Global Engagement

New Students

Congratulations on your admission to Clemson University! We are confident that you made the right decision to pursue your studies with us and be part of an academic community recognized around the world.

After you have been admitted to the University, International Services (IS) will be notified and will contact you to provide instructions on how to request your certificate of eligibility for the either the F-1 student visa or J-1 student visa. More information about how to request the certificate of eligibility is also provided at the link below:

When the I-20/DS-2019 has been processed and reviewed, you will be contacted by email about shipping options. More information about how to request shipping of your I-20 or DS-2019 is also provided on the Form IS-01 Express Mail Instructions. Important Note: Please do not register for the Express Mail service until someone from International Services has notified you via e-mail that your immigration documents are ready for mailing. When you have received your documents by mail, please review them. If you find an error, please contact our office immediately, so we may correct the situation. 

Visa Application Procedure & Entry to U.S.

After you receive your immigration documents and review them, the next step is to schedule an appointment with the US Consulate for your visa application. If you are not sure which US Embassy or Consulate is closest to you, please visit the US Department of State website for a list of US missions around the world: Once you find the U.S. Consulate closest to you, please visit the “visa” section of the website to learn about the required procedures for setting an appointment and how to prepare for your interview.

All new international students applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at least three business days prior to their visa interview. You may find more information on the I-901 SEVIS Fee, as well as how to pay, by visiting Please note, if you are a Canadian citizen, although you do not need an F-1 or J-1 visa to enter the US, you are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at least three business days prior to your entry into the US.

As a new international student, you are permitted to enter the US no earlier than 30 days prior to the start date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019. The start date can be found in Section 5 of your I-20, or Section 3 of your DS-2019. When purchasing your air ticket, it is important to keep these dates in mind as you may be denied entry should you arrive in the US prior to that 30-day period. While your schedules may vary, you are encouraged to come to Clemson as early as possible to obtain housing, register for courses, complete the necessary paperwork for on-campus employment, if applicable, and to become familiar with your new surroundings.  In general, we recommend that you try to arrive at least 15 days before the start date listed on your I-20/DS-2019.  Your academic department may have orientation activities that occur in the week(s) leading up to the beginning of the semester, so it is important that you know what activities you are expected to participate in. 

Next Steps

Planning your arrival to the U.S. is exciting, but at the same time a little challenging. The office of international services has prepared a pre-arrival guide to assist you with planning. Please bookmark this guide and use it as a quick reference for all of your arrival questions including transportation from the airport, housing options, international student check-in procedures, orientation, and contact information. We wish you the very best with your pre-arrival arrangements and look forward to meeting you in the fall.