Contact Us

Framingham State University
100 State St., PO Box 9101
Framingham, MA 01701-9101

Photo of Jane Decatur

Jane Decatur

Executive Director
Intl Ed & Study Abroad

International Student - Undergraduate Admissions

Please see the Admissions website for complete instructions and forms for applying to Framingham State University as an undergraduate.

International Student - Graduate Admissions

Please see the Graduate Programs for complete instructions to apply to Framingham State University as a graduate student.  Please note:  F-1 visa holders must enroll in a full-time graduate program.  Graduate students must submit a Certificate of Finance Form, passport copy, and proof of available funds in order for the office to issue an I-20 to apply for the F-1 visa.

English Language Program - Full-time Intensive

Please see the ELP website for complete instructions and forms for applying to the full-time intensive English Language Program.  In order to enroll in the full-time intensive program, students must have been granted an F-1 visa.  For students who have entered the US on a B1/B2 visa and wish to study at FSU, once you have applied to the English Language Program, you will apply to US Customs and Immigration Services to change your tourist status to student.  Approval of your petition can take up to a year.  It is NOT recommended to apply for a change of status as if you need to return home, it is highly unlikely you will be able to secure an F-1 visa to re-enter the US to continue your studies. 



Incoming study abroad students from our partner universities may attend FSU either for a semester or an academic year. If you are not certain your university has a partnership with FSU, please check with your home university International Programs Office. 

The University is pleased to support many opportunities for students to enhance their academic career and experience education in a different environment!

  • What can I study? Any academic discipline offered by the university except our Nursing program is open to visiting students.
  • Academic Calendar/Deadlines
  • Course Catalog - please see the Registrar's website for complete details

    • Courses offered for upcoming semester
    • General listing of university offerings (not all courses are offered every semester)
  • Financial Information
  • FSU Study Abroad Application Form

Congratulations on your acceptance to Framingham State University!  

As soon as you confirm your attendance with a deposit, we will be sending you information about your enrollment at Framingham. It will contain your I-20, information on applying for your visa and topics such as life in the United States and on campus, orientation, health insurance requirements, and more.

The Office of International Education is open all year, so please be in touch with us if you have questions during the coming months.

You should begin to familiarize yourself with F-1 regulations and processes. The following links should be helpful for you while you are studying in the United States:

Study in the States
Immigration forms and fees
U.S. Department of State: visa information
U.S. embassies and consulates overseas

The International Student Handbook is a good overview of what to expect from your time of arrival and includes such helpful topics as: traveling in the US, getting familiar with Framingham, student life at Framingham, and the basics of staying in status as a student.




Glossary: Immigration Terminology

Immigration regulations can often appear very complicated, involving unfamiliar terms or concepts. To help you understand the essential rules and regulations which govern your status, the following glossary of terms may be useful.

Completion Date:

A student's completion date refers to the date the student completes the requirements for his or her degree program; i.e., it is the date the student finishes the last class, turns in a required thesis or dissertation, or otherwise meets the requirements for the degree. It is not the date of graduation, which may follow the completion date by weeks if not months. F-1 student have 60 days to remain in the U.S. beyond completion of studies to either prepare for departure or begin any authorized practical training.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

The U.S. government department responsible for most areas of national security, including all areas related to foreign visitors in the U.S. Under its jurisdiction are three bureaus that handle the work previously done by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Foreign students come into contact with DHS at the ports of entry to the United States, through the SEVIS database, and when applying for non-immigrant benefits, e.g., employment authorization.

Designated School Official (DSO):

A Designated School Official (DSO) is an employee or agent of an educational institution who has been authorized to verify information about and certify documents for F-1 students.


An abbreviation used by DHS for "Duration of Status." F-1 students are admitted to the United States for as long as they are full-time students complying with all pertinent regulations. It is not indefinite, however; the period of time reflected on the I-20 in section five or the DS-2019 in section three determines the maximum length of the individual's stay and remains conditional upon the pursuit of full-time study.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD):

The laminated card issued by the DHS as proof of valid employment authorization for F-1 students. The EAD indicates the begin and end dates of employment and the type of work permission authorized.


