Admitted Students

On This Page

Arrival Information for F-1 or J-1 International Students

Spring 2022 International Arrival & Orientation Information

The Office of Student Engagement, International Student Life assists all incoming international students and scholars with visa and immigration matters, as well as their adjustment to Fairfield University.

Covid-19 Vaccine and Testing Requirements

The White House announced that vaccines will be required for international travelers coming into the United States, with an effective date of November 8, 2021. For purposes of entry into the United States, vaccines accepted will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines.

Students are also required to show a negative Covid-19 Test no more than three days before your travel date.

  • Tuesday, December 14, 2021: This is the earliest day international students can arrive in the US (students are allowed to arrive up to 30 days before the program start date on their Form I-20/Form DS-2019 for undergraduate students and I-20 for graduate students).
  • Thursday, January 13, 2022: International students with on-campus housing are expected to arrive on campus. This is the date stated on the Form I-20/Form DS-2019 for undergraduate students and I-20 for graduate students as the program start date. This date is the last day students may arrive in the United States. Late arrivals are not accepted by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). (J1 students and F1 undergraduate students – this will be the first day you will have access to your on-campus housing)
  • Friday, January 14, 2022 - Mandatory Global Student Orientation: All international students must attend Global Student Orientation on Friday, January 14, 2022. During this time, students will review immigration benefits and responsibilities and participate in sessions relating to adjustment and life at Fairfield University. More details about Global Student Orientation will be sent closer to the date.
  • Tuesday, January 18, 2022: Classes begin.

F-1 Undergraduate Students and J-1 Exchange Students: Please follow the instructions provided by the Office of Residence Life (F-1 students) or Global Fairfield Office (J-1 students) on how to indicate your preferred housing. Residence Life will contact F-1 Undergraduate Students and J-1 Exchange Students via their Fairfield e-mail account to confirm their rooming assignment; Contact the Office of Residence Life at residencelife@fairfield.edu for further assistance.

F-1 Graduate Students: There is currently no designated on-campus housing for graduate students. The University has provided some recommendations to find off-campus housing in the surrounding area on the Graduate Student Housing Hub.

Complete the Undergraduate Student Medical Report (F-1 and J-1 undergraduates) or the Graduate Student Medical Report (F-1 graduates) and provide supporting documents, and e-mail them to health@fairfield.edu before your arrival. F-1 undergraduate students or J-1 exchange students will not be able to live on campus or register for classes without this completed form.

All F-1 and J-1 students will be enrolled in the University’s health insurance plan.

In addition to the Student Medical Form, please upload your Covid-19 vaccination documentation to the Student Health Center secure portal at www.fairfield.edu/immunization. If you have any difficulty with the upload, email the documentation to health@fairfield.edu. Students will also be required to submit a negative Covid-19 PCR or antigen test (obtained privately off campus) to covidhealth@fairfield.edu within 72 hours prior to their first campus visit.

Before a visa appointment, students must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee online at www.FMJfee.com. Make sure to enter your personal information exactly as it appears on your passport. The name on your visa must agree with your name on your passport and Form I-20/Form DS-2019 for undergraduate students and Form I-20 for graduate students. The SEVIS ID number is on your Form I-20/Form DS-2019 for undergraduate students and Form I-20 for graduate students.

Afterwards, schedule a visa interview with the US Consulate or Embassy. This interview will be conducted in English. Before the interview, complete Form DS-160 (Google “DS-160” for the most up to date form).

Be sure to bring all of your documents to the interview:

  • Undergraduate Students: Form I-20/Form DS-2019, passport, SEVIS I-901 fee receipt, Form DS-160, financial documents (Proof of Financial Means) and Admission Letter (F-1) or Exchange Decision email from Global Fairfield (J-1). You may also be asked to present academic records and test scores, and may be asked to provide proof of compelling ties to your home country (what will prevent you from permanently moving to the U.S.: family, property, previous US travel, etc.). Check with your Consulate’s website for their visa appointment requirements to ensure that you are fully prepared.
  • Graduate Students: Form I-20, passport, SEVIS I-901 fee receipt, Form DS-160, financial documents and Admission Letter. You may also be asked to present academic records and test scores, and may be asked to provide proof of compelling ties to your home country (what will prevent you from permanently moving to the U.S.: family, property, previous US travel, etc.). Check with your Consulate’s website for their visa appointment requirements to ensure that you are fully prepared.

