International I-MBA Student Information

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

Proof of Financial Support

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:

  • Fall 2016 (4-month program): $16678
  • Spring 2017 (8-month program): $26758
  • Spring 2017 (4-month program): $18563

Consult the fee schedule (PDF) for more information.

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.

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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 DS-2019

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 J1 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:

  • DS-2019
  • 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 J1 Exchange Student Visa along with your UNCW issued DS-2019. Therefore, it is important that you keep your passport and DS-2019 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 DS-2019 and gives it back to you.

Entering up to 30 days BEFORE program start date

Your J1 exchange 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 DS-2019. Tourists are not allowed to work or take classes.

Leave U.S.. up to 30 day AFTER program end date

At the end of your J1 exchange program, you are allowed to stay in the U.S.. AS A TOURIST up to 30 day past the end date of your DS-2019. 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 Health Insurance Plan

One option for satisfying the health insurance requirement is to enroll in the international student health insurance provided by UNCW (U.S.. citizens are not eligible for the plan listed below). The UNCW international health insurance is provided by HTH worldwide. Details are provided below:

  • Monthly premium: $87.60/month ($350.40 for Sept. - Dec.)
  • Deductible/co-pay per illness: $100
  • Plan Summary: 2016-2017 Plan Summary
  • Billed to Your UNCW Account: If you choose to purchase the UNCW health insurance, the insurance premium of $350.40 (September - December) will be billed to your UNCW student account.

Non-UNCW Health Insurance

You may also satisfy the health insurance requirement by showing proof that your personal non-UNCW health insurance meets the minimum requirements. If you will be using your non-UNCW health insurance, follow the instructions below for Waiving (Declining) the UNCW Health Insurance.

Purchase or Waive (Decline) UNCW insurance

Complete the I-MBA international student health insurance form to indicate if you wish to purchase or waive (decline) the UNCW health insurance.

Students who fail to complete the form by September 1, 2016 will be automatically enrolled and billed for the UNCW health insurance.

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Employment Authorization

As a J1 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 J-1 student, you must do the following:

  1. Obtain the J-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, DS-2019, and I-94) along with the signed J-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 (Academic Training or AT)

Students in J1 status are eligible to work off-campus in an internship related to their field of study. See the Academic Training (AT) web page for an explanation of the internship approval process.

Topics covered in the Academic Training (AT) web page 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 showing access to $1500/month (estimated living expenses) for each month of extension
  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 DS-2019.

Extending to participate in an internship

If you wish to extend your program in order to participate in an internship (Academic Training), please refer to the section on Internships (Academic Training).

If you have specific questions regarding the process for obtaining Academic Training, please call the International Programs Office 910-962-3685 to make an appointment to speak with your International Student Advisor.

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Contact your international student advisor

Walk-In hours

  • Tuesdays, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Thursdays, 9:00 am - 10:30 am

You may stop by the International Programs Office, Friday Annex 118, and ask to meet with Amy Mabery any time during her walk-in hours. You might have to wait a few minutes if another student is already meeting with your advisor.

Make an appointment

If you need to speak with your international student advisor in person but you cannot attend her walk-in hours, you may call the International Programs Office (910-962-3685) and ask to make an appointment with your advisor. Whoever answers the phone will be able to schedule an appointment time that suits both your and your advisor's schedule.

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, Amy Mabery, with your immigration related questions.

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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IMBA Immigration Intro (Orientation Session)

See orientation slides IMBA Immigration Intro (PDF)