Your I-20 is a very important document which will be enable you to apply for your F-1 visa. You must bring the original I-20 with you to your visa interview. You will also need to show your I-20 to the Customs and Border Patrol Agent at the border when you enter the United States, so be sure to pack it in your carry-on luggage.
- Each section of your I-20 has a number. Following is an explanation of what information is contained in each numbered selection of your I-20:
Your SEVIS Identification Number is located in the upper right-hand section of your I-20 and begins with N. You will need this number to pay your SEVIS fee.
- This section contains your personal information: your name, country of birth, country of citizenship and your birth date. Be sure to check the information in this section very carefully to ensure it is accurate and matches the information in your passport. If there are any errors, please notify TESS.inc immediately.
- This is standard information about the school that you are applying for and is the same for all students. You will need the school code in order to pay the SEVIS fee.
- This section identifies the reason which your I-20 has been issued (Initial Study, Transfer, etc…).
- This section identifies the type of program you will be studying in: Language Training, Bachelor’s or Master’s.
- This section stated the details of your program of study: Your major or program of study, the dates of you program* and the length of your program**.
- * This is very important information. You must be aware of your program start and end date. You are allowed to enter the United States to begin your program no more than 30 days before the program start date listed on your I-20. You must also ensure that you are aware of your program end date. If you need to extend your program for any reason, you must request this before the end date listed in this section.
- ** The program length (stated in months) is standard length and the same for all students depending on their program: 24 months for ESL, 48 months for bachelor’s programs and 12 for master’s programs.
- This section identifies whether you have made the English proficiency requirements for admission into the program.
- This section outlines the specific financial information for your program.
- This section identifies your funding sources for tuition, living expenses, miscellaneous fees, etc.
- This section may or may not contain a note for the Consular Official.
- This section contains the name and signature of the school official who issued your I-20.
- This section requires you to print your name, sign your name and date the I-20. You must do this before your visa interview and before entering the United States.