Please be aware that you are not allowed to initially come into the United States earlier than 30 days before the program start date on the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. 

U.S. Customs

Before collecting your luggage in the airport, students will need to pass through the first stage of Customs. Students will need to present their immigration documents to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, who will review the documents and ask about their plans for their stay in the U.S. After verifying that the information in a valid passport, visa, and Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 is correct, the immigration officer will return the documents and will stamp students’ passport book with the I-94 entry stamp showing the date of entry to the U.S. and the visa status.

Students may also have brief fingerprints or a photograph taken. Students will present a Customs Declaration form, which will need to be filled out on the plane, to the Customs officer. Do not bring fruits, plants, or meats when traveling. Possession of these items may require additional inspection, resulting in delay.

Students may bring currency with them, but if you are carrying more than $10,000 USD in any form, you will need to fill out a reporting slip and possibly owe taxes on the money. We suggest bringing enough money to last a couple of weeks, and then opening a U.S. bank account where you can electronically transfer funds from your home country.

If admitted to the United States, you may remain in the United States even if your visa expires. In F-1 status, students can remain in the United States for the duration of their status (D/S) or as long as they maintain a F-1 status. In J-1 status, students can remain in the United States through the 30-day grace period following their program end date, providing students maintain their status during your program of study. If students are in F-1 status and they leave the United States after their visa expires, they must obtain a new F-1 visa to re-enter and continue their program.

The Form I-20 or the Form DS-2019 prove that students are legally enrolled in a program of study in the United States. The Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 should not be taken from students.

To best support our students with on campus housing for the spring semester, students with on campus housing (undergraduates and J-1 students) are expected to arrive to the United States on Thursday, January 13 and should arrange for their transportation to bring them directly to campus: 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. We would recommend that you book a flight that arrives in the US as early in the day on January 13 as possible.

Students with on campus housing are encouraged to arrange their transportation to campus using GO Airport Shuttle. They will pick up from JFK Airport or LaGuardia Airport in New York and will drop off on campus and there is a special rate for Fairfield University students for a shared ride to campus. We will let you know closer to your date of arrival where to go when you arrive on campus.

*Please note: Although Bradley International Airport is in Hartford, Connecticut, we do not recommend that you travel there. Transportation to the University is not as frequent and is more expensive.

If you want to take the train from New York City to campus, take the Metro-North train (New Haven line) from Grand Central Station to the Fairfield station. The Fairfield train station is a five-minute drive from campus, or approximately a 20-minute walk.

Graduate students are required to be on campus on January 14 for Global Student Orientation.

Complete payments include University tuition, health insurance, and any other applicable fees billed to the student account. Payment for all University charges for undergraduates is due January 1 for spring semester. Incoming graduate students will pay for course registration as part of Orientation. 

Payment can be made via Flywire. Holidays and other celebrations may delay processing of international payments, therefore, it is recommended that students initiate their payment at least 10 business days before the payment deadline to ensure timely processing. Incoming payments must be limited to the cost of University tuition, fees, and health insurance charged to the student account for the current semester.

Bursar Contact Information:  Phone: 203-254-4000 ext. 4102, 2410, 4191 or 2165

Email: bursar@fairfield.edu

If students decide to order bedding or other necessities to be used when they are on campus, please have the items sent to the following address. Any packages received for students will be held for pickup on campus.

(Provide your name here)

Fairfield University

1073 North Benson Road, Box L

Fairfield, CT 06824

Fairfield University Net ID

Please have the following information available:

  • First name, Last Name
  • Date of birth
  • Fairfield University Student ID number
  • The first five characters of your zip code or postal code on record with the University
    • If the first five characters of the zip code or postal code entered is not accepted by the system, enter five zeros "00000"
    • If entering five zeros ("00000") doesn't work, please contact the ITS Help Desk at itshelpdesk@fairfield.edu or +1-203-254-4069

J-1 Exchange Scholars

‌Application Procedures

  • Be hired as a professor, scholar, or researcher through an academic department at the university
  • Complete all requirements through your correspondence with the Office of Student Engagement, International Student Life, and academic department
  • Provided required documentation for your DS-2019 to the Office of Student Engagement, International Student Life

DS-2019 Documentation

Once your placement is confirmed, the Office of Student Engagement, International Student Life, will reach out via email for all required documents to issue the DS-2019.

