Applying for your student visa

The Milken Institute School of Public Health's Office of Admission as well as the International Student Office are here to assist admitted and committed international students through the student visa process.

International Student Visa

International Student Visa Process

International students must follow the same graduate admissions process as all other applicants by the final deadline in order to be considered for admissions. The visa process is only for students who have been admitted to the Milken Institute School of Public Health and have accepted their offer. Students who fail to apply or complete their visa paperwork in a timely manner are at risk of not being able to begin their academic journey with GWSPH on time. 

International admitted students who accepted their offers of admission must submit their complete visa request and financial certification paperwork by the following deadlines to request an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW. If you have any questions, please contact us via email at

Deadline to submit I-20/DS-2019 request paperwork for Fall Admission:

  • June 1* (Initial - Outside US)
  • June 30* (Transfer - Inside US)

Deadline to submit I-20/DS-2019 request paperwork for Spring Admission:

  • November 1*  (Initial - Outside US)
  • December 1* (Transfer - Inside US)

Deadline to submit I-20/DS-2019 request paperwork for Summer Admission:

  • April 1*  (Initial - Outside US)
  • May 1* (Transfer - Inside US)

*Please note that dates are subject to change based on international visa regulations.

How to complete the Visa Request Process:

1: Visa Request Form: A completed Visa Request Form (VRFC). The Visa Request Form needs to be legible, fully completed, and submitted by the deadline.

2: Financial Supporting Document: Applicants should submit the Financial Supporting Documents demonstrating proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational costs (tuition & fees, living expenses, books & insurance, etc).

Students who have a sponsor need to show liquid (readily available) proof of funding for one academic year. The sponsor must provide a letter of employment (with annual salary), or if being sponsored by a government agency, a letter must be provided that commits to funding for the full length of program. Otherwise, a student who is self-supported will need to show sufficient funding to cover all educational expenses for the full length of your program. One academic year is the total cost of attendance as calculated on the bottom of the seventh page of the I-20 Visa Request Guide.

Financial Supporting Documents must:

  • Bank statements must demonstrate liquid assets ONLY. We do NOT accept credit cards, investments, property equity, etc.
  • Bank statement must be in English or be accompanied with a translated document.
  • Bank statements must show checking or savings accounts.
  • Bank statements must include the bank's address, phone number, date, currency and current balance.
  • Bank statements must read the full legal name of the sponsor, as listed on the passport/application.
  • Bank statements must not be older than 12 months.

*Government Sponsorship: If sponsored by your government, please disregard the bank statement requirement. In lieu of the bank statement you will need to provide the official guarantee form as issued by the government sponsor. The guarantee form will need to include: your legal name, program name (i.e. PhD in Epidemiology), and should clearly articulate the expenses that will be covered (i.e. tuition, living expenses, etc).

Below is a table of the Cost of Attendance from 2021-2022. Cost is subject to change.

3: Passport: Applicants and dependents (if applicable) seeking sponsorship must submit a legible copy of the biographical page of their passport.

Note: The passport must NOT expire within six months from the start of your program and must match the name used in the Visa Request Form.

4. Dependents (if applicable): If you are bringing a dependent with you (i.e. spouse or child), please be sure to complete and submit the Dependent Information Form. Along with the Dependent Information Sheet, copies of the passport biographical page (for each dependent) is required. To process an I-20 for dependents, you will need to certify additional funding to cover the living expenses of each dependent.

The required amount per dependent can be found on the Dependent Information Form.

5. SEVIS Transfer (if applicable) Upon admission, you will need to submit a GW SEVIS Transfer-in Form. The following steps will assist you in having your SEVIS transferred to GW:

1. You should fill the student portion of the form and sign it.

2. To request a SEVIS transfer, you will need to grant GW access to your I-20. Therefore, please give your GW transfer form to your current international advisor. The GW Transfer form must be completed by the school official and submitted to email address. Note: the SEVIS release date (Question #8) must be indicated on the form. 

3. Once submitted to GW to the email address noted above, an official will determine if you are eligible for a SEVIS transfer.

4. After your SEVIS transfer release date, GW will be able to access your SEVIS record. Thereafter, GW will create a new I-20 for you. 

*GW's SEVIS School Code is WAS214F00020000. Please use this code upon submission.

Additional Requirements: International applicants currently in the United States must also submit:

  • A legible copy of your current United States Visa
  • A legible copy of your most recent I-94 entry card
  • If you were in F-1 or J-1 status in the past, copies of your previous I-20 or DS-2019 and accompanying I-94's are needed.

Students on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) should also submit:

  • A copy of the Employment Authorization Card (EAD)
  • OPT Forfeit Letter (expressing the date the student will stop working and transfer the I-20 can be issued).

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office via email at