How to Apply for an I-20 | International Student Admissions.
Applying to a school in the United States that has received SEVP approval is the first step. You will be enrolled for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee after the SEVP-approved school confirms your registration. You’ll receive a Form I-20 from the SEVP-approved school.
To apply for an I-20 in the United States, follow these steps:
1. Research and Choose a School: Start by researching U.S. educational institutions that offer programs aligned with your interests and goals. Consider factors like location, reputation, and program requirements. Once you’ve chosen a school, ensure that it is SEVP-certified to issue the I-20.
2. Apply and Get Accepted: Begin the application process by submitting your application to the chosen school. Follow their instructions carefully and provide all required documents, such as academic transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and an essay or statement of purpose. Pay any required application fees.
3. Receive Acceptance Letter: If your application is successful, you will receive an acceptance letter from the school. This letter will confirm your admission and outline any conditions you must meet prior to enrollment.
4. Gather Financial Documents: As an international student, you must demonstrate your ability to cover the costs of studying in the U.S. Gather financial documents, such as bank statements or sponsorship letters, to prove your financial stability during your studies.
5. Pay SEVIS Fee: The next step is to pay the SEVIS fee through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website. This fee is mandatory for all F-1 visa applicants and covers the costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
6. Complete Form DS-160: Fill out Form DS-160, the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, on the U.S. Department of State’s website. Provide accurate information about yourself, your educational plans, and other required details.
7. Schedule Visa Interview: After completing Form DS-160, schedule an appointment for a visa interview at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Prepare all necessary documents for the interview, including your acceptance letter, financial documents, SEVIS fee payment receipt, passport, and photograph.
8. Attend Visa Interview: On the scheduled date, attend your visa interview. Be prepared to answer questions about your educational background, study plans, financial resources, and ties to your home country. Present your documents for verification.
9. Receive I-20: If your visa application is approved, you will be issued an I-20 form by the school’s designated international student office. The I-20 is a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status and contains important information about your program of study.
10. Apply for F-1 Visa: With the I-20 in hand, you can now complete the application process for the F-1 student visa at the embassy or consulate. Pay any required visa application fees and follow the instructions provided.
11. Prepare for Departure: Once you receive your F-1 visa, make necessary travel arrangements, including booking flights and arranging accommodation. Familiarize yourself with U.S. customs regulations and pack essential documents, such as your passport, I-20, acceptance letter, financial documents, and any other required paperwork.
Remember to consult official government websites and seek guidance from your chosen educational institution’s international student office throughout the application process for accurate and up-to-date information.
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