International I-MBA Student Information

The items below address common immigration related concerns of UNCW international I-MBA students.

Proof of Financial Support & Supporting Documents

Federal regulations require that students demonstrate proof of financial support to cover tuition and living expenses. For IMBA student estimated cost of attendance is listed below by semester:

  • Spring 2018 (11-month program, February-December): $27,337 USD
  • Spring 2018 (4-month program, February-May): $16,559 USD
  • Fall 2018 (4-month program, September-December): $16,559 USD

Please see a cost breakdown below:

2018 Cost of Attendance in USD
Costs 4 months 11 months
Housing $2,664 $7,326
Meals $1,532 $4,213
Transportation $710 $1,952
Personal $647 $1,779
Health Insurance $380 $1,047
Supplies $225 $619
Tuition $10,400 $10,400
Total $16,559 $27,337

Proof of financial support can be any of the following:

  • A copy of your bank account summary showing access to the required funds
  • A letter of support from a sponsor and a copy of the sponsor's bank account summary showing access to the required funds
  • A letter from your bank (or your sponsor's bank) stating that the required funds are available
  • A letter of funding support from your home university or your government

All financial documents items must be dated and less than 6 months old. Copies/Scans/Faxes are acceptable, but original documents must be brought with you to your visa interview.

Along with submitting the documents above, please submit the items below:

All supporting documents can be sent to 

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Obtaining a U.S.. Visa

Making your visa appointment

Paying the SEVIS Fee

Your first step in making your US exchange student visa appointment is to pay your SEVIS fee. Instructions for paying this fee can be found at

Apply for a U.S.. Visa

Complete the online visa application, form DS-160 to apply for a visa. Documents required to complete DS-160 include:

  • Passport
  • Travel itinerary (if you already have it)
  • Dates of previous travel to the U.S..
  • Your SEVIS number as listed on your immigration document I-20

Schedule Visa Appointment

Once you have paid the SEVIS fee, you are eligible to schedule your visa appointment. For specific instructions, use the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will be interviewed. You are applying for a F1 nonimmigrant visa. This process charges a fee.

It is recommended that you apply for a visa from the consulate or embassy in your HOME COUNTRY whenever possible.

Estimate Visa Wait Times

Estimate the wait time by selecting your Embassy location on the U.S.. Visa Wait Times website.

The Visa Interview

Documents to Bring

You should bring the following documents with you to your visa interview:

  • I-20
  • letter of admission to UNCW
  • proof of financial support (you may use same documents you submitted with your UNCW application)
  • evidence that you have paid the U.S.. SEVIS fee

Additional Documents You Can Provide

In addition to the required items above, you may also choose to bring additional documents showing that your stay in U.S. will be TEMPORARY, and that you plan to RETURN HOME at the end of your academic program.

Additional documentation may include:

  • Proof of a residence in the home country
  • Family business in home country
  • Spouse/children staying in home country
  • *Note from - It is impossible to specify the exact form the evidence should take since applicants' circumstances vary greatly

Entering & Leaving the U.S..

To enter the United States, you will be required to show your F-1 Student Visa along with your UNCW issued I-20. Therefore, it is important that you keep your passport and I-20 easily accessible and do not pack it in your luggage. When you enter the United States, make sure the port of entry officer stamps your I-20 and gives it back to you.

Entering up to 30 days BEFORE program start date

Your F-1  student status will allow you to enter the U.S.. AS A TOURIST up to 30 days prior to the start date listed on your I-20. Tourists are not allowed to work or take classes.

Leave U.S. up to 60 days AFTER program end date

At the end of your F-1 exchange program, you are allowed to stay in the U.S.. AS A TOURIST up to 60 days past the end date of your I-20. Tourists are not allowed to work or take classes.

