How to Apply to a University and get an I 20 Form Issued : Current School News

How to Apply to a University and get an I 20 Form Issued

Filed in Articles by on May 30, 2022

– Apply to a University and get an I 20 Form Issued –

Apply to a University and get an I 20 Form Issued: Happy you got enrolled into a school in the United States? Don’t forget that there  are few requirement you need to meet  and one of such is  with I 20 Form. 

How to Apply to a University and get an I 20 Form Issued

Apply to a University and get an I 20 Form Issued

So basically I will show you everything you need to know about this form and how to go about it.

Every F and M student that study in the United States must have a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status.” 

Once it has been accepted into a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school, international students will get a Form I-20 from their chosen school official (DSO)

You must also get a Form I-20 for any qualified dependents you plan to bring to the United States with you.

Additional Information

However, please take note that the name (i.e., Academic and Language students vs. Vocational Students) on the Form I-20an SEVP-certified school matter you will dictate the type of student visa you may get from the U.S. Department.

You and your DSO must both sign the Form I-20. If you are under age 18, your parents must sign the Form I-20 for you.


Form I-20 Uses

The Form I-20 is a significant document that you should keep safe, as you will need it all through the international student life cycle.

Paying the I-901 SEVISFee

Before you pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee, you must get Form I-20 from a DSO at the school you plan to attend. You will need info from the Form I-20 to pay the fee.

The I-901 SEVIS Fee is compulsory and must be paid before you enter the United States.

Applying for a Non-immigrant Visa

The Form I-20 lists your program start date, 30 days before which you are permitted to enter the United States.

 F-1 and M-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days before your course of study begin date. Your type of student visa must match the type of Form I-20 you have (e.g., F-1 or M-1).

You are required o have the original Form I-20 at your visa interview. The consular officer may accept a copy of the Form I-20 in limited circumstances that warrant Visa issuance prior to you receiving the original Form I-20.


Entering the United States

You are required o have the original Form I-20 with ink signature on hand as you enter the country. Do not pack it away in your suitcase.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will educate you to present your Form I-20 at the port of entry. You may attain up to 30 days before the start date listed on your Form I-20; or

Changing status to F or M while in the United States

You need a Form I-20 if you are already in the United States as another type of non-immigrant and you are applying to USCIS to change your status to F or M.

Applying for Benefits

Your Form I-20 shows that you are legally registered in a program of study in the United States. Consequently, it may be needed when you apply for the benefits available to F and M students.

If you are eligible to apply for a driver’s license or a social security number, remember to bring your Form I-20 with you.

When to Get a New Form I-20

After getting the early Form I-20 upon program acceptance, students may obtain a new Form I-20 from their DSO in the following circumstances:

1. If the physical copy of the form is devastated or misplaced.

2. For travel endorsement.

3. When the student’s SEVIS status changes (e.g., from Initial to Active).

4. For any substantive change to student information, such as changes to a student’s personal information, the program of study, optional practical training, etc.

Redesigned Form I-20

As of July 1, 2016, the redesigned Form I-20 is needed for all F and M nonimmigrant visa applications, entry into the United States, travel, and applications for non-immigrant aids.

The earlier version of the Form I-20 (with a barcode) is now unacceptable. Students, please note that your DSOs were in charge for providing an updated, hard copy of the Form I-20 with original signatures to all F-1 and M-1 students at their schools.


FAQs on How to Apply to a University and get an I 20 Form Issued

Below are the frequently asked questions on Apply to a University and get an I 20 Form Issued

1. How long does it take to get I-20 from US university?

After receipt of all required documents, it takes about 2–3 weeks for your I-20 to be processed.

2. Is I-20 an admission letter?

US embassy requires proof that the applicant has been admitted to a US school. Candidates receive this certificate in the mail along with the offer letter/admission letter.

3. Can I study in US without I-20?

All F and M students that study in the United States need a Form I-20

3. How do I get an I-20 form?

To request a new I-20 form, contact your DSO. It is important to remember that your DSO can only reprint an official I-20 form when your SEVIS status is initial or active.

4. How long does it take to get an I-20?

It will normally take 1 week to prepare your I-20 once you have been accepted and have submitted all of the SEVIS/visa documents.

5. How much does an I-20 visa cost?


6. Can I stay in the US with only I-20?

The I-20 is required to reapply for a visa (if needed) and for re-entering the United States.

7. Can international students study online in USA?

While new international students cannot take a fully online course of study in the U.S., they are permitted to take a hybrid program.

8. Who can issue an I-20?

 The Form I-20 must be issued by a DSO at an SEVP-certified school and sent directly to a nonimmigrant student

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CSN Team.

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