How to Determine if You Are an International Student

International students are defined as "non-immigrant" visitors who come to the United States temporarily to take classes. A non-immigrant is someone who:

  • intends to stay in the US temporarily
  • does not have US citizenship or legal permanent resident status (a "green card")
  • applies for a visa to be allowed entry into the US
  • has an F-1 or J-1 student visa (most international students at UC Berkeley have F-1 or J-1 status)


Visiting US College Students vs. International Students


Domestic infoVisiting US College Students
F-1 or J-1 international students who are already in the US are considered “Visiting US College Students” if they meet the criteria below. For these students, there are no out-of-state or international service fees, and a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from UC Berkeley is NOT required:

1. Study at institution A in the spring, attend Berkeley Summer Sessions, and return to institution A in the fall.
2. Study at institution A in the spring, attend Berkeley Summer Sessions, and transfer the F-1 or J-1 status to institution B in the fall semester (as long as there are no more than five months between your end date at institution A and start date at institution B).
3. Other visa statuses may also permit study without special permission (H4 dependents, F2 dependents, etc.). Contact to find out more.


International student infoInternational Students
The following students with F-1/J-1 status are required to obtain an I-20/DS-2019 from UC Berkeley and are considered "international students." Note: UC Berkeley does not issue initial DS-2019s for summer. J-1 students will likely need to request an I-20, depart the U.S., and re-enter with the appropriate F-1 documents. If you are a J-1 student and would like to transfer your SEVIS record, please contact for special instructions.

1. Those who completed studies at institution A, and will need an extension of F-1 status for Berkeley Summer Sessions attendance. A transfer I-20 is required in this case.
2. Those who have received fall admission at institution A, but will attend Berkeley Summer Sessions before beginning the fall program, must enter the US with the UC Berkeley I-20 or DS-2019 and visa. The student must initiate a transfer of F-1 or J-1 status to their school in the fall before completing Berkeley Summer Sessions.