Immigration and Visas

Part of the global Roman Catholic Church, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology (SHSST) forms men and women from all over the world to become the best possible priests and ministers. With an institutional emphasis on interculturality, we are proud of the many diverse voices on our campus.

In keeping with our dedication to serving the universal Church, SHSST is certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student Exchange Visitor Program. This allows Sacred Heart to sponsor accepted students in their applications for F-1 U.S. Student Visas.

Unless a student is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or or the beneficiary of special circumstances, a Student Visa will be required to study at an American educational institution.


The Process

If an applicant will require a Student Visa in order to attend SHSST, we recommend planning ahead as much as possible. The visa application process itself can take some time, and it can only be started after a student is formally accepted at Sacred Heart. Therefore, we recommend submitting all applications for admission as soon as is practical.

After the student is admitted into Sacred Heart, the office of International Student Services will issue a Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) to the incoming student. Relevant fees will also be payed and then billed back to the student’s sponsor. When the necessary documents have been provided to the incoming student, it becomes the responsibility of the student to apply for their visa online and to schedule an appointment for an interview at their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Only when the F-1 U.S. Student Visa is granted may the student make plans for travel and enrollment at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.


R-1 Religious Worker Visas

Some applicants who already reside in the U.S. do so under R-1 Religious Worker Status. In order to legally enroll at SHSST, they will need to convert their status to that of an F-1 Student. This can be accomplished by leaving the U.S. and applying for a new visa or by filing Form I-539 with USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services).


If you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact us at