
- College of the Arts
Unofficial transcripts are defined as copies of official university transcripts. Requirements for submitting unofficial (copies of official university) transcripts for review and admission purposes:
Submissions must be copies of official university transcripts uploaded directly to the Academic History section of the application. Copies of the following are acceptable:
- A hard copy (paper) official transcript issued by the university
- An electronic (digital) official transcript issued by the university
Copies of official university transcripts must be completely legible and include:
- Your name and the institution’s name
- One or more of the following features: registrar’s seal, registrar’s signature or watermark of the institution
- Your current term of study, if you are enrolled in a program
- Degree awarded and degree conferral date, if applicable
- The diploma or degree certificate page if the degree is listed separately.
- The entire transcript (with no omitted pages) *If available, include one copy of the grading scale and/or definitions page typically listed on the back of domestic transcripts
- A notarized translation of a non-English transcript and the original transcript
International credentials must meet all of the requirements listed in the International Applicants section.
The documents listed below are not accepted. Uploading these documents will significantly delay (or prevent) the review of your application:
- Self-printed academic histories
- Web-based academic evaluations
- Anything handwritten
- Documents that are password-protected or contain macros
- Unclear, illegible copies
We reserve the right to accept or reject submissions that violate any criteria listed here or submissions that would hinder application review.
If you have any other immigration status and you’re not changing status to F1 or J1, please complete the VOLP: Verification of Lawful Presence e-form, located under the Admission tab in iStart. Otherwise, you may “opt-out of” (choose not to complete) the VOLP form by submitting the VOLP “opt-out” form instead.
After you have been admitted to Georgia State, you will receive an email from ISSS with instructions to log in to iStart and submit the Admissions eForms to request your form I-20 or DS-2019.
iStart is Georgia State’s web portal to immigration services, requests and benefits for our international student, scholar, and employee community. iStart is a comprehensive international data management tool with many benefits. Georgia State implemented iStart in March 2015. All new and returning Georgia State international students and scholars will use iStart. Once you have been officially accepted to Georgia State, use iStart to request immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019) and many other services and benefits of your visa category.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a government database created to keep track of students in F-1, J-1 and M-1 status. (Note: Georgia State is not certified to accept M-1 status students.) Before you can apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa, a DSO/ARO (designated school official, alternate responsible officer) from Georgia State will need to issue an I-20 or DS-2019 for you. This document is generated from SEVIS and has personal information, such as your name, your program of study and your finances. SEVIS is used to communicate information from your school to government entities. This information is used by the government for different reasons, such as visa issuance, driver’s license issuance, to track down immigration status violators, for criminal investigations, etc. Full implementation of SEVIS was mandated after September 11, 2001.
Who has access to SEVIS?
- The school that issued your I-20 or DS-2019
- ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
- USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)
- CBP (Customs and Border Protection)
- Department of State Embassy and Consular offices
How does SEVIS work?
Once your I-20 or DS-2019 is issued, SEVIS starts collecting data about you, so events like class registration, changes in the program of study, changes in major, work authorizations, etc..., are saved in this database. The school database communicates with SEVIS to ensure the transfer of relevant information. This is why it is very important that you update your address in PAWS and that you request a new I-20 or DS-2019 every time there is a significant change, such as a change in your name or your program of study. See Maintaining F-1 Status & Maintaining J-1 Status.
You will receive an email from the International Admissions Coordinator about using an online system called “iStart” to provide financial documentation and other information needed to process immigration documents: Form I-20.
Please be aware:
- All newly admitted students automatically receive an international admissions hold until ISSS review is complete and immigration documents are issued.
- You cannot register for classes until the hold is removed.
- The speed of submitting financial documentation is up to you.
- ISSS cannot review your documents or individual parts of your file until your file is complete.
- Once the review is complete and approved, ISSS will process your Form I-20 and send to your student email.
Note: The normal processing time for all I-20 requests is between 5-7 business days from the time of a complete and acceptable submission.
Georgia State welcomes J-1 exchange students from our international partner institutions. To be eligible to attend Georgia State, your home university must hold an active exchange agreement with Georgia State. Interested students should contact their home university exchange coordinator for additional information.
At Georgia State, most exchange programs are sponsored by a specific college or unit within Georgia State.
All of the immigration documents for Externally Sponsored Students are maintained by your program sponsor, so you should contact your program officer with any questions about maintaining your status.
Below are some links you may find helpful:
- Fulbright Programs (Institute of International Education)— for Fulbright student grantees
- Fulbright Alumni Association
- IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board)— for Muskie and other IREX-sponsored students
- J-1 Two-Year Home Residency Requirement
- Campus and Community Involvement
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
International students may transfer between different institutions. Transfer of your SEVIS record (for those with an F or J visa) follows transfer of your academic records. To transfer, maintain communication with your current and future school. Only your transfer-out school can access and take action on your SEVIS record until it is transferred to the new school.
To obtain a Form I-20 from Georgia State, you must show access to funds in liquid form (available for immediate withdrawal at any time) available to cover estimated tuition and fees (subject to annual increases), and estimated costs of living in Atlanta. Personal expenses may vary greatly.
Please be aware: the financial section on the immigration document you will receive (I-20 or DS-2019) is only an estimate for immigration purposes, not a tuition bill.
New to Georgia State’s main campus? Take a virtual tour before you arrive!
You began using “iStart” during Admission. Now, you will continue using “iStart” in Pre-Arrival. The Pre-Arrival Checklist will guide you through several e-forms and videos. We look forward to meeting you at International Student Check-in and Orientation.
- You may start, stop, and resume this process at your own pace.
- 45 minutes – 1 hour is suggested to complete all the e-forms in this process.
- Please prepare PDF-only files of your: passport photo page, visa and I-94 document to upload during this process. *Your I-94 document will only be available after arrival in the U.S.
- Failure to complete this process before Check-in and Orientation will create delays in starting class at Georgia State and settling in Atlanta.
- Confirming Enrollment & Applying for Your Visa
- Uploading Your Immigration Documents
- Check-in, Orientation and Arriving in Atlanta
- Housing Info: short-term and long-term options
- Reporting Transportation & Requesting Airport Pick-up
- Requesting Special Assistance for a Disability
Select the menu items under “Arrival and Orientation” on the navigation menu above to learn more about these important topics. Be aware that International Check-in and Orientation are required. Undergraduate International students should not register for New Student Orientation, which is for U.S. domestic students only.
Prepare to clear Customs and enter the U.S. at your Port of Entry.
Personally check-in with ISSS so we can confirm your arrival to the U.S. Government and protect your immigration status.
Participate in a series of helpful and informative sessions about your immigration status, benefits, policies and procedures, life in the U.S and campus programs.
ISSS is committed to maintaining support and services to you during this time and will continue to operate under normal operating procedures for the remainder of the semester, just from a remote and online platform. This means you can call us directly or email us to request information and/or telephone/web appointments for advisement during our regular advisement hours.