Visa Applications & Wait Times

Planning your travel and visa applications early is important. Any student who plans to enter the U.S. to attend UC Santa Barbara in person will need a student or exchange visitor visa. This includes continuing students whose visa has expired or is about to expire, and is currently outside of the U.S.

(Note: if you are currently in the U.S., you may remain in the U.S. after you visa has expired as long as you have a valid I-20 or DS-2019 from UCSB.) 

Visa Application Resources:

If you have any questions regarding your visa application process, interview appointment or required documentation, we highly recommend that you contact your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. This is because there is often embassy or consulate-specific information and requirements.

FALL 2020 Planning Decision Trees

Thank you to those who have taken the OISS Fall 2020 Quarter Plans Survey. 

In case you are feeling confused about your immigration options, we are providing these helpful decision trees. Find the decision tree that applies to you (continuing student, new incoming student, new transfer student) and then follow along to find out what your immigration status will be in Fall 2020.

Be sure to click on the link below the decision tree that applies to you to be taken to the full-sized web view. Or, you can download a PDF packet of all three here

P.S. It's okay to feel confused - current immigration guidance, coupled with campus policy, are creating quite a confusion for everyone. Hang in there! We are here to help.

Incoming students: OISS will determine which students require an updated I-20 with a Winter 2021 start date. If you are not arriving in the U.S. for Fall, you can expect to receive your updated I-20 or DS-2019 sometime during the Fall 2020 quarter. Please do contact OISS if you are able to make a visa appointment.

If you haven't taken our Fall 2020 survey, please do so now! By taking the survey, OISS staff will be better able to identify which students do and do not require an updated I-20 or DS-2019.

Fall 2020 Survey



Continuing Students 

COVID Decision Tree - Continuing Students


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Current students who were last enrolled in Spring and/or Summer 2020.

New Students (Non-Transfer)

COVID Decision Tree - New Students


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New, incoming students who are currently outside of the U.S. and have requested a new I-20 document.

New Transfer Students

COVID Decision Tree - New Transfer Students


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Incoming students who requested to have their SEVIS record transferred from a U.S. high school, college or university. (If you are a student transferring to UCSB but are outside of the transfer eligibility window and need to request a new I-20, see the "New Non-Transfer Students" decision tree.