It is important to remember that you must obtain a visa that is appropriate to your purpose for entering the United States, usually an F-1 or J-1 student/scholar visa. In other words, if you are coming to the United States to attend Florida Tech, you should not enter the United States with a tourist visa (B-1/B-2) or via any other visa waiver program between your country and the United States. You will not be permitted to attend Florida Tech if you do not hold a student/scholar visa.
The first step in obtaining a visa is to make an appointment with the U.S. embassy or consulate responsible for issuing nonimmigrant visas for your home country, which may and should be done as soon as you receive your I-20 or DS-2019. Visa applications may be issued up to 90 days before your program start date. Visit http://usembassy.state.gov for a list of consular post websites.
If for some reason you are unable to schedule an interview with a consular officer until after the start date for your program (notated on the I-20 or section 3 on the DS-2019), you should contact the Office of Admission. Depending on the circumstances, the university may have to issue you a new I-20 or DS-2019 or defer your attendance until the following semester.
While each embassy or consular post has their own visa application procedures and processing times, the requirements above are standard. It is a good idea, however, to consult the office where you will apply for specific details regarding documentation and procedures.
Once you have been issued your visa, check to be sure that you have been issued the correct visa (an F-1 if you have an I-20; a J-1 if you have a DS-2019) and that your visa indicates your school of choice: Florida Institute of Technology.
Immigration laws limit your arrival into the United States to no more than 30 days prior to the report date listed on the Form I-20 or DS-2019.
If you are a citizen of Canada, you do not need a visa to enter the United States. However, you still need to present your I-20 or DS-2019 form and a valid passport at the U.S. Immigration border crossing or port of entry. You must also present proof of payment of the SEVIS fee. If you enter through a land border, you should receive an I-94 card marked F-1 or J-1, D/S upon entry. If you enter by air, your I94 data will be processed electronically and you will not receive a card.