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What is a Continuing Student Initial I-20 Request?

I-20 Certificate of Eligibility is required to:

  • Apply for an F-1 student visa through a U.S. Consulate abroad
  • To maintain F-1 student status in the United States

The University of Utah will begin processing your I-20 once you’ve been admitted to a degree-seeking program.

Admission to a Certificate Program does not qualify as a degree program and will not grant I-20 eligibility.

If you are a continuing student requesting an initial I-20, please refer to the following guide.

General I-20 Information

Required Documents

These documents are not required for admission to the University of Utah.

You can submit them as soon as possible, but we will not begin processing your I-20 until you have been admitted.

The University of Utah cannot guarantee the issuance of an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility unless you have been officially admitted to a degree program at the U and submitted all necessary immigration materials to immigrationdocs@utah.edu by the I-20 document deadline.

Important Notes About Actual Expenses

  • Graduate students must only prove they have funding for 9 credit hours per semester in order for the University of Utah to issue an I-20.
  • Some graduate departments have higher credit hour requirements and tuition rates.
  • Please check with your department for current tuition rates and fees.
  • You may also check current tuition rates here.
  • Your actual expenses may be higher or lower than this estimate depending on your personal spending.
  • The estimated cost for room and board is for on-campus housing.
  • If you will be living off-campus, the cost of living will likely increase.

International students who are requesting an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility must provide the following documents:

1. Financial Documents

  • A financial (bank) statement showing a minimum of $50,021 for Undergraduate (Bachelor’s degree) and a minimum of $51,949 for Graduate students (Master’s & Ph.D. degrees) or the equivalent in foreign currency, to cover the estimated expenses for I-20 purposes.
  • The funds should be liquid (savings, checking, fixed deposit, etc.), and the statement issue date must be within the last six months (costs are subject to change).
  • Funds may come from different financial accounts, but we recommend submitting a consolidated statement to avoid delays.
  • History of your transactions during the last six months are NOT necessary. Please provide the ending balance only which must be dated within the last six months for I-20 issuance validity.
  • Undergraduate Expenses for I-20
  • Graduate Expenses for I-20

2. Financial Support Documents

  • Any student requiring an F-1 student visa must provide proof of funding greater than or equal to the annual estimated expense.
  • If a student cannot provide a personal bank statement showing the required amount, the student must also have his or her sponsor submit a signed letter or affidavit of support indicating the sponsor’s intent to financially support the student.
  • If the student has more than one sponsor, each sponsor must submit a separate, signed Affidavit of Support in addition to proof of funding.
  • Applicants being sponsored by their embassy, government, or educational agency need only submit a letter of sponsorship from the appropriate authority.
    • Embassy, government, or educational agencies may also submit an Affidavit of Support, but it must also be officially stamped by the company.

The funds need to be available for your studies by the beginning of the first day of classes.

Please ensure that you consider currency fluctuation when determining the amount of funds to show — not having enough funds available in your account at the time of I-20 issuance can cause delays as the Office of Admissions will need to contact you for additional proof of funding.

Acceptable proof of funding:

  • Bank statements that clearly indicate the current balance.
    • Make sure that a financial document shows the name of the account holder, a date of issuance, a currency type, the name of the bank and an account type (i.e. checking/savings/fixed deposit).
  • Granted or approved education loans.
    • Disbursement of the funds before I-20 issuance is optional.
  • Official letter from the agency or organization, indicating scholarship amount and duration of the funding.
    • It should be on a letterhead with a handwritten signature from an authorized individual.
  • Proof of an awarded scholarship or a waived tuition amount by the University of Utah, verified by your department.

Unacceptable proof of funding:

  • Credit card account statements
  • Line of credit
  • Bank accounts created for purposes other than education (i.e. retirement, life insurance, etc.)
  • Solvency certificates
  • Financial statements that do not show the current ending balance
  • Loans that are issued “in-principle”
  • Funds that will be frozen after the beginning of studies at the University of Utah
  • Provident funds that do not show the exact amount that can be withdrawn for educational purposes
  • Property funds
  • Salary statements or paystubs

For detailed information about financial documents please visit: Avoid I-20 Delays

3. Passport

  • A copy of the first page of your current passport.

4. SEVIS Transfer-in Form

  • This is only required for students transferring their SEVIS record directly from another U.S. institution.
  • The form can be found here and must be filled out by the International Office of your former school.
  • Our office will only be able to issue a new I-20 after the admitted student’s SEVIS record has been released to the University of Utah.
  • The issuance of a new I-20 may take several weeks after all immigration materials are received.
  • All of the documents above can be scanned and emailed directly to immigrationdocs@utah.edu.

I-20 Document Deadlines

Spring

NOV 1 For students currently outside the U.S.

DEC 19 For students currently residing in the U.S.

Summer

APR 1 For students currently outside the U.S.

MAY 1 For students currently residing in the U.S.

Fall

JUN 1 For students currently outside the U.S.

AUG 1 For students currently residing in the U.S.

Mailing Options for I-20

The Office of Admissions will resume mailing acceptance letters internationally at this time.

If you have extenuating circumstances and absolutely need a digital copy of your acceptance letter, please email us at immigrationdocs@utah.edu.

Otherwise, you will receive a hard copy of your official acceptance letter via mail.

I-20 Certificates of Eligibility are emailed to the email address on file as the preferred email address. Please reach out to us to learn about how to request a physical copy be sent to you.

Email

Due to COVID-19, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has allowed designated school officials to electronically sign and send I-20 Forms. DSOs may electronically send I-20 Forms to student email addresses listed in SEVIS. In the case of a minor student, the email address may belong to their parent or legal guardian.

