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Visa and Immigration Information for Summer Programs

Please check back frequently for more information as this page is being updated with additional content on a regular basis. 

Tufts University welcomes international students to participate in its many summer programs. Please read below for more information about immigration and visa options. Your visa options may differ depending on the exact program you are interested in joining, your current immigration status, and other related information.If you are interested in joining one of Tufts's summer programs, please read this information carefully and contact the Tufts International Center at

Please note: If you are located in one of the countries that is a member of the European Economic Area when you provide us personal information, please review our EEA Privacy Statements.

F-1 Student Sponsorship

At this time, Tufts does not issue I-20s for F-1 student visa sponsorship for summer and visiting student programs, including the Pre-College programs.

Summer English-language training programs are generally eligible for F-1 sponsorship. If you are admitted to an English language training program, your program will provide you with instructions for starting the I-20 application and F-1 visa sponsorship process.

J-1 Student Sponsorship

Tufts does issue Form DS-2019s for J-1 non-degree students in certain limited situations. To qualify, at least one of these requirements must apply: (1) the program you are participating in must be a minimum of three weeks and based on a written agreement between Tufts and an overseas college, university or government entity, and/or (2) your financial resources must be primarily from non-personal or non-family sources, such as from a home government or home university scholarship. If you believe this applies to you, contact the International Center at


Other Visa Options - FAQs

I am already in the US as an F-1 Student. What do I need to do?

If you are already in the United States in F-1 status attending another school (such as a high school or another college or university), you do not need to take any special immigration steps to study in a Tufts summer program as long as you are going to return to your current school to resume studies as an F-1 student after the summer is over. Study at another institution during an approved summer vacation is generally permitted without requiring a transfer or change of F-1 sponsorship.

If this applies to you, you should discuss your summer plans with your current F-1 sponsor so that they can maintain your F-1 status throughout your summer vacation period. No additional visa steps with Tufts is required.

I am already in the US in another (non F-1) status. What do I need to do?

If you are already in the United States in another status other than F-1, you may be able to study either part- or full-time without having to change your visa type or immigration status.

For example, family members on dependent visas (e.g., F-2, J-2, H-4, E-2, and others) are allowed to study either part- or full-time and do not need to change immigration status in order to enroll in Tufts courses (however see the note below about F-2 dependents). You should talk to your visa sponsor and/or the principal visa holder for more specific instructions.

In addition, pending permanent residents, asylees, and persons under Temporary Protected Status are allowed to study and do not need to obtain immigration sponsorship through Tufts in order to enroll in Tufts summer courses.

Please note: persons in F-2 status are not permitted to study full-time but are allowed to study part-time. Persons who are here in B-1/B-2 'visitor' status (or under the 'ESTA' Visa Waiver Program), also have restrictions on study. See the separate section on B-1/B-2 and Visa Waiver visitors for more information.

If you have determined that your current status allows you to study at Tufts, you do not need to take any additional immigration steps to enroll in summer classes at Tufts.

I am coming to the US as a visitor (B-1/B-2 or Visa Waiver 'ESTA' Program). Am I allowed to study?

The B-1/B-2 and Visa Waiver 'ESTA' program are available for persons whose primary purpose is to visit the United States for business, pleasure (tourism), or medical treatment.

Persons who come to the US in B-1/B-2 status or on the Visa Waiver program are not allowed to enroll in a "course of study" or to engage in full-time study. A course of study involves coursework leading to a degree, certificate, or related objective; or courses that have a substantial vocational objective. In general, for-credit classes are usually considered part of a "course of study." Note: for summer programs, Tufts considers 9+ SHU (semester hour units) or 18 clock hours per week as full-time.

However, the B-1/B-2 visa and the Visa Waiver program does allow participation in recreational or casual classwork that is incidental to the main purpose of business or tourism. Such classes are generally short-term, part-time, not-for-credit, and are not part of a degree, certificate, or similar program with an educational objective. Campus visitation and enrichment programs as well as informal study that does not involve for-credit classes may also be permitted under the B-1/B-2 visa or Visa Waiver program. 

Tufts allows any student successfully admitted to its programs to enroll in its classes. However, it is up to each individual visitor to understand whether their planned activity is consistent with the B-1/B-2 visa or the Visa Waiver program. This information is provided as general guidance to help you with your plans.

Applying for a B-1/B-2 Visa

If you do not already have a B-1/B-2 visa, you must apply for one at a US consulate near you (go to for a listing of US consulates worldwide). Follow visa application instructions provided by the consulate, as instructions vary from consulate to consulate. Be prepared to show evidence that your visit to the US will be for a temporary, limited period and that the purpose of the visit is consistent with the B-1/B-2 visa.

The Visa Waiver / ESTA Program

The Visa Waiver Program allows visa-free travel to the US, but is limited to citizens of certain countries. While no visa application is needed, you are required to have a valid ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) clearance before you leave for the US. For more information about the Visa Waiver Program and how to submit an ESTA application, go to Entry on a visa waiver is for a maximum of up to 90 days or less, and cannot be extended.