RUM :: Office of Graduate Studies :: Information for International Students
 Information for
 International Students

Immigration Office

The 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

Once 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 follows:



Building fees




Technology fees


Special fee


Student identification card


Medical insurance basic coverage









Books and materials $1,300
Total $21,682

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 the original 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.

Stipends 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.

The 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 package. 

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.

The Visa

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 from the University of Puerto Rico must present their I-20 Form at a United States consulate in order to obtain their F1 visa.  

As 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.

For 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 carlos

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.

Along 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 Mayaguez, 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:




Phone Number: 1-787-265-3809, Ext: 3598, 3442, 3809
Fax: 787- 265-5489
Office Hours
Monday to Friday from 7:45 AM to 11:45 AM and from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM.
Office of Graduate Studies
University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez Campus
CALL Box 9000 Mayagüez
PR 00681-9000