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Health Insurance Requirement

Health Insurance Minimum Requirements

All international students are required to have adequate health insurance that meets the following U.S.. Department of State minimum requirements:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Medical Evacuation coverage in the amount of $50,000
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness

UNCW IMBA Insurance with GeoBlue

The rates for GeoBlue start at $23.80 USD per week, this is not mandatory that you choose GeoBlue, but it is mandatory that you provide our office the attached Attestation whether you have GeoBlue or another insurance plan.

  1. Terms
  2. Purchase Here 

Insurance Attestation

Insurance is mandatory for all students, you do not need to use GeoBlue, but you must provide the IMBA Insurance Attestation form during check-in for immigration indicating you understand you either must have GeoBlue or another insurance plan with the same amount of coverage.

Employment Authorization

As a F-1 student, you are eligible to participate in the following employment related activities:

Social Security Number (SSN)

You must have a Social Security Number (SSN) to be paid for employment in the United States. The SSN allows the U.S. government to track the amount of money you earn, and to document that you've paid adequate income tax to the U.S.. government.

To obtain a SSN as a F-1 student, you must do the following:

  1. Obtain the F-1 SSN Memo signed by the Office of International Programs (contact your international student advisor to request the memo).
  2. Print your most recent I-94 (website:
  3. Take all of your immigration documents (passport, I-20, and I-94) along with the signed F-1 SSN memo to the Social Security Office. The address for the Wilmington, NC office is listed below.

Social Security Office
Phone number: (910) 815-4733
Hours: Monday-Friday 9 am - 4 pm
Address: 1528 South 16th Street

On-Campus Employment

Report all on-campus employment to your international student advisor using the On-Campus Work Authorization form (PDF)

Internship (CPT or OPT)

Students in F-1 status are eligible to work off-campus in an internship related to their field of study. See the OPT and CPT website for an explanation of the internship approval process.

Topics covered in the OPT & CPT website include:

  • Eligibility
  • Length of internship
  • Financial Obligations
  • Application Procedures
    • Academic advisor letter (template)
    • Employer letter (template)

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Extending your program

Extending to complete your academic requirements

If you wish to extend your program in order to complete your academic requirements, please submit the following items:

  1. IMBA extension request form completed by your academic advisor.
  2. Proof of financial support for extended time:
    • 8 month extension: $19,881 USD
    • 4 month extension: $9,940 USD
  3. Continued health insurance for each month of extension (paid in full at the beginning of your extension)

Once the International Programs Office receives the items above, we will authorize the extension of your program dates and extend your I-20.

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Studying Abroad in the IMBA Program and Maintaining your F-1 Visa Status

As an IMBA international student you have the option to study abroad during the IMBA program or remain at UNCW. Please note the important immigration regulations tied to studying abroad while you are on an F-1 visa, if you plan to return to the United States to finish your IMBA program after your study abroad semester.

  • You cannot be out of the United States for more than 5 consecutive months on an F-1 visa or it will automatically be closed and you will not be able to reenter the U.S.
    • This means you either need to study abroad for less than 5 months or you will need to reenter the U.S. at some point during your study abroad semester in order to keep your U.S. F-1 visa status active.
  • If you wish to return to the United States to finish your thesis and pursue OPT or CPT, you must have at least one full academic year completed at UNCW. This means you cannot start OPT or CPT immediately after you return from studying abroad if you have only attended UNCW for one semester. You could start OPT or CPT after you worked on your thesis and met the one year enrollment requirement at UNCW.

Contact your international student advisor

Make an appointment

You can schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor here.

Drop-off/Pick-up items

If you need your advisor to process your documents (sign a document, send a letter by fax, etc), you can drop off your documents at the International Programs front desk, Friday Annex 118. You may collect your completed documents by the next business day.

Email your advisor

You may email your international student advisor, Jessie Heim, with your immigration related questions at

Please note: Immigration questions can be quick to ask, but often take time to answer. If you questions are particularly complex, you may be asked to meet with you advisor in person to discuss your concern.

Call your advisor

If you wish to speak with your advisor by phone, you may call the International Programs Office (910-962-3685).

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