Incoming International Students

On this page, you will find information about beginning your international student career at Robert Morris University. If you are still in the application process, please refer to RMU’s international admissions webpage. The international admissions page will tell you what materials you need to submit with your application, including English proficiency scores, financial statements, passport documentation, and more.

Requesting my I-20

After you are accepted to RMU and have paid your $1000 registration deposit, you will receive instructions on requesting your I-20 in your Admissions portal. You cannot start the I-20 process until you have been admitted to RMU and have paid your deposit. You will receive the I-20 request instructions to your email within a few business days of paying your deposit.

Paying the SEVIS Fee

Before traveling to the United States to start your first semester, the U.S. government requires that you pay a I-901 SEVIS Fee (Form I-901) in order to study in the U.S. The current fee is $350. You will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee at after you receive your I-20. You will need the Form I-901 for your visa application.

Note: You do not need to pay an I-901 SEVIS Fee if you are transferring between universities or between education levels while you are still maintaining your status. If you need a new I-20 with a new SEVIS ID number, you will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee again. We will confirm your status once you submit your I-20 Request Form in your RMU Admissions portal. 

Residents of some countries have to use Western Union Quick Pay to complete the I-901 SEVIS Fee payment. To find out if you are required to pay via Western Union and how to do that, please use the button below.

Western Union Quick Pay

You should upload your I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt in the main page of your RMU Admissions portal after you pay it. If you have any questions or issues uploading your SEVIS fee receipt, please email

Applying for a U.S. Visa

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Once you get your I-20 and SEVIS ID number, you can apply for a visa appointment using Form DS-160. Remember that you must bring your I-20 and proof of SEVIS Fee payment (Form I-901) to the appointment, so do not schedule an appointment before receiving these items.
  • Visa appointment wait times can vary dramatically by country, or even different regions within a country. Check the Department of State website for your Embassy or Consulate's current wait time and plan accordingly.
  • At your appointment, the Consulate officer will ask you questions to determine your intent to return home and prove that you have adequate funding for your degree program. Be prepared to answer the questions they ask honestly and directly, especially those regarding your reasons for studying at RMU, and any questions regarding previous travel or study in the U.S. Remember, only you can convince the U.S. Consulate that you should be issued a student visa.

Once you have your I-20 from RMU, please follow this checklist to prepare for your visa appointment:

Visa Appointment Checklist:

  • Complete Form DS-160 carefully and honestly. The government recommends you access the form via Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome browsers. 
  • Print your Form DS-160 confirmation receipt. We recommend you also save an electronic copy of the form.
  • Double check that you have originals of the following:
    • Printed and signed I-20 (your signature, an RMU School Attestation signature, and a parent’s signature if you are under 18 years old)
    • Passport that is valid for at least six more months
    • RMU Acceptance Letter
    • Proof of funding
    • I-901 SEVIS Fee receipt
    • TOEFL, IELTS, or SAT Verbal Scores if required for English proficiency
    • Graduate Students Only: GMAT or GRE scores if required by your degree program
    • Any other documents the Consulate requests

Student Visa Process

Traveling to the US

Congratulations, your visa was approved! Now you can begin making your plans to travel to the U.S. On your I-20, you will see several important dates. One of those dates indicates the earliest possible day you are allowed to enter the U.S. using your student visa, which is dated 30 days before your program start date. You should plan to arrive before your program start date in order to prepare for the semester and attend mandatory orientation. 

When you arrive in the U.S. at a POE (Point of Entry), Customs & Border Protection (CBP) agents will look at your documents again to make sure you have everything you need to enter the U.S. using an F-1 visa. If you are missing any documents, they might issue you a Form I-515A, but they can also deny you entry to the U.S. If denied entry to the US, you will have to return to your home country to get the additional documentation CBP requires. 

Make sure the following documents are with you the entire time you travel. DO NOT PACK THESE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. CARRY THEM WITH YOU ON THE PLANE.

  • Printed and signed I-20 for RMU
  • A valid F-1 visa* issued by the Department of State (DOS)
  • An unexpired passport, valid for six months beyond your entry to the U.S.
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee receipt
  • RMU acceptance letter
  • Any further travel plans (e.g., proof of your connecting flight to Pittsburgh International Airport)
  • We also recommend you bring copies of your proof of funding, and any documents that your Consulate required you to bring to your visa appointment.

