Pre-Arrival Requirements & Resources 

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:

Please see a cost breakdown below:

2020 Cost of Attendance in USD
Spring 2020
(4 months)
Spring-Summer 2020 (6 months) Spring-Fall 2020 (11 months)
Housing $4,375 $6,563 $12,031
Meals $1,488 $2,232 $4,092
Transportation $905 $1,358 $2,489
Personal $825 $1,238 $2,269
Health Insurance $405 $608 $1,114
Tuition $10,368 - -
Total $18,366 $22,367 $32,363

Supporting Documents to Receive Your I-20:

  • Copy of Passport

  • Proof of Financial Support

    • Bank Statement or Letter in English with account holder's name and available funds/balance, dated no older than six months
      • Providing funding of the equivalent or more of the cost of attendance listed above.
    • Sponsorship Letter if funds not in students name. (Sample letter here.)
    • The total amount of funding between personal bank statements, scholarships, graduate assistantships, etc. that you upload must total the cost of attendance listed above.
  • Please login with your UNCW credentials at the link below to submit your required documents to apply for your I-20
    • Login Instructions
      • Username: UNCW email (without the, provided in your acceptance letter)
      • Password: Initially set to DOB (mmddyyyy)

back to top

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.

back to top

Health Insurance Requirement

Health Insurance Minimum Requirements

All international students are required to have adequate health insurance that meets the following 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 complete the Immigration Check-In questionnaire indicating you understand you either must have GeoBlue or another insurance plan with the same amount of coverage.

Extending your program

Extending to complete your academic requirements

If you wish to extend your program in order to complete your academic requirements, please apply for an extension below.

  1. Program Extension Application
  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 through the online application, we will authorize the extension of your program dates and extend your I-20.

back to top

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 Us

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 give you a travel signature or SSN form signature (sign a document), you can drop off your documents at the International Programs front desk, Hoggard Hall 160. You may collect your completed documents by the next business day unless otherwise notified.

For CPT or OPT requests, please allow 2 weeks processing time.

Email your advisor

You may email the OISS office at for any immigration questions. 

For general questions on the IMBA program about classes, tuition, orientation, etc., please contact Mrs. Candace Wilhelm with the IMBA program directly at

Call your advisor

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

IMBA Orientation

IMBA students are not required to attend the main International Student Orientation for incoming students in August or January since the IMBA program does not start until later in the semester. Please contact Candace Wilhelm with the IMBA program at for details on IMBA orientation requirements. Immigration rules and regulations will be reviewed at the IMBA orientation. 

back to top