International Student Office

From Admission to Visa Petition –
Step-by-Step

Getting a Student Visa for Study at DTS

  1. Apply to the Admissions Department at DTS. Include a financial aid application if you wish to be considered for a scholarship (awarded to students commencing in the fall semesters only.) Note: Scholarships are extremely few, so you should raise support in other areas while your application is being considered.
  2. If your application is successful, the Admissions Department forwards your file to the International Office. We then notify you regarding the following details:
    1. Your expenses for your program of study. This will require: (1) proof of having enough money to cover both tuition and family living expenses for one year, and (2) a letter explaining how you plan to cover the costs for the rest of your program. You will be sent living expense estimates and pledge forms to raise funds. If the spouse is pregnant at the time of entry to the US, no insurance is available to offset the high cost of prenatal care and delivery of the baby ($4,500 - $25,000). Applicants should show firm evidence of an additional $12,000 to cover these costs.

      Major supporters within the US will be required to complete an I-134 ‘Affidavit of Support’. All supporters’ finances and your own personal finances should be established by sending us documentary proof in the form of copies of bank statements.

      Unfortunately, we can not include property valuations as part of the potential funds for support. Only 'liquid assets' such as cash accounts, or assets that are immediately convertible to currency are accepted. Property valuations are subject to the whims of markets, buyers, and realtors, and often cause delays when funds are actually needed. You will need to sell your property if you wish to count it as funds toward your DTS study.

      Regarding pledges made by supporters, the same restrictions apply, and only pledges made on behalf of a company or other persons with proper documentation are accepted. Funds which are pledged from Christian ministries must be accompanied by a copy of the ministry annual budget with a support pledge form provided by the International Student Office.

    2. You will need to send a medical certificate from a clinic indicating that you and your family do not have tuberculosis. Be prepared for you and your dependents to be tested for Tuberculosis during the week of orientation. More information will be provided. Your cost for the required test will be approximately $25 - $60 USD per family member.
    3. You will need to return a completed Student Data Form that we will send you. This will ensure that the data we supply to the Citizenship and Immigration Services is accurate. You can send forms by fax (214-887-5368) or as scanned attachments via email to internationaloffice@dts.edu.
    4. Due to the lack of openings for on-campus housing, you are advised to begin your program in mid-summer (July 1) rather than waiting for the fall semester. This would give you a better chance to reserve on-campus housing. You can arrive 30 days before the beginning of classes, which means that you would then arrive between June 1st and July 1st. The other advantage is that this early arrival would allow you more time to apply for on-campus employment.
    5. If you are transferring from another school in the US, you should give the Transfer Form we send to you to the international student adviser where you are currently studying. They should fax the completed form to this office. We discuss the date of transfer of your SEVIS information. When you arrive at DTS, you should immediately complete the transfer through SEVIS by visiting the International Office.
    6. Please note that the government does not allow initial entry students to transfer to another institution during their first semester in the US.
    7. Only students who are in legal immigration status may transfer to DTS. See ‘School Transfers’ below.
  3. Please note the following program durations; the ThM is 4 years, STM is 1.5 years, MA/BC is 3 years, MA/BEL is 2 years, MA/CE is 2 years, MA/CM is 2 years, MA/BS is 2 years, CBTS is 1 year, and the PhD is 5 years.
  4. Once the items (a) to (c) below are submitted, this office will register you (and your family) with the Citizenship and Immigration Services and generate an I-20 form that you will use to obtain a visa. The purpose of a visa is to permit entry into the US. The visa by itself does not determine your legal presence. Legal presence after arrival as an international student is determined by the following;
    1. A passport valid for at least 6 months
    2. An I-94 card, issued upon entry, that shows the letters D/S (Duration of Legal Status)
    3. A signed I-20 from DTS, showing the duration of your studies and details.
    4. Evidence from the registrar that you are a current student (transcript of classes).
  5. You will receive an email from the Registrar’s Office with your password so that you can register for classes online. At this stage, your admission to DTS is fully confirmed.
  6. The International Student Office then mails you all the above papers. If there is any change in your mailing address, please let us know immediately.
  7. The papers you receive will allow you to apply for a visa at your country’s consulate. Students transferring from other US institutions will continue on the same F-1 visa, providing the time between programs is less than 5 months, or that you remain in legal status through F-1 employment concessions such as Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  8. To avoid your classes being dropped, deposit $4,500 in your student account (six- digit number) to cover the majority of the tuition costs for the first semester, unless you have received a scholarship. This amount must be in your account by August 1st (for fall semester commencement), or November 31st (for spring commencement), or April 15th (for summer commencement). Any small remainder must be paid by the common deadline before classes start. If this payment is not received by these dates, your classes will be dropped, your attendance at DTS may be deferred and you will need to enter at a later semester.
  9. If you are successful in obtaining a visa, inform us of your travel and arrival plans. You cannot enter the US more than 30 days before your International Student Orientation (held mid-August if entering in fall semester or mid-January for spring). Attending the International Student Orientation is REQUIRED and normally falls three days prior to the general DTS orientation (international students have two orientations to attend). If you are arriving from outside the US, return the airport pick up form with your flight arrival details at least two weeks prior to departure as it is our pleasure to meet you at the airport. We will need to know the date, time, connecting flights, and flight number, and if possible, the gate number for arrival. Be sure to have our cell phone number accessible to call if your flight is changed or cancelled! Be sure you have arranged your housing in Dallas prior to your arrival.
  10. If you will be arriving from a country or region that has been listed by the World Health Organization as having restricted travel due to a Health risk, you should be prepared to wait 7 days after your arrival in the US and obtain clearance from a certified medical person before coming onto campus.
  11. As soon as you arrive on campus , report to the International Student Office to complete your entry process and receive needed paperwork to start at DTS!

Paying for Courses at DTS

DTS cannot accept wire transfers for student payments. The Cashier’s Office does accept cash, checks, cashier's checks, traveler’s checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Please keep in mind that the payment deadline is generally about 2 weeks before the classes commence. If you have not yet submitted your payment, you will need to make sure that it arrives at the cashier’s office by 4:00 P.M. on that deadline date or your classes will be dropped from registration.

You may fax credit card information as well. If you choose to do this, please include the card number, expiration date, amount you wish charged to the card, and the name that appears on the card. You may fax this information to 214-887-5535. Should you wish to mail a check, you may want to send it by FedEx, UPS, DHL, or some other similar overnight service.