As a J-1 exchange scholar, per the U.S. Department of State, you must maintain minimum insurance coverage for yourself (and any dependents, if applicable) while in the United States. You must provide proof of medical insurance the meets the U.S. Department of State requirements for the duration of your program. 

According to the U.S. Department of State, minimum requirements include:  

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness 
  • Medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to home country in the amount of $50,000 
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000 
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness

Important Documents

In order to arrive successfully in the United States to begin your studies, there are some important documents you must have. The most common documents are described below:

Undergraduate Students

  • A valid passport
  • A valid U.S. visa
  • A valid Form I-20 (only if you are coming as an F1 student)
  • A valid DS-2019 (only if you are coming as a J1 student or J-1 scholar)
  • I-94 record
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment Receipt
  • Proof of Financial Support 

Graduate Students

  • A valid passport
  • A valid U.S. visa
  • A valid Form I-20 (only if you are coming as an F1 student)
  • I-94 record
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment Receipt
  • Proof of Financial Support 

The passport is a document issued by your government giving you permission to travel outside of your country and confirming your identity.

In order for you to maintain your legal status in the United States, your passport must remain current for six months into the future at all times.

A visa is a document which grants you permission by the U.S. government to request entry into the United States as a non-immigrant under specific conditions.

You should prepare yourself adequately for your appointment at the Consulate or Embassy by taking with you any documents that the Consul requests. You may show whatever supporting material you have, if the interviewer asks for it. The strongest factors taken into consideration by the Consular Officer are family ties, property, job, and other financial commitments in your home country. The Consular Officer will review your application and documentation in order to be certain that you are indeed a non-immigrant and that you do not intend to live in the United States permanently.

F-1 International Student: The most common student visa for Fairfield undergraduate and graduate students is the F-1 student visa. The F-1 visa allows you to enter the U.S. as a full-time student in a degree-granting program. After confirming your admission to the university, the Office of Student Engagement, International Student Life, will reach out with further information.

J-1 Exchange Visitor: Students coming for one semester or one academic year through an agreement between your home university and Fairfield University or visiting scholars coming to teach or do research at Fairfield University, will be arriving as J-1 exchange visitors. J-1 students should first contact Global Fairfield (globalfairfield@fairfield.edu). Once confirmed for exchange, the Office of Student Engagement, International Student Life, will reach out with further information.

A Form I-20 is a government form which tells the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 student status. You need a Form I-20 to obtain an F-1 student visa, or to maintain your legal status while transferring schools in the United States. You only need to obtain a Form I-20 if you wish to study in F-1 non-immigrant status in a degree-seeking program. Be aware, however, that we can only issue a Form I-20 once you have been admitted and have provided proof of adequate financial support. 

A Form DS-2019 is a government document which certifies your eligibility to come to Fairfield University as a J-1 exchange student or scholar. You need a Form DS-2019 to obtain a J-1 visa. Be aware, however, that we can only issue a Form DS-2019 for a J-1 exchange student if you have been nominated by your home university, have been accepted into the exchange program through Global Fairfield, and have provided proof of adequate financial support.  If you are a J-1 scholar, you must be hired as a professor, scholar or researcher through an academic department and must provide proof of adequate financial support along with proof of health insurance.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspects all foreign national students, scholars, dependents and visitors to the U.S. arriving at an air, land or sea border. Admission to the U.S. in a specific immigration status is documented via an entry stamp in the passport, as well as an electronic I-94 arrival record. Electronic I-94 records can be downloaded and printed at: http://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94

Occasionally when entering the U.S., errors may occur on the passport stamp notation and/or electronic I-94 record. These errors must be corrected to ensure that the status of the student, scholar, dependent or visitor is documented properly and that immigration benefits (such as permission to study or work) are correctly applied. Please contact the Office of Student Engagement, International Student Life (international@fairfield.edu), if you encounter this error.

  • As part of the process for your visa application, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. Bring the SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment Receipt with you to your visa appointment and to show at the port of entry, if requested.
  • Bring Proof of Financial Support (Proof of Financial Means) with you to your visa appointment and to show at the port of entry, to show at the port of entry, if requested.

Contact Us

Our office is located in Barone Campus Center: Room 96, and our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST. You can contact us with any questions by e-mail at international@fairfield.edu or by calling +1-203-254-4110.

Search Results