What is and why do I need to get I-20?
A Form I-20 is a government form that tells the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 Student Status. You need a Form I-20 to obtain an F-1 student visa or status, or to keep lawful F-l status when transferring or changing schools within the U.S.
How to get I-20
From outside the United States
1) Apply to, and be accepted by, an SEVP-certified school.
2) Prove that you have enough money to study and live in the U.S. without working illegally or suffering from poverty.
3) When a school accepts a nonimmigrant applicant, it issues a Form I-20 for initial attendance.
4) The prospective nonimmigrant student must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee at www.fmjfee.com.
From within the United Stat: Change of Status
1) The prospective nonimmigrant student must be in the United States in a valid nonimmigrant status and eligible to change to F-1 status (See USCIS website on who may change status).
2) Be accepted by an SEVP-certified school, receive a Form I-20, and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.
3) Use a Form I-539 to apply to USCIS for a change of status
4) Current nonimmigrants in F-2, M-2, B-1, and B-2 may not begin taking classes until the change of status is approved.
Other classes of nonimmigrants may begin attending school but their SEVIS record will not be activated until the change of status is approved. F-1 and M-1 benefits do not start until the change of status takes effect.
5) Be prepared to depart the United States immediately if the change of status application is denied.
You can get general information on I-20 by going to the following websites.
If you need need specific information about I-20, you can contact us by calling us at (310) 756-0001.