Most international students at FSU are under this immigration classification, which means they have been admitted to the U.S. for the purpose of full-time study, have demonstrated financial resources for the entire academic program, and have a permanent residence abroad which they have no intention of abandoning.


The dependent spouse and unmarried minor children of an F-1 student have this immigration classification. F-2 dependents are not permitted to work in the United States under any circumstances. F-2 dependents are also prohibited from full-time study at the post-secondary level.


This document is issued by the OIE for individuals abroad to obtain an F-1 visa or to apply for or to maintain F-1 status if they are already in the U.S. The I-20 contains a unique identification number, which is for the student's record in the SEVIS database. The I-20 serves as a primary record of a student's immigration-related actions, such as program extensions and transfers. A student should keep all I-20s ever issued to compile a comprehensive history of F-1 status.


An I-94 is a form denoting the Arrival-Departure Record of particular foreigners used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses Form I-94 also. Form I-94 must be completed at the time of entry to the United States by foreign citizens that are being admitted into the United States in a non-immigrant visa status. It is the I-94 and not the visa stamp that controls how long someone may remain in the U.S. legally.

I-539 :

The I-539 is the application for a change of status within the United States. It is also used to regain legal F-1 status in certain situations, in connection with an application known as reinstatement.

I-765 :

The I-765 is an application for the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card (see above).


An immigrant is a foreign national who intends to establish a permanent residence in the United States. Permanent residency is granted when an immigrant visa is issued or a foreign national undergoes a successful "adjustment of status" application.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):

The bureau within the Department of Homeland Security responsible for the SEVIS database, and intelligence and investigations related to non-immigrants in the U.S.


The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service was responsible for enforcing the regulations that apply to non-citizens within the United States. These duties now fall under the Department of Homeland Security.

Non-immigrant :

A non-immigrant is a person who is in the United States temporarily to pursue a specific activity or purpose (e.g., study, travel, business). Most non-immigrants, including all F-1 students and their dependents, must have an established residence abroad to which they intend to return. There are over fifty classifications of non-immigrants, each defined according to the primary purpose of stay in the U.S.


The passport is a formal permit to travel abroad and return to the issuing country. With few exceptions, it is issued by one's country of citizenship. All individuals in F status are required to have a valid passport at all times. It is your responsibility to extend or replace your passport when it expires. Information on renewing your passport is available from your country's consulate in New York City, Boston or embassy in Washington, D.C.


Upon entry to the United States, all individuals are classified based on the documents and reasons they present at the port of entry. Most international students at FSU are in F-1 status. Individuals who do not comply with the regulations governing a given classification are "out of status" and therefore ineligible for certain "benefits" such as employment.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

The bureau within the Department of Homeland Security responsible for adjudication of applications for benefits filed by nonimmigrants.


The stamp in a passport serves as an application to enter a given country, in this case the U.S. Visa stamps can only be obtained overseas at U.S. consulates and embassies. The visa does not indicate how long someone can remain in the U.S.


International students and scholars are often surprised to learn they have tax filing obligations while they are present in the United States — even if they did not work in the prior year. Tax filing does not necessarily mean that taxes must be paid. Tax filing is a legal requirement. Please note: The OIE cannot advise on tax issues. Keep copies of all tax forms you file each year.

All those who are in F-1 and F-2 status must file tax forms with the U.S. government, even if they did not work in the United States. Even an F-2 dependent, who is never allowed to work in the U.S., must still file a tax form.

In some cases an individual in F-1 status will receive a refund. And in some cases, an individual in F-1 status will have to pay more taxes to the U.S. government.

The first concepts to understand are: resident vs. non-resident alien (for tax purposes) and Substantial Presence Test (SPT). Whether you are considered a resident or non-resident for tax purposes will determine what tax forms you file with the U.S. government. Those who have F status but are resident tax aliens should seek information and advice from tax professionals such as those who advise U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents (Green card holders).

