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Best Practices for International Student Admission 

When your department is wanting to offer admission to an international applicant or considering petitioning to change their entry quarter and year (e.g., deferral or early entry) consider the following for successful enrollment:  

Is the student able to demonstrate financial ability?

Per U.S. immigration law, admitted international students must demonstrate sufficient financial resources for the first year of study. If the department is funding the student, the total dollar amount of financial support must be included in the department funding letter. This helps students understand their funding situation and GEMS when processing students’ I-20 requests. 

Detailed information on Financial Ability Requirements & Admissions Assistance & Admitted International Students 

If the student is currently overseas, can the student arrange an interview at a U.S. consulate/embassy in time to start the quarter?

GEMS strongly recommends that programs admit international students no later than three to four months before the first day of the quarter. By allowing the student to have enough time to receive their Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status and apply for their visa, this ensures a better student experience.   

Detailed information on Study and Exchange Visas   

Can the student secure their flight in time, and enter the U.S. before the official day of instruction begins?

International students are required by U.S. federal immigration law to enter the U.S. on or before the program start date on their I-20 form or DS-2019 form. The earliest arrival date is 30 days before the program start date. 

Detailed information on Academic Calendar Summaries and Admitted International Graduate Students > Planning your Entry Date in the United States.

Can the student be enrolled full-time (10 credits minimum), regardless of the program design

International students must be registered full-time, including their first term of enrollment. Note: this includes Summer quarter and students with ASE appointments. 

Detailed information on Full-time Registration Requirements 

Does the student meet the English language proficiency requirement?

The Graduate School does not offer conditional admissions to students who have not yet met the minimum English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement. Students who do not meet ELP requirement will not be considered admissible by the Graduate School.  

Detailed information on Policy 3.2: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements 

Will the student be able to satisfy the official transcript degree statement verification requirement? 

Once admitted, students are required to submit an official transcript/degree statement before the official day of instruction begins. 

Detailed Information on Official Transcript Requirement.

If the degree will not be awarded/conferred, refer to Graduate School Policy Graduate Admissions-Alternates to an Earned Bachelor’s Degree

Detailed information on  Graduate Admissions.

If the student is transferring from another U.S. school, could the international student advisor transfer out the student’s immigration SEVIS record to the University of Washington Graduate School, in time when official instruction begins?  

F-1 students enrolled at another U.S. institution are eligible to transfer their SEVIS records if they meet certain immigration requirements.  Ensure transfer students have enough time to complete their previous program, coordinate with their schools on the transfer-out process, and for GEMS to have sufficient time to process their I-20 requests.  

Detailed information on Transferring Your SEVIS Record.