International Students

International students who wish to study at Southern Virginia University need an SVU I-20 form, an F-1 student visa, and a valid passport. Once the student has been accepted to the university and has made satisfactory payment arrangements, the Registrar’s Office will issue the I-20 form. Upon receipt of this form, the student must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and apply for an F-1 visa.

Paying the SEVIS I-901 Fee

First-time international students must pay a $200 SEVIS I-901 fee prior to their visa interview. We recommend that you apply for the I-901 and pay the fee online at to expedite this process. Be sure to print a receipt from this site when the payment has been made.

Applying for a Student Visa

Prospective nonimmigrant students must apply to the local U.S. consulate for an F-1 visa and schedule an interview. Students are instructed to bring the following documents to their appointment:

  1. The signed Form I-20
  2. Evidence that the SEVIS I-901 fee has been paid
  3. A signed passport, valid for at least six months after the date of entry into the United States
  4. A Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application Resource Document: DS-156 with photo
  5. A Form DS-157A, Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application Resource Document: DS-157
  6. A Form DS-158A, Contact Information and Work History for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant Resource Document: DS-158
  7. Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions
  8. Scores from standardized tests, such as the TOEFL, SAT, and ACT
  9. Financial evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses for at least the first year of study

Prospective nonimmigrant students from visa exempt countries (such as Canada) will need to bring their documentation to the Point of Entry (POE) and apply for entry as an F-1 nonimmigrant student.

Registration and Completion Requirements

International students are required to report to the Registrar’s Office within one week of arrival on campus.

All international students in attendance must register for and complete at least 12 credit hours during the fall and spring terms or 6 credit hours during a May or June term.


Students with an F-1 visa are only allowed by law to work on campus. They must also not work more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. Students will need to apply for a temporary social security number for payroll purposes. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.

Additional Questions and Contact Information

For additional questions and concerns, please contact the Primary Designated School Officer (PDSO) for international students:

Whitney Larsen
Registrar and PDSO
Phone: (540) 261-8530
Fax: 1-540-266-3554