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Application, Admissions, & Arrival

There are many academic programs to choose from at TWU. However, programs that are only, or mostly, offered online and would jeopardize F1 Visa holder status are not eligible academic programs for admission. The TWU Admissions Office provides information on eligible academic programs for F1 Visa holders.

Students must follow the application guidelines for TWU through the Admissions web-site. International transcripts must be evaluated and reported by a National Association of Credential Services (NACES) agency. English proficiency requirements must be met based on scores set by TWU International Admissions office. 

Admission to TWU is one part of the admissions process for international students studying on an F1 Visa. F1 Visa holders applying to graduate programs must also be admitted by their academic department within the TWU Graduate School. Programs that require secondary admission (meaning that the student has been accepted to TWU but must submit a secondary application to a specific program) require that those requirements be met prior to contacting the ISSS office regarding Visa status or I-20 documentation. 

Once admitted to TWU in either a graduate program or secondary admissions program, if applicable, the student will be notified by the ISSS office with instructions on how to submit specific documentation needed to meet international admissions requirements as either an Initial Student or a Transfer Student. An Initial Student is an F1 Visa holder who has been enrolled in a different U.S. institution and has requested a transfer of their SEVIS record to TWU to begin a new program. These instructions will include information on how to create and utilize the ISSS International Portal.

The spouse or unmarried minor children (under age 21) accompanying the F1 Visa holder to the United States may qualify for F2 dependent status. In order to add an F2 dependent, the F1 Visa holder must submit all required documents for the F2 dependents (to include a copy of unexpired passport and certification of finances) along with the F1 Visa holder’s own required immigration documents in the International Portal for an Initial or Transfer I-20. 
F1 Visa holders continuing their enrollment through TWU may submit a request to add F2 dependents to the F1 I-20 at any time by providing an updated Certification of Finances and copy of dependent passports to the (P)DSO. F1 Visa holders on Optional Practical Training (OPT) are not required to submit an updated Certification of Finances. 
F2 dependents must maintain their F2 status in the following ways: 
  • May not engage in work and are not eligible for Social Security Numbers
  • May depart and re-enter the US with proper documentation
  • May engage in study at a SEVP certified school part-time. Full-time enrollment is not allowed. The F2 dependent is required to apply for a change of status (Form I-539) from F2 to F1 to enroll in full-time study at a SEVP certified school. 
Additional information on USCIS F2 policy can be found here.
International students studying on an F1 Visa are not admitted to TWU during the summer semester based on potential limitations to course options required for F1 Visa eligibility. SEVIS Enrollment Reporting Requirements state that an international F1 student must be enrolled in a full-course of study at the institution in order for the enrollment to be reported and an Initial I-20 issued (8CFR214.2(f)). Full-time enrollment during the summer for undergraduate students is 12 hours, in which at least 9 hours must be in-person or hybrid. Full-time enrollment during the summer for graduate students is 9 hours, in which at least 6 hours must be in-person or hybrid. Because individual exceptions to F1 regulations will not be made for international students if courses are not offered in the proper modality, limitations in summer course scheduling may result in the F1 student's SEVIS record being terminated.
An F1 Visa may be issued up to 365 days prior to a student's program start date. However, an F1 Visa holder may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the program start date printed on the Initial I-20, and no later than the first class day. The TWU ISSS office requires that F1 Visa holding students arrive at least 12 days prior to the first class day, in order to attend mandatory International Student Orientation on the date provided in ISSS Arrival Information materials, and to complete the Tuberculosis blood test requirements issued by the TWU Student Health Services office.