We welcome students from around the world to study at Friday Harbor Labs!

Most international students attending a course at Friday Harbor Labs should obtain an F-1 Student Visa.  This is the appropriate visa for students enrolled and earning credits for a university course, as noted on the following U.S. government Web pages:


• A visitor or tourist visa is not the appropriate visa for students attending a course at FHL.  Similarly, the U.S. “Visa Waiver Program” (for citizens of specific countries traveling for tourism or business) is not intended for students enrolling in a university course of study.

• With an F-1 Student Visa, students may enter the United States up to 30 days before the start date of the FHL course, and may stay in the U.S. for a “grace period” of up to 60 days after the course ends.

• Canadians do not need to obtain a U.S. Student Visa but will be required to present a “Form I-20” at the border when entering the U.S. (details below).


1)  All international students must apply and be admitted for a course at Friday Harbor Labs before they can apply for documents to enter the United States.  Stacy Markman, FHL Student Coordinator, will provide information about how to apply for these U.S. government documents AFTER a student has been accepted for a course at Friday Harbor Labs.

2)  All non-U.S. students, including Canadians, attending a course at FHL must request a “Form I-20” (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) issued by the University of Washington International and English Language Program (IELP).

3)  Once the Form I-20 has been issued by IELP, all non-U.S. students, including Canadians, will also need to submit an application and payment for the SEVIS I-901 fee. SEVIS stands for the “Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.” See the following U.S. government website for more information:

4)  After paying the I-901 SEVIS Fee and getting a receipt, the student may then apply for an F-1 Student Visa at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate (before coming to the United States). An in-person interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate will be required and may need to be scheduled a month or more in advance. Students should plan ahead and apply as early as possible!

See the following link for more details about student visas:


1)  An express mail fee of $40 USD is required for students who need their Form I-20 sent to a non-U.S. address.

2)  The SEVIS I-901 fee is $350.

3)  The F-1 Student Visa fee is $160. You will receive instructions about how to pay this fee after you schedule your in-person interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

4)  International Students – Required Insurance: Washington State law requires that all international students have accidental injury and illness insurance while they attend the University of Washington. We can assist citizens of countries other than the U.S. to purchase temporary insurance through University of Washington. The insurance cost will be an estimated $2.00 per day for those under 40 years of age. For example, one 5-week summer class at FHL = 34 days x $2.00 = $68.00. Stacy Markman, FHL student Coordinator, will provide information about how to request insurance coverage, if needed.

For general questions about student visas, please contact the University of Washington International and English Language Program (IELP) Advising Office in Seattle:

University of Washington
International & English Language Program (IELP)
UW Continuum College
4333 Brooklyn Avenue NE
Box 359450
Seattle, WA 98195-9450

Phone: 206-543-6242
Fax: 206-685-9572
Email: askielp@uw.edu


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