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What is an I-20

What is an I-20?
I-20 is a document issued by the university to the students who have been granted admission. A Form I-20 is a government form that tells the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 Student Status.

It certifies that
(1) you are or expect to be a "bona fide" student;
(2) you meet our admissions requirements;
(3) you will pursue a full course of study;
(4) you proved to us that you have enough money to study and live in the U.S. without working illegally or suffering from poverty.

It is a strictly confidential document and in most cases it is issued only to the student directly i.e., it will not be handed over to any relative or friend of yours in the US. Only after receiving this I-20 you are eligible to appear for VISA in students category (F-1 Visa). 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.

Does Everyone Need An I-20?
NO, some international students do not need I-20's. J-l students need a Form DS-2019 and should ask us for that application. F-2 dependents that want to study full time, must obtain an 1-20 and apply for a change of status to F-l student. If you are maintaining another nonimmigrant status in the U.S., you do not have to have an 1-20 and may attend school full- or part-time. Dependent children in E, H, I, J, L, M, N, 0, P, R, or S status need to change status after their 21st birthday or if they marry. If you have no legal status, you may attend school but you are not eligible to change status and do not need an 1-20.

Note : Students who visit US on exchange programs (usually for a very short period) to study shall get an IAP-66 instead of an I-20 and can appear for VISA under J-1 category.

Sample I-20

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