Pre-Departure

Request your I-20 or DS-2019 through EShipGlobal/UEMS

Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) requires all international students to pay for express mail through eShipGlobal's University Express Mail Service (UEMS), a safe, quick and dependable delivery service to request and receive their I-20s or DS-2019s. Requesting your documents through eShipGlobal is at your own expense and your credit/debit card will be charged upon requesting the service. You may request shipment either to your foreign address, or to a U.S. address. Please follow the instructions below to request your I-20 or DS-2019:

Step 1: Create an Account
  1. Go to: https://study.eshipglobal.com/.
  2. Click on "Sign up" on the main page or under the Students section.
  3. Fill out the required information on the “Student Registration” screen and then click on “Register”.
Step 2: Activate your Account

Activation link will be sent to your email inbox.  Please follow the instruction to activate and log in your eShipGlobal account.

Step 3: Request your I-20 or DS-2019
  1. Log in to your eShipGlobal account.
  2. Click on “Receive documents from your University".
  3. Choose the State (= Kentucky) then Eastern Kentucky University and Department (= Center for International Education)
  4. Enter the shipping information under "receiver's address".
  5. Select shipping service: DHL, UPS or FedEx.
  6. Enter your credit card information and confirm payment.  
  7. After you complete the payment process, EKU will be notified that you have submitted the request to receive your documents by express mail and print the shipping label for your document.

We will prepare and ship your I-20/DS-2019 within 3 business days. Please expect it to within 5 -7 business days or longer depending on your country. 

Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee

As soon as you receive your I-20 or D-2019, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee before applying for a student visa. In order to complete Form I-901, you must have your passport, Form I-20 or DS-2019 and be able to locate your SEVIS ID Number, EKU School Code and Program Number (for J-1 Exchange students). NOTE: EKU School Code (for F-1 visa) is NOL214F10728000.

You can make payment of the SEVIS I-901 fee in several ways:

  1. Payment by Credit Card on the Internet: Most students can submit online payment of the I-901 SEVIS fee using a credit card. Go to www.fmjfee.com.
  2. Payment by Check or Money Orders in the Mail: Complete paper Form I-901 from http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm and mail it, along with a money order or certified check drawn from a U.S. bank to the specified address.
  3. Payment by Western Union Quick Pay: You can pay the I-901 SEVIS fee at a local Western Union in local currency. Click the next  link for details: https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/wu-instructions.

Proof of Payment: Print a receipt of payment after you have completed your I-901 payment on www.fmjfee.com.  In order to get your student visa, you must present this receipt as proof of your I-901 SEVIS Fee payment at your visa interview.

Apply for a Student Visa

There are several steps involved in applying for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them vary depending upon U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  For precise procedures, consult the instructions available on the Embassy or Consulate website in the country from which you intend to apply.
Stept 1: Obtain a Digital Photo. You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
Step 2: Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form DS-160.  Click here to Learn more about completing the DS-160. 
Step 3: Print the Confirmation Page. Once you have electronically filled out the DS-160, please print the confirmation page.
Step 4: Schedule an Interview. Students must schedule an appointment for a visa interview, generally, at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.
Step 5: Pay the Visa Application Fee. The visa application fee is non-refundable.  You may also be required to pay a visa issuance (reciprocity) fee depending on your country of origin. Most embassies or consulates will make you pay the visa application fee at a local bank. Check the specific U.S. embassy or consulate website for the correct fee and payment method from http://www.usembassy.gov/.
Step 6: Gather documentation for inteview:
  1. Passport valid for travel to the United States. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States. 
  2. Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
  3. Visa Application fee payment receipt
  4. Photo uploaded while completing the online Form DS-160
  5. Original Form I-20 or DS-2019: Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status or (J-1) Exchange Student Status
  6. SEVIS I-901 Fee payment confirmation page
  7. Certification of Financial Support and supporting documentation.  If you have a sponsor, you must bring the support letter and bank statement of your sponsor. Include scholarship letter if you are receiving scholarship from EKU. 

Apply for On-campus Housing

After obtaining a valid U.S. visa, please apply for campus housing immediately.

All single, full-time, undergraduate students under the age of 21 having fewer than 60 hours, or less than four academic semesters are required to live in university residence hall facilities. For housing, please see http://housing.eku.edu  for the necessary forms. Note that you need an EKU student account in order to log in. You will receive an EKU student ID number in your acceptance letter. You can use this number to log in to EKU Direct, where you will apply for housing online. You will need to work with housing to make a pre-payment of $200. Any further question regarding campus housing, please contact housing@eku.edu.


Mandatory Health Insurance

Health insurance coverage is mandatory for every international student on a J or F visa enrolling at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). All international students will be automatically enrolled in the Eastern Kentucky University's health insurance plan offered by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) at the time of class registration. Therefore, DO NOT purchase health insurance from your country for your studies at EKU.  The charge for coverage will appear on your student’s tuition and fee bill each semester. The estimated current cost of health insurance is included in the amount shown on your I-20 or DS-2019. 

If you are government-sponsored student, we will waive your health insurance charge after we review your financial guarantee document.  

Unlike many other countries, the United States does not provide free health care; individuals are responsible for all costs of their health care by purchasing health insurance. In addition, health care in the United States is very costly. The cost of medical treatment and hospitalization in the U.S. can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.