Form I-20 : What you need to know!
What is form I-20?
The form I-20 is a document that certifies that a student is eligible to study in a US University. It is also known as the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students. It is issued by Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools, colleges and universities and provides supporting information on a student’s F or M status visas.
What does I-20 have?
Apart from the original signature of the school’s designated official, the form includes student tracking number (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System- SEVIS ID number) and school code. The form contains the beginning and end dates of his/her program of study and current term, requests for benefits and corrections, employment information, current status, and information about financial status.
SEVIS stores Form I-20 information electronically. F and M students receive a printed version from the DSO.
Why does one need Form I-20?
The Form I-20, along with the student’s visa, is necessary for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to consider the student for admission to the United States. Since the form also contains information of the financial status of the student, it becomes a very important document for getting a visa. The student must have these two along with other documents with him/her when he/she arrives in the United States.
How can one obtain Form I-20?
The schoolto which a student has applied and been accepted generally sends the Form I-20 to the selected students. It has the original signature of the Designated School Official (DSO). A student after receiving the confirmation of admission, must also receive the Form. If he/she doesn’t, he/she may have to request for it. Foreign students usually get in touch with the International Students Centers/Help desks of the respective school/university for information on their I-20 form.
What kinds of visas require I-20?
Form I-20 is only for F -1, F – 2, M -1 and M -2 visa statuses. J-1 and J-2 status holders have an equivalent Form DS-2019 which is issued by a United States Department of State-designated J exchange visitor program.
Does a Form I-20 expire?
Yes, an I-20 form expires on the date of finishing the program of study, as stated in the form. In case a student needs to extend the dates, he/she needs to get in touch with the school’s international center for necessary requirements.