You are here

Visa Guidelines for International Graduate Enrollment

Students with F-1 or J-1 visa

  • International graduate students in the United States with F-1 or J-1 visas must maintain full-time enrollment (at least 9 credits graduate) at UL Lafayette. Of the required full-time enrollment, only 3 credits can be taken in online coursework.

  • F-1 or J-1 graduate students may engage in part-time (up to 20 hours per week) employment on the UL Lafayette campus while enrolled in classes, up to 30 hours per week during the summer session if not enrolled in classes, and full-time (40 hours per week) in the time between semesters.

  • F-1 or J-1 graduate students will not be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) unless the period of time spent on the UL Lafayette campus is, at minimum, 1 academic year or 9 months.

Other than an F-1 or J-1 visa

  • If your visa type allows study (H-4, L-2, E-2, R-2, etc.), you may apply for graduate admission and, if accepted, register for part-time or full-time online graduate courses.
  • If your visa type is H-1, graduate study is limited to part-time only.
  • If your visa type is F-2, graduate study is limited to part-time only.
  • If your visa type is B-1 or B-2, graduate study is prohibited by federal immigration regulations until your visa is changed to F-1 or another visa type that allows enrollment.

No visa required if...

you are an international student who resides outside the United States and plans to access online graduate courses/programs from their home country. These students are not required to obtain a visa.

International applicants who currently reside outside the United States and plan to remain in their home country should select the visa type "No Visa Required – Online" when completing the application. This designation indicates that you will not be entering the United States and no financial guarantee documents will be required.

You may apply for part-time or full-time graduate studies, with no visa required, if you will only be taking online studies and will not be entering the United States for your graduate studies. If you are enrolled in online courses only, there is no need to enter the United States for academic purposes. The deadline to apply for admission will be the same date as for an international student currently in the United States on an F-1 Student Visas.

Student visas are not available to online students. Students who are currently residing in the United States under an F1 student visa may not enroll in online programs.

If you are an online student and would like to participate in the graduation ceremony on campus, the Office of International Affairs can provide a letter to support your application for a tourist visa.

Students who wish to continue their studies on-campus at UL Lafayette

If you are an international graduate student pursuing your degree from outside the United States, but you intend to enter the United States at some point during your online degree program, the following pertains:

  • While you are taking online graduate courses from outside the United States, you will not be required to have a visa.
  • If you would like to take graduate classes on campus at UL Lafayette, you must apply to the Graduate School to change your program delivery from online delivery to traditional, face-to-face delivery, and prior to entering the United States you must obtain a form I-20 from the Graduate School. You must then apply for the F-1 Student Visa for entry into the United States. The deadline to apply for admission for traditional, face-to-face delivery will be the same date as for international students applying for admission on an F-1 Student Visa for either the Fall or Spring semester.
  • Once you are taking courses on campus, you must maintain full-time enrollment at UL Lafayette. A maximum of 3 credits of your full-time enrollment can be in online graduate coursework. (See additional guidelines in the section above for students with F-1 or J-1 Visas.)