Admission Process


What to Know Before Coming to CWRU

We are pleased that you’re considering studying at Case Western Reserve University and look forward to working with you during your student career if you choose to join our campus community.

The first thing you should know is that an international student must enroll full time in a degree or non-degree program at a U.S. university or college, and  must properly maintain a temporary nonimmigrant visa status for the duration of their studies. CWRU students may have either an F-1 visa, or a J-1 visa. 

Prospective Students

The Office of Visa & International Services & Advisors (VISA Office) is not involved in the admissions process at CWRU. Students must complete an application appropriate for their level and course of study. Information about the admission process is available on the Admissions Office website.

Admitted Students

Students admitted to CWRU will become a part of our diverse community, and the VISA Office is happy to assist you with any immigration-related questions or concerns that you have before arriving in Cleveland. Our goal is to make your cultural and academic transition to the U.S. as smooth as possible while educating you about your responsibilities to properly maintain your student visa status.

Accepting Admission to CWRU

New students who receive an offer of admission from CWRU

  1. The VISA Office will receive information about you from your admitting department, which will be used to begin the process of creating your immigration forms (Form I-20 for F-1 students or Form DS-2019 for J-1 students).
  2. You must submit proof of financial support for one academic year (tuition and living expenses), as well as any other supplementary information requested, to the VISA Office. After the VISA Office receives and processes your admission information, you will be provided with instructions for accessing an electronic application to request a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019. Once you submit all required documentation through the electronic application, the VISA Office will generate the appropriate form. This process takes approximately 15-20 business days.
  3. After the VISA Office has generated your digital Form I-20 or DS-2019, you will also receive instructions via email regarding:
    • Accessing your digital Form I-20 or DS-2019, printing it, and signing it for use. You must present a physical copy of the generated form at your visa appointment and upon entering the United States. Digital versions of I-20 or DS-2019 are not valid for use.
    • Your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) ID
    • How to pay the required SEVIS I-901 fee
    • Important information about arriving on campus and living in Cleveland.
  4. Finally, use the Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 to apply for a visa at a United States consulate. Information on where and how to apply for a visa is available at

Students transferring to CWRU from another U.S. institution

  1. Complete steps 1-3 as listed above, however, you do not need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee again. You must have a copy of the receipt you received when you paid the fee when you obtained your previous visa.
  2. Be sure to provide your SEVIS transfer release date in your electronic application. This is a date that you and the DSO/ARO at your current institution agree to initiate the electronic transfer of your SEVIS record to CWRU. The VISA Office can begin to process your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 only after your SEVIS record has been released to CWRU.
  3. Consult a VISA Office advisor at CWRU to discuss whether or not you need to renew your visa if you plan to travel abroad before the start of your first semester at CWRU.

Funding Information

You must possess adequate funds to cover all tuition, health insurance, living, and anticipated incidental expenses during your stay in the U.S. Additional information will be provided to you after your admission to CWRU.

Personal or family funds for your financial support in the U.S. can be documented by either an official statement from a bank or investment firm. The document must stipulate the country in which the funds are available as well as the amount of funding available for withdrawal for the purpose of your education.

Proof of a scholarship, assistantship, or fellowship award can be documented with a letter from the sponsor stating its ability and intention to provide funds. If you receive a financial award from CWRU, the award letter will state the amount of funding provided.

Please email the VISA Office at if you have any questions.