SEVIS Fee and F-1 Visa

After receiving the I-20, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee (I-901 fee) and apply for an F-1 visa. (Students from Canada and Bermuda do not need to apply for an F-1 visa, but do need to pay the SEVIS fee.) If you have a valid F-1 visa in your passport you don't need to apply for a new visa. Please monitor each embassy/consulate's operations in your country for hours of operation. Stay tuned for the general updates and FAQ for new students; we will update the info. as soon as we can. 

Finances & F-1 Visa Application

It is extremely important that you be prepared to meet the expenses throughout your study at CalArts.  If you are currently receiving financial aid (scholarship) from CalArts, please be aware that the renewal is dependent upon your academic standing and the financial aid amount will not increase for your second year and beyond.

You will be required to satisfy the visa-issuing officer at the U.S. Consulate that you will at least have enough money available for you to cover the expenses estimated on the I-20 form.  You should make sure that additional funds will be available to you should you need them.

YOU MAY NOT COUNT ON EMPLOYMENT IN THE U.S. FOR ANY OF THESE FUNDS.  Non-immigrant international students are prohibited from working off-campus while enrolled in school (except for certain extreme circumstances).  Permission to be employed from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is never granted to students who have been in the U.S. for fewer than 12 months.  

Immunization Form

The immunization form will be available from your application portal. If you have any questions about the form please contact the Student Health Center or The Covid-19 vaccination form may be separate from the general immunization form. 

English Language Proficiency Assessment & Classes

All incoming BFA international students are required to complete an online writing and reading comprehension assessment in summer. The result of the assessment, along with the English proficiency test score (TOEFL etc.), will be used to determine which English courses, if any, will be required in the first year.  Some MFA international students may be required or may opt-in to have an interview to determine the eligibility to take an optional English course for artists at Calarts during the fall semester.  You will receive further instruction about the assessment and interview via email.  If you have any questions about the assessment or classes please contact

Housing Options for International Students

We encourage you to arrange your housing as soon as you can. Please read Fall 2022 Housing FAQ when availabe in mid-March. For your convenience, we provide a list of nearby apartments, hotels, homestay programs, and social media that students often use, although they are not affiliated with CalArts. CalArts Residence Life Office offers some help in finding housing.


Travel Restrictions

Please check which travel restrictions are still in effect.  The official U.S. Visas News and the NAFSA's Visas and Entry are good source.

For new or returning students with Initial I-20s, the program start date is August 29, 2022. You can enter the U.S. after July 30, 2022.

COVID Test Requirement for U.S. Entry

In order to enter the United States, you must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, AND you will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 1 calendar day of departure​. Please check to see that you meet the criteria of being fully vaccinated by click here

Transportation to CalArts from LAX

CalArts is located about 40 miles from LAX.  CalArts does not provide airport pick-up services. 

Before departing to the U.S., please make sure to pack your I-20 form, passport/visa, acceptance letter, and proof of COVID testing in your carry-on bag or purse. The I-20 form is an important document. You must travel and present the I-20 form with your passport and visa at the port of entry in the U.S.  Do not pack your I-20 form with your baggage that will be checked in at the airport. You will experience delays at the port of entry if you are not able to present your I-20 with your passport and visa. 

Tuition Payments

All tuition and fees paid to CalArts must be in U.S. dollars.  If you are expecting to receive funds from home while at CalArts, you should make sure that all necessary arrangements have been made for the transfer of these funds before you depart for the U.S.  The tuition payment deadlines are here.

Registration for Courses

The Registrar and Accounting Offices will send registration and payment instructions to your CalArts email. Please read this material very carefully.

Health Care and Insurance

International students are automatically enrolled in the CalArts Health Insurance Plan. Student health insurance coverage is purchased through the school for a fee and will be automatically charged to your tuition statement. In rare circumstances, a student many be exempt from enrolling in the CalArts Health Insurance during the course registration process. CalArts Health Insurance does not cover dental or vision care. You should purchase dental and vision insurance on your own.  

International Student Orientation

All new international students are required to attend the international student orientation online. The modules will be available late August or early September through the CalArts Online Orientation site. We will email you the details in summer!  

International Student Handbook