The I-20 Form or DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility) is a legal immigration document, created by UWG, allowing you to apply for an F-1/J-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. If you are already attending a high school or college in the U.S., you will need a transfer I-20 once your current program ends in order to continue your studies in the U.S. UWG will mail out your I-20/DS-2019 to you by standard mail for free.
- Student applying for an F-1 Student Visa (obtaining a degree from UWG) will receive an I-20.
- Students applying for a J-1 Student Visa (studying abroad at UWG for 1 semester or year) will receive a DS-2019.
The Form I-20/DS-2019 is an important document that you should keep safe, as you will need it when you:
- Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee
- Before you pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee, you must receive the Form I-20/DS-2019 from a DSO at the school you plan to attend. You will need information from the Form I-20/DS-2019 to pay the fee. The I-901 SEVIS Fee is mandatory and must be paid before you enter the United States.
- Apply for a nonimmigrant visa
- The Form I-20/DS-2019 lists your program start date, 30 days before which you are allowed to enter the United States. F-1 and J-1 student visas can be issued up to 120 days in advance of your course of study start date. Your type of student visa must match the type of Form I-20/DS-2019 you have (e.g., F-1 or J-1).
- Enter the United States
- You need to have your Form I-20/DS-2019 on hand as you enter the country. Do not pack it away in your suitcase. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer will instruct you to present your Form I-20/DS-2019 at the port of entry. You may arrive up to 30 days before the start date listed on your Form I-20/DS-2019
- Change status while in the United States
- You need a Form I-20/DS-2019 if you are already in the United States as another type of nonimmigrant and you are applying to USCIS to change your status to F or J.
- Apply for benefits
- Your Form I-20/DS-2019 proves that you are legally enrolled in a program of study in the United States. Therefore, it may be needed when you apply for the benefits available to F and J students. If you are eligible to apply for a driver’s license or a social security number, remember to bring your Form I-20/DS-2019 with you.
As of July 1, 2016, the redesigned Form I-20 is required for all F nonimmigrant visa applications, entry into the United States, travel and applications for nonimmigrant benefits. The previous version of the Form I-20 (with a barcode) is now invalid. Students please note that your DSOs were responsible for providing an updated, hard copy of the Form I-20 with original signatures to all F-1 students at their schools.
Please allow approximately 2-4 weeks for standard airmail delivery, but it can take even longer to some countries or remote regions of the world. Once your I-20 has been shipped, you will recieve information from the ISAP office through email.
If you live outside of the U.S., you can select the express mail option to ensure quick, reliable delivery of your I-20 with tracking. The shipping fees for express mail service generally range from $50 to $100 depending on the country. If you select the express mail option, you will need to pre-pay for that service online through eShipGlobal.
Once your payment has been processed, eShipGlobal will notify our office. We will create your I-20 and then mail it through the express mail service you selected. You will be able to track your package through your eShipGlobal account once it has been picked up at the University. Delivery is usually within 5-7 days. If you have questions about how to create an eShipGlobal account or use this service, please email eShipGlobal directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The shipping fee must be paid online through eShipGlobal before your I-20 has been created and is ready to be mailed. If you have not set up an eShipGlobal account and paid the shipping fees before your I-20 is ready to be mailed, then the I-20 will be sent via standard postal mail. eShipGlobal is the only option for using express mail service. We cannot accommodate requests to use other shipping methods.