When you enter the U.S., a digital I-94 card will be created for you. Please print it out once you have arrived at RMU. Your I-94 number is used by immigration officials and the university to make sure you are following your visa-specific travel rules.

*Canadian citizens: You do not need to apply for a visa before entering the U.S. Please remember to bring all other documents with you when you arrive. When you speak with a CBP officer, make sure you clearly state that you have an I-20 to process and that you are entering the U.S. for F-1 study purposes.
Remember to follow all steps of your admitted student checklist provided by the Office of Admission.

International Student Orientation

Mandatory Fall 2024 orientation dates: Wednesday, August 21st through Friday, August 23rd
Mandatory Spring 2025 orientation dates: Wednesday, January 8th through Friday, January 10th

We are delighted that you have chosen to join the RMU international community. We, at the Center for Global Engagement, are committed to making your stay at RMU a pleasant and successful one. To accomplish this goal, we have scheduled an orientation program to help you get adjusted to our campus and the Pittsburgh area.

This program includes information about academic advising, student activities, residence life, health issues, and campus safety. It will contain important immigration information that all students are expected to know. In addition, we have scheduled several special events so that you can become acquainted with us and with other international students.

Please check your RMU email for specific times, locations, and other updates about orientation. Note that attendance at orientation is mandatory and we cannot provide late arrival letters. Failure to complete all orientation activities may result in the termination of your I-20.

Other Topics

Dependent I-20 (F-2)

These instructions are for incoming students only; please visit the Current International Student page if you are already a student at RMU.
If you are traveling to the U.S. with any dependents (such as a spouse or children), they will also need their own I-20s to lawfully enter the U.S. 

You should be prepared to prove that you can fund their living expenses during the duration of your studies in the U.S. Currently, RMU requires that you show proof of an additional $5,000 USD per dependent. 

Instructions for adding a dependent to your record is available on the Request Form through your RMU Admission portal. Please fill out this information while you complete the form.

Transferring from Another University

Visit the International Admissions webpage to learn how to apply to RMU as an international transfer student.

After receiving admission from RMU, you need to first speak with your DSO at your current university or college and provide them with any information they request. You will need to show them a copy of your RMU acceptance letter and RMU International Transfer Letter. They will work with us directly to transfer your SEVIS record and I-20 to RMU. Make sure you remain in good academic standing at your current school in order to stay in F-1 status. Keep in mind that your record will not be transferred to RMU until the end of the semester in which you are currently enrolled. We cannot issue you an I-20 for RMU until you complete the I-20 Request Form and your SEVIS record is transferred to RMU.

Transferring as an F-1 Student

Finding Housing at RMU

  • RMU Traditional Style Housing
    • On-campus housing at RMU is only available to eligible undergraduate students.
  • Want to live off-campus? Students who do not live on campus are responsible for finding their own housing and trasnportation to campus. The CGE recommends you give yourself time to find housing before you start classes to avoid added stress during your first semester at RMU. 
    • Students who want to live in Pittsburgh should keep in mind that there are students in many universities also seeking housing, especially from July-September each year.
    • Students arriving for Spring semester should keep in mind that some businesses may have limited hours between December 24-January 2 because of the U.S. holidays. 
    • Remember that when you live off-campus, you need to prepare for additional costs of living, including utilities (e.g., water, electricity), transportation to and from the university, renter’s insurance, and furniture.
  • Need a place to stay while you find housing? There are several hotels that offer transportation to and from the airport. 


If you plan to drive while studying in the U.S., it is important that you bring your valid driving documents with you when you travel to the U.S. You cannot apply for a Driver’s License until you have registered in SEVIS during your New International Student Orientation.

Driving In The U.S.

Health Insurance Requirements

One of your tasks in your admitted student checklist is to verify that you have health insurance. All students who do not provide proof of health insurance following the instructions on this page will automatically be enrolled in and billed for RMU’s student health insurance. If you live on campus you must also submit your Student Health Form. There are instructions on the form for completing the document and submitting it to Student Health Services.

Health Insurance Coverage and RMU Costs