How to Enter the U.S. to Study as an F-1 Student, Transfer, Change Status

IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE THE U.S. and wish to enter the U.S. to study and require an F-1 student visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be admitted to a full-time program of study. Part-time study is not permitted while on an F-1 student visa.
  • You must be able to show that you will have sufficient funds to meet the tuition, fees, and living expenses for your program. You must also be able to show that you will have sufficient funds to meet the living expenses of your dependent family members, if applicable.

Students outside of the U.S. who wish to enter to begin a full-time program at FSU must follow the procedure outlined below:

1. Once you have been admitted to FSU as a full-time student and confirmed your intent to enroll, you will receive a Form I-20 from FSU (for F-1 status) or a DS-2019 (for J-1 status).

2. Once you have received your document, apply for the F-1 or J-1 student visa from a U.S. consulate in your home country.

  • New students applying for a visa with a SEVIS form I-20 or DS-2019 will be required to pay a $200 fee. The SEVIS fee must be paid at least 3 business days prior to a visa interview or the filing of the change of status application in the U.S.

    In order to pay, Form I-901 must be completed and submitted along with the payment via mail or the Internet. Citizens of Canada or Bermuda must pay at least 3 days prior to their entry to the U.S. A receipt is issued via mail or can be printed by the student or exchange visitor from the Internet. This receipt is brought to the visa interview as further evidence of payment. For more detailed information, please visit Study in the States.  Visa processing times and procedures may vary depending on location and time of year.
  • DO NOT enter the U.S. as a B-1 visitor for business, B-2 visitor for pleasure or B-2 "prospective student" if you intend to be a full-time student at FSU. You are prohibited from studying in the U.S. under these categories. If you intend to study, you should enter as an F-1 student.

3. Enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before and no later than the beginning date indicated on your I-20 or DS-2019.

  • When entering the U.S., you must carry a passport valid at least six months into the future, your entry visa, your I-20 or DS-2019, and copies of your admission letter and financial documents, and evidence that you have paid the SEVIS fee if you are a new student.

  • Upon entry, an immigration inspector will review your documents, and process an I-94 arrival/departure record granting you F-1, J-1 student status for duration of status ("D/S").

  • Canadian citizens must have a valid passport to enter the U.S. Please note that a visa stamp is not required for Canadian citizens. Upon entry to the U.S., a Canadian student must obtain an I-94 arrival/departure record that verifies his/her student status.

  • You are required to attend the institution indicated on your F-1 visa, if you are entering the U.S. for the first time on the basis of that visa.


4. Following your arrival at FSU, check in with the OIE. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires that all new and transfer F-1students report their arrival to FSU. You must attend a mandatory Orientation Workshop that will be scheduled prior to the beginning of classes.

Transfer to Framingham State University

If you are already in the U.S. as an F-1 student at another institution, you must complete a transfer of your immigration record if you intend to transfer to begin a new full-time program of study at FSU, AFTER you have been accepted to the university. Follow the procedure below if you wish to transfer your immigration sponsorship to study as a full-time student at FSU.

1. Complete the F-1 TRANSFER FORM that will be sent to you by the Office of International Education. You must have your current international student adviser complete the form and a range to have your current international student adviser send the F-1 Transfer Form directly to the OIE. In order to issue a transfer I-20 form, your former school must release your SEVIS record to Framingham State University. It will take approximately two weeks to issue a transfer I-20 from the date the office has access to your SEVIS record.

2. Once you have received your I-20, you must attend the orientation workshop that will be conducted before the beginning of the semester.


If you are currently in the U.S. but not in F-1 status, you may or may not need to change your status in order to pursue full-time studies at Framingham State University. Please consult with OIE in order to discuss your individual situation.

  • If you are presently in B1/B2 Tourist status but wish to obtain F-1 status, you will have to apply for a change of status once you have been accepted.  You will NOT be able to begin your studies at Framingham State University until your change of status (COS) has been approved by the USCIS.  Please contact the office directly for information on your specific situation.