The I-20 form is a certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant student status, issued bya Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) - certified school stating:
*that the student has satisfied all the requirements
*that a student has been admitted to a full-time study program and
*that he/she has demonstrated sufficient financial resources to study and live in the US for the duration of your course of study.
All F and M students that study in the United States need a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”
This Form I-20 is an important document that you should keep safe, as you will need it throughout the international student life cycle
Once you have received the I-20 form from the school that you wish to attend, you should proceed to pay the I-1901 SEVIS fee. It is a compulsory fee that needs to be paid before entering the US – information from I-20 form is needed to complete this payment.
The I-20 is an important aspect of the visa application process and the original copy can be requested by the Visa Officers at the consulate during your visa interview. In addition to the financial information regarding the cost of the program and how you plan to pay it, the form also consists of details regarding the program you intend to pursue – ensure the visa type you are applying to and the one on listed on the form should be the same.
On arrival into the United States, the I-20 form might be requested by the customs and border protection officer – it is advisable to carry it on your person. As stated by the DHS, you are allowed to enter the country 30 days before the start of your program
Apart from entering United States, the I-20 form is also important in order to avail the benefits an international student is entitled to. It might also be needed while trying to obtain employment as well as a driver’s license or a social
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