Visa Information

Which ELP programs are eligible for an F-1 Student visa?

Full-time students in the following ELP programs are eligible for F-1 student visas (Form I-20):

  • Intensive Program
  • University Connection and University Connection Plus
  • Institute for Academic and Professional Studies

If a student is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States they do not need a visa for these programs.

Students in the following programs are not eligible for F-1 visas (Form I-20):

  • Part-time study

How do I receive a Form I-20 for an F-1 Student visa? 

The University of Pennsylvania issues a Form I-20 for study at the English language Programs. The Form I-20 is used by the student to apply for the F-1 student visa. We encourage all students to apply early to allow enough time for the visa process.

  1. Complete the enrollment form and send all required documents (copy of passport, financial support documentation, and electronic photo) to
  2. If you are a self-pay student, you will be required to send a non-refundable $400 deposit ($90 enrollment fee and $310 tuition deposit) via wire transfer. 
  3. Upon receipt of these documents, the ELP will provide you with a testing code.  All students entering the Intensive Program at the ELP must take this test before they are sent their I-20s. Applicants scoring below level 300 on our pre-arrival placement test will not be admitted and will receive a full refund.
  4. If an applicant scores at level 300 or above, the ELP will request a Form I-20 for you.
  5. Within one week, the ELP will e-mail you a Welcome Letter and your Form I-20 to the e-mail address provided on the enrollment form.
  6. Review your Form I-20 to make sure all information matches your passport. Then, print and sign the Form I-20 before travel to the United States.
  7. If you have any concerns about your Form I-20, please contact the ELP.

Please note: If you enter the U.S. using a Form I-20 from the University of Pennsylvania English Language Programs, you must report to the ELP upon arrival in the U.S.

How do I apply for an F-1 Student visa?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security outlines the procedures to apply for an F-1 student visa. Please visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website for additional details. 

How do I maintain my immigration status after arrival?

F-1 visa holders must comply with certain regulations. Learn more at the International Student and Scholar Services website