What is the Form I-20?
How do I get an I-20? What documents do I need to submit?
What is an I-20?
Every international student who applies for a F-1 Visa (student visa) will be issued a Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status – For Academic and Language Students." Once you confirm your admission with an approved university in the US, you will be issued a Form I-20 (I-20) by your university’s designated school official (DSO).
What do I need to do to get a Form I-20?
Once you confirm admission at a US university, your university’s international student office will request that you submit several financial documents before you receive an I-20. The following documents are acceptable to confirm your proof of funds for your US education:
Bank statements (last 3 years)
Tax records (last 3 years)
Pay stubs (last 3 months)
Proof of scholarship funds (if any)
Letter confirming a bank loan (if any)
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Why is the I-20 important?
The I-20 is proof of your enrollment at a US university as an international student. It contains your SEVIS ID which is used by your university and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to document your eligibility as an international student in the US.
The I-20 is needed as part of your F-1 Visa application process. In some cases, US customs and immigration officers may ask you to present your I-20 to confirm your F-1 Visa status when you enter the US and pass through airport immigration. If you plan to intern or gain full-time work experience in the US, you must submit a valid I-20 and a work authorization application to United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What should I do with my I-20?
As soon as you are issued an I-20, ensure that all your credentials are correct. Double check any section containing biographical information as well as the listed university and program of study. You should check for spelling errors and ensure that your university’s Designated School Official (DSO) has endorsed the I-20 with their signature and date in the ‘School Attestation’ section. You should sign and print all pages of your I-20, and save a digital copy of your I-20 as well as all immigration documentation, including your passport. If you are under 18 years of age, your parent or legal guardian must also sign and date your Form I-20 in wet ink.
Note: Throughout your US student journey, your university’s international student office will issue new copies of your Form I-20 - you must save every single I-20 you receive since these are important documents that you will need to submit as evidence in other legal / immigration processes.
Click here to learn more about applying for the F-1 Visa.
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