The videos below with subtitles and voice-over will help you transition to Georgia State and life in Atlanta. Please review each video well before arrival.
How To Apply for Your Visa
- Obtain your I-20 or DS-2019 document - To receive your document, you must review the admissions process for international students and complete the necessary e-forms in iStart.
- Pay your SEVIS I-901 Fee - There are three payment options, choose the option best for you.
- Make a Visa Appointment - Locate the nearest United States Embassy and complete the necessary steps to schedule a visa interview. You should receive a DS-160 receipt.
What To Bring to Your Visa Interview
- Form DS-160: Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
- Print a copy of your I-901 fee receipt.
- Official acceptance letter from Georgia State.
- Your I-20 or DS-2019.
- Passport valid for at least 6 months.
- Proof of financial support (F-1 students: These documents should match the information in section 8 of your I-20. These documents should not be older than 60 days.)
- Your one-page educational plan and/or goals.
- A list of your family who lives in your home country. List their names, addresses and places of employment. Also, list any property or businesses you and/or your family may own. (The most common reason that student visas are denied is the inability to prove non-immigrant intent. Therefore it is recommended that you bring any documents that will prove your intent to return to your home country after you complete your studies.)
Visa Interview Tips and Points
- Be professional in your appearance and responses to questions in English. Maintain a positive attitude during your interview.
- The visa officer at the embassy or consulate in your home country may request specific application materials. We recommend that you contact the embassy or consulate prior to your interview to ensure that you have everything needed for the issuance of your visa.
- If your visa is denied, please contact ISSS as soon as possible.
You cannot enter the United States more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 form.
- Do not check the following documents in your baggage. Always hand-carry these items. (If your baggage is lost or delayed, you will be unable to present the documents at your port of entry and you may not be able to enter the United States):
- your passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected stay)
- your SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019.
- ISSS recommends carrying the following also:
- evidence of financial resources.
- acceptance letter from Georgia State.
- paper receipt for the SEVIS fee, Form I-797.
- name and contact information for your Georgia State “Designated School Official” as listed on your I-20 or “Alternate Responsible Officer” as listed on your DS-2019.
If you experience problems at the port of entry outside of regular business hours, please contact the Georgia State Police at 404-413-2100. For comprehensive information on procedures for traveling and arriving in the United States, visit educationUSA.
Complete Your Entry Paperwork
If Arriving By Air: Flight attendants will distribute Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059). These must be completed prior to landing.
If Arriving By Land or Sea: The CBP Officer at the port of entry will provide the necessary Customs Declaration Forms (CF-6059) to be filled out upon your arrival. Be sure to write your name clearly and exactly as it appears in your passport!
At the Port of Entry
- Proceed to the terminal area for arriving passengers. Have the following documents available for presentation:
- your passport
- SEVIS Form (I-20 or DS-2019)
- Customs Declaration Form (CF-6059). The Form should reflect the address where you will live, not a Georgia State address.
All visitors entering the United States must state their reason for wishing to enter the country. You will also be asked to provide information about your final destination. It is important that you tell the CBP Officer that you will be a student. Be prepared to include the name and address of the school program where you will enroll/participate. Once your inspection is successfully completed, the inspecting officer will stamp your SEVIS Form for the duration of status (“D/S”).
One of the most important steps to arrange before arriving in the U.S. is where you will live: Housing. Georgia State does not guarantee housing for all students as there is a limited supply of on-campus housing. However, Atlanta has abundant, affordable housing off-campus too. Learn more about Housing Options and Meal Plans.
There are some dangerous areas in Atlanta, so before you go to a new area (especially at night), be sure to ask how safe it is. Georgia State has its own police force, in addition to the City of Atlanta police. On the Georgia State campus, there are 55 emergency call boxes with blue flashing lights. If you feel that you are in danger on campus, find the nearest callbox to automatically dial campus police. Whenever you feel in danger or need help on campus, Georgia State Police officers can escort you to anywhere on campus.
The police are expected to both enforce the law and assist the public. It is always appropriate to ask the police to help with all kinds of matters such as lost or stolen property, noisy neighbors and emergency situations. Police are legally prohibited from taking "gifts" or money. They may arrest people who attempt to offer such payment.
Here are some tips about how to stay safe on and off-campus:
- Do not leave bags unattended anywhere.
- Do not leave valuables or bags in plain view inside your car at any time. If necessary, put them in the trunk.
- Lock your car doors at all times.
- If a police officer stops your car, do not get out of the car unless instructed to do so. Roll down your window to speak to the officer.
- Do not walk by yourself at night.
- When walking, keep your head up and look directly ahead. Look confident, pay attention and be aware of your surroundings.
- Never get into a stranger’s car. If someone in a car asks for directions, stand away from the car when talking to him or her.
- Get to know your neighbors at home. If you will be away from home for an extended period of time, ask one of your neighbors to collect your mail and newspapers.
- Always dial 911 for true emergencies
- Georgia State campus police: 404-651-3333
- Georgia State Police Escort: 404-413-2100
Typically, international students arrive in the United States with concerns about safety. Movies and television, particularly news reports, make the United States appear to be even more violent than it is. If you are careful and take some necessary precautions your stay should be crime-free.
Students occasionally need routine, basic health care that does not require the use of health insurance, a private doctor or a hospital. The Georgia State Student Health Clinic exists for this purpose. Review the video below to learn more or visit the Student Health Clinic website.
Wellness means more than just physical health. It also includes your overall emotional, psychological and lifestyle health. By maintaining all aspects of wellness, not just physical health, you will improve your ability to do well in classes and in life. Review the video below to learn more or visit the Counseling and Testing Center website.
Georgia State recognizes "sexual misconduct" as a broad term that includes: sexual harassment, exploitation, non-consensual contact, non-consensual intercourse, dating and domestic violence and stalking, all of which are violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Reporting Sexual Misconduct
See the video below, and immediately report any sexual misconduct as described:
- By students: report it to the Dean of Students Office, Student Center East, Suite 303, call 404-413-1515 or email Incident Report Form
- By faculty or staff: report it to the Assistant VP of Human Resources and Opportunity Development/Diversity Education Planning (ODDEP), 1 Park Place South, Suite 308 or call 404-413-2567. (See Internal Complaint Process FAQ for more information.)
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.