This section covers basic information that new international students need to have upon admittance to Saint Mary's Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs.
To apply for an I-20, the student must contact the international student adviser and provide the information below.
- A copy of the Saint Mary’s acceptance letter showing admittance at a regular or provisional status in a degree-seeking program.
- A completed I-20 application form.
- A photocopy of the student’s passport.
- Submitted proof of financial responsibility and other supporting documents as requested by the university. Financial responsibility will be proven by the student’s submission of official documentation of cash resources in an amount equal to or greater than the cost of tuition, fees and books and living expenses for one academic year.
- A non-refundable tuition deposit of $1,000 is required before the release of the I-20 to the student. If the student is denied a visa, the deposit will be refunded upon receipt of the official denial letter from the embassy.
The university will mail all I-20s via regular mail unless the student covers the cost of express delivery system.
It is recommended that students who reside outside the U.S. complete the I-20 application process no later than four months prior to the semester in which they plan to attend the university.
Upon receipt of the I-20, the student must submit the I-20 to a U.S. Embassy or consulate to apply for a F-1 Student Visa.
A student transferring from a school within the United States must apply for a new I-20 as outlined above and also have the electronic SEVIS record transferred to Saint Mary’s. Please notify the international student adviser at the current school of the intention to transfer, provide a copy of the acceptance letter to Saint Mary’s, request completion of the I-20 Transfer form and request the SEVIS record be transferred to Saint Mary’s.
Only your current school has access to your SEVIS record; therefore, Saint Mary’s cannot issue a new I-20 until your SEVIS record is transferred.
You must check-in at the Office of Student Services within 10 business days of the semester start date.
If you are living outside the U.S. you must obtain a passport from your government, make an appointment with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for the F-1 visa. You cannot make the appointment until you have received your I-20. Apply for the visa as early as possible.
Students applying for initial entry F-1 visas may be issued the visas up to 120 days be-fore the academic program start date as noted on the I-20.
You may enter the U.S. as early as 30 days before the start date noted in item 5 on the I-20 form.
If you are transferring to the Saint Mary’s from another school you must report to SMU Central within 10 days from the semester start date.
The Office of Student Services welcomes international students to a new student orientation the first week of school.
Training on SMU specific technology, expectations and regulations will be discussed. Following orientation, a reception will be held. This is an opportunity to meet other international students, program directors and other SMU staff.