After You Receive Your I-20

Once you have received your I-20, you can apply for your F-1 visa.

To acquire this, you must fill out the online visa application, pay the non-refundable application fee, and schedule a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (excluding citizens of Canada and Bermuda.)

Follow the steps below to complete this process.

For more detailed information and guidelines, we suggest visiting the Study in the States Website and U.S. Visa Exchange Website.

Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee

1. Pay the non-refundable application SEVIS I-901 fee

  • Only students with a new SEVIS number are required to pay the fee
  • Print the receipt as proof of payment for your visa interview

Online Visa Application

2. Complete the online visa application

  • Once completed, print the application form confirmation page to bring to your visa interview
  • You will be required to upload a photo to complete the application

3. Schedule visa interview

Schedule a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Be sure to take all required documents with you to the interview, including:

  • Passport
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160)
  • Application Fee payment receipt
  • I-20 Certificate of Eligibility
  • Additional documents may be required. Review instructions on the website of the Embassy or Consulate where you will apply.

4. Register for international student orientation

  • All international students (F-1 or J-1 student visa) are required to attend International Student Orientation during their first semester at the University of Utah.
  • Students who have not been enrolled at the University for three consecutive semesters or more must attend this orientation again.
  • For more information, please visit the International Student and Scholar Services website.

Avoid I-20 Delays

The Office of Admissions will review a student’s file for I-20 issuance after a student has been admitted to the University of Utah and the official admission letter is issued.

This includes review of financial and identification documents.

Your patience is appreciated as the time that it takes to evaluate all documentation and to process an I-20 varies from applicant to applicant.

Paying attention to the following points will help you to avoid unnecessary delays.

Keep in Touch

  • Monitor your e-mail account and application tracker.
  • If we need additional information you will be contact via email.
  • Please inform our office of any changes in your situation, including but not limited to changes in your mailing address, email address, passport change, dependents information or immigration status.

Document Submission

Submit the required documents for I-20 processing early (rather than waiting until after the admission decision is made).

NOTE: documents must not be older than 6 months at the moment of I-20 issuance.

We will have to contact you to request updated (more recent) documents if needed, which can delay your I-20 processing.

When submitting documents by e-mail, please send them as an attachment and have good resolution/quality.

All information needs to be clearly visible.

Only submit documents asked for; the more documents or duplicates you submit for proof of funding, the longer it will take to finalize your I-20.

Instead of submitting multiple types of bank statements, consider requesting a Consolidated Account Summary from your bank.

We will expect you to submit the following:

  • A copy of the biographical page of your passport.
  • Proof of funding that shows coverage for the University of Utah annual estimated expenses.
  • Affidavit of support, if the proof of funding is not on your name.
  • Home country address (foreign address) information, if not indicated on application.
  • Phone number (if not indicated on application).
  • U.S. address (only for students transferring from another U.S. university/school).
  • Completed International Transfer Form with released SEVIS record (only for students transferring from another U.S. university/school).
  • If you have any dependents, their passports and additional proof of funding of $6,000 USD per dependent.

Passport

  • Your passport needs to be valid and current at the moment of I-20 issuance and must accurately reflect your name.
  • If there are errors, please apply to your government to have them corrected before your I-20 is issued.

Foreign & U.S. Addresses

A foreign/home country address (an address outside of the U.S.) is required by SEVIS to be able to issue an I-20.

  • This address will be used only for I-20 purposes and may differ from your mailing address.
  • It cannot be a post office box or an organization’s address.

A U.S. address is required by SEVIS to be able to issue an I-20.

  • This must be your US physical address.
  • It cannot be a post office box or an organization’s address.
  • If you have left the US, it can be where you lived before leaving or where you will be living when you return.

Affidavit of Support

If the financial statement is not in the student’s name, the account holder will need to fill out and submit an affidavit of support.

The form must be completely filled out.

See the link for an affidavit of support here.

Students who will be receiving a government scholarship to study at the University of Utah do not need to submit an affidavit of support, if their scholarship fully covers academic and living expenses.

Filling out an affidavit of support:

  • The name of the sponsor on the affidavit must match exactly the name on the bank statement.
    • It is also easier to identify the sponsor if the address stated on the affidavit of support matches the address on the bank statement.
  • The sponsor is required to check or circle a correct semester (fall, spring or summer) and input the year when the student will begin studies at the University of Utah.
    • The term and the year are also indicated on an admission letter.
  • There are two signature options at the bottom of the affidavit of support.
    • Signatures have to be hand-written, electronic signatures are not accepted. The sponsor needs to sign only one box (option 1 OR option 2) and put a date when the document was signed.
    • Option 1 in the signature section means the sponsor is willing to provide all funds on the bank statement towards your education.
    • Option 2 (partial responsibility) is chosen when a sponsor is willing to provide only a portion of their funds towards the student’s education.
    • The amount the sponsor is willing to share needs to be indicated.
    • The balance on the bank statement must be equal or higher than the amount indicated in the Option 2 box of the affidavit of support.

SEVIS Transfer-In Form

A completed international transfer form from your previous school is required to transfer-in your SEVIS record.

Please print the form, fill out the student information section and submit it to an International Student Advisor/DSO at your current U.S. institution.

An Advisor will complete the document and send it to our office and transfer your SEVIS/immigration record to the University of Utah.

The form can be found here.

Dependents

In order to receive an I-20 for your dependents, please notify the Office of Admissions about your decision and send us the following additional materials for each dependent:

  • Proof of funding: $6,000 per person. Dependents are spouses and unmarried children younger than 21 years of age.
  • Copy of the passport (biographical page only)
  • If your dependents plan to enter the United States after your arrival to the University of Utah, you need to request an I-20 for each of them through the International Student and Scholar Services Office.