Helpful information and resources to help you along the immigration process. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


Jo Cooper

Immigration Coordinator
Full profile

Immigration Application

As part of the immigration process, you will need to complete an application for either an I-20 or J-1 form. Download a .pdf application below and return the completed application to International Admissions.

Preparing for your visa interview*

  1. If you can, connect with an education advisor at the Education USA website who works for/with the Embassy to get advice prior to your interview. Some African countries expect or even require that this be done.
  2. Be sure you understand your parents' financial situation as it was listed on the Declaration of Finances form you sent to Calvin. You will often be asked questions such as:
    • What does each of your parents do for a living and how much money do they earn?
    • What is their savings and what will they give to you?
    • How will they cover their other family expenses and still support you in the USA?
    • If you have a sponsor, then you must know that same answers about that person/organization's finances also.
  3. Bring financial documents with you. These should be dated within a few months of date of your interview and show resources that are at least as good as what you presented to Calvin.
  4. Be sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your proposed date of entry to the USA.
  5. Have your VISA processing fee receipt and the receipt for your I-901 SEVIS fee.
  6. Be prepared to defend the reason you chose Calvin College, your major area of study and your awareness of the Grand Rapids, Michigan area.
  7. Officials are looking for evidence that you have strong ties to your own country. They want to verify that your time in the USA will be temporary—to study—and that you do plan to return to your own country when your education is complete.
  8. Bring your Calvin College letter of admission, tuition information, test scores, and transcripts from all the schools you attended in your own country.
Carefully read all the information in the I-20 packet you receive from Calvin College.