Students that have got accepted to universities in the US are obviously over the moon right now and understandably so. The tough part of getting admission has been overcome, and even though that may feel like winning the game, there are a few hurdles yet to be crossed.
Now that you know where you’re going, it’s time to focus on your visa documentation. Here is where an I-20 form comes in the picture. This form is a certificate of eligibility that is required by all students that are non immigrants. Here’s some more information on this form:
A student will get an I-20 form which is given by an educational institute in the US. Only government-approved institutes are permitted to give these forms to students. This form states that the student has been given admission for pursuing a full-time course and that he is financially capable of bearing all expenses during his stay.
This form allows the student to apply for an F visa and an M visa at a US Embassy or Consulate, and individuals holding any other type of visa will not be requiring this form. Mentioned below is information for those who are confused about the difference between an F visa and an M visa:
This visa is further divided into 2 parts: F-1 visa and F-2 visa.
An F-1 visa is for non-immigrant students, who are looking to pursue academic or language courses, whereas F-2 visas are for those who are dependent on the F-1 visa holder, like their spouse and kids (minors and unmarried).
An M-1 visa is for non-immigrant students as well, but for those who are pursuing non-academic or vocational courses. M-2 visas, like F-2 visas, are for those who are dependent on the visa holder who is going to pursue higher studies, which in this case is the M-1 visa holder.
Both F-2, as well as M-2 visa holders, have to submit documents that prove their relationship with the F-1 and M-1 visa holders respectively. The documents that are required to prove these are marriage certificates and birth certificates.
Students have to complete the application process of the educational institute, and then submit all the documents that the institute requires. They also need to submit documents that prove they are financially stable.
Once this is done, the students’ names and biographic information is stored in the US government’s database, known as SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). It is here that the I-20 form is made and a DSO (Designated School Official) from the education institute will then print and put his signature on the form before sending it over to the student. A DSO is the one who will help students in case they need to make any changes in the form.
Along with their visas, students need to carry this form along too, which will be verified by a US Customs and Border Protection Officer upon arrival. This form is also required by employers since it is proof of the legal and academic status of the individual.
Hope this article has been valuable to you, all the best!