main goal of UPRM’s Graduate Studies Office is to attract the
best graduate students from Puerto Rico and other countries in Latin America. The Immigration Office (Oficina de Asuntos de Inmigración in Spanish (OAI)) supports this goal.
The Immigration Office certifies the status of international students and prepares the Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Students (known as the I-20 Form),
that is presented by the student to the North American consulate upon
request for a visa. Preparation of this document requires the
student provide evidence that they have sufficient funds to cover their
expenses (evidence of solvency), among other things, to complete
studies at our institution.
Evidence of Solvency
the Graduate Program to which the student applied accepts the
applicant, the Graduate Studies Office sends the applicant a letter
requesting evidence of solvency. Specifically, the applicant must
provide evidence that sufficient funds are available to cover the costs
of the first academic year (10 months), estimated by UPRM’s
Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs to be US$21,682.00, outlined as
Student identification card
Medical insurance basic coverage
|Books and materials
International applicants who will pay for
studies with their own funds must prove they
have sufficient funds through deposit slips in
their name, notarized promise notes of financial
support from close family members, or evidence
of grants from his/her country of origin. The
I-20 form cannot be sent to the applicant until
evidence of solvency is received.
For costs related with the additional maintenance expenses of spouse and child(ren), please consult the campus Office of Equal Opportunity Employment and Immigration Affairs.
Financial Support (Graduate Assistantships)
On many occasions departments offer graduate students teaching or research assistantships.
These involve, in addition to academic responsibilities, a monthly
stipend that will reduce the amount of funds that must be demonstrated
as evidence of solvency.
may vary depending on the hours of work required for each assignment
and the student’s degree. Currently, a complete assistantship
paid from institutional funds if the assistant has a bachelor’s
degree is US$917.00, and US$1,057.00 for a master’s degree.
Assistantships also may or may not include a waiver of tuition
(equivalent to US$6,126.00). If the total of the assistantship (plus
waiver if applicable) is less than US$18,337, the applicant must
provide evidence of funds to cover the difference.
letter requesting proof of solvency will specify if admission has been
awarded with or without an assistantship. However, every student
receiving an assistantship should be aware that the semester’s
first check is usually available approximately one month after classes
begin, as a result of a rigorous verification system. For this
reason we recommend that students ensure funds are available to cover
medical insurance, housing, food, books and miscellaneous expenses
during this period.
The I-20 Form (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Students)
The I-20 Form or Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Students
is a document signed by an official from the Immigration Office, that
certifies the student has been accepted to graduate studies at our
institution and has the necessary financial support to cover their
studies and the cost of living in Puerto Rico.
For this reason, the Graduate Studies Office is responsible for
ensuring that each international student admitted to our institution is
financially solvent (see “Evidence of Solvency”).
The Graduate Studies Office
will send the I-20 Form by express courier
service (such as FEDEX or DHL) to the
applicant’s home address, and the applicant pays
the service directly upon receiving the
exact cost of this service may vary from one day to the next, and of
course, depending on the destination. The Graduate Studies Office
establishes deadlines to send I-20 forms, so the applicant must be as
diligent as possible when dealing with these shipments.
Applicants with grants from international agencies (AID, OEA, LASPAU, etc.) must obtain a J1 visa. The DS-2019
form, required to solicit a visa at a United States consulate, is
supplied by the agency sponsoring the student. International applicants
covering studies with their own funds or who will receive assistance
must present their I-20 Form at a United States consulate in order to obtain their F1 visa.
per U.S. Immigration Regulations, employment persuant to the terms of a
scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship, is considered to be a part of
the student's academic program, as is a postdoctoral research
appointment. This work is considered to be "on-campus" even if it is
performed in a location not on the school's premises, as long as the
location is "educationally affiliated" to the school. Like other types
of on-campus employment, however, such employment cannot exceed twenty
(20) hours a week while school is in session.
more information regarding visas, please contact the Acting Director of the Equal Employment Office and
Immigration Services, Mr. Carlos E. Rosas Muniz at 1-787-832-4040 ext. 2415, by
fax (1-787-265-5418) or by electronic mail
The International Students Office
The International Students Office offers
support and orientation to allow new students to become familiar with
the facilities and services available on campus and help facilitate
travel to campus.
with the I-20 Form, each applicant will receive a variety of documents
prepared by the International Students Office regarding flights to
Puerto Rico, money exchange, travel options from the airport in San Juan to
housing, medical insurance (compulsory) and important academic dates.
The Office has also prepared a manual of important information
accessible through the following link:
The Graduate Studies Office also highly recommends reading the following information sheet: