I-20 Form Information
To get and maintain international student status you must follow the steps outlined below:
What is an I-20?
When the educational institution admits an International Student, it sends the student a form called an I-20. It is necessary for a student to submit this I-20 form to apply for an F-1 Student Visa that allows you to enter the US. The information on the I-20 form includes your field of study, the length of your courses and the date when you must report to school.
How do I get an F-1 Student Visa?
After you receive your I-20 form, you have to schedule a visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate in your country. Please note that the I-20 does not guarantee that you will get an F-1 Visa. The local Consular official makes the final decision whether or not to issue a student visa.
What do I need before the visa interview?
1. Receive I-20 form from Clinton College.
2. Schedule your visa appointment with the US Embassy or Consulate in your country.
3. Submit the $200 SEVIS fee payment in time to allow Department of Homeland Security to process payment at least 3 days prior the visa interview. If you paid online at SEVIS Fees please print the SEVIS fee payment receipt and bring it to your visa interview.
4. Go to your visa interview to request an F-1 visa (the visa may not be issued right away; many embassies mail the visa to the student a few weeks after the interview)
When can I enter the US?
Visa regulations allow you no longer than 30 days to enter the US before the first day of class (the reporting date shown on your I-20). If you attempt to get into the country earlier, you will be denied entry at the airport immigration area. Please plan your flight with this important policy in mind.
What happens if I cannot arrive by the reporting date?
You must request a new I-20 from Clinton College. The College will admit you for entry for the next semester session.
What will happen when I am entering the US?
A flight attendant will ask you to complete the I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) on the plane before you land at a US port of entry. You will present the I-94 form and your passport to the immigration inspector when you land. The immigration inspector will stamp the I-94 form with D/S (duration of status). D/S means that you may stay in the States until you complete your studies. You should keep the I-94 form and a copy of your valid I-20 with your passport at all times.
See a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Fact Sheet on What to Expect when you arrive.
What am I expected to do to maintain my F-1 Student Visa Status?
- Register for classes at the school which issued the I-20.
- Be enrolled as a full-time student while you are in the United States.
- Be current on your tuition payments.
How long can I stay in the US after I finish my courses?
The I-20 form shows how long you can stay in the US to complete your studies. Generally, you may stay 60 days after the last day of classes. If I cannot complete my studies in the required time, may I stay longer? If you need a longer time to complete your studies, ORT’s International Student Coordinator will help you apply for an extension. If you stop attending school, you are not allowed to continue to stay in the US with an I-20, even if it has not expired.