An admitted international student will normally come to the United States on an F-1 student visa or a J-1 exchange visitor visa. Students are expected to return to their home countries at the completion of their studies. 

Please visit the Berkeley International Office website and New Students page to learn about the process of obtaining your visa. Berkeley International Office (BIO) is the resource for all UC Berkeley immigration-related matters.

To contact the Berkeley International Office, please send an e-mail to, or call (510) 642-2818. For questions on the NIF, please e-mail


Overview of the Steps to Getting Your Certificate of Eligibility (F-1 I-20 or J-1 DS-2019)

Even though your primary source of information is BIO, we have outlined below the general steps you must complete in order to get your certificate of eligibility from Berkeley and make your visa appointment at the American embassy. 

The certificate of eligibility is the document that UC Berkeley provides to confirm to the U.S. government that you are admitted and eligible to attend our institution. You must have the original, hard copy with you at your visa interview and while traveling to the United States.


*Note for Canadian Nationals

Canadian nationals are not required to obtain a student visa stamp in their passports. Canadian nationals obtain F-1 or J-1 student status at the port of entry by presenting their certificate of eligibility and SEVIS fee payment receipt.