Understanding Your I-20 and Visa
The I-20 is a multi-purpose document released by a government-approved U.S. educational agency that certifies that you have been accepted to a full-time research programme and have shown adequate financial resources to remain in the United States. The I-20 Form is formally known as the “Certificate of Eligibility” and it allows you to apply for an F-1 student visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad. If you choose to apply for F-2 dependent status, your partner or children would require their own I-20.
To become a valid F-1 student, you must either be granted admission into the United States as an F-1 student, or be eligible for a change of status from some form of nonimmigrant visa.
How is the I-20 Form created?
When a school’s enrollment process is completed, the names and other biographical details of accepted applicants are inserted into SEVIS, a US government database (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). The knowledge is processed by the SEVIS database, which generates a “PDF” file of the I-20, which is then transmitted back to the school over the internet. The I-20 is printed, signed, and sent to the student by a school official (known as the Designated School Official or DSO). The DSO allows these inquiries by SEVIS, and the paper can be conveniently replicated if a student wishes to amend or alter details on the I-20. Students from outside the United States utilise the I-20 in a variety of ways.
An foreign student must make an appointment to apply for the F-1 visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in their country after obtaining an I-20 from their school. The visa is the paperwork that allows you to enter the United States. Upon arrival at the port of entry, the student must display both the F-1 visa and the I-20 to a US Immigration inspector.
How the I-20 Form is used by a student inside the U.S.
It is used for registration and verification of legal identity after you have arrived in the United States and been through the border inspections procedure. Whether you want a position on or off campus, you’ll have to present your I-20 to your prospective boss during the interview phase. On page 2 of your I-20, you can find details about off-campus jobs.
Traveling with the I-20 Form
You must bring your I-20 with you if you are going overseas and then returning to the United States to continue your studies. The I-20 is required to reapply for a visa and re-enter the United States if you need one. Be sure you have an unexpired travel endorsement on page 2 of your I-20 Form before leaving the United States. This signature is good for a year and can be seen on several trips outside of the United States. In most instances, obtaining a travel endorsement is simple; nevertheless, to escape the holiday rush, schedule ahead and obtain your travel endorsement many weeks before departing the United States.
The I-20 – F-1 Regulations
The F-1 status is governed by immigration rules, which are specified on page 2 of the I-20. It is important that F-1 students read this page in order to fully comprehend the laws that relate to their remains in the United States.
When would your I-20 Form be completed?
Based on your major and degree stage, a “completion date” was entered into your I-20. This is an estimation of how long it would take you to complete any of the degree criteria, according to the University. If you are unable to complete the degree by that date, you must apply for an extension from the International Student Services Advisor office at least one month before the deadline.
The “completion day” is specified by US immigration regulations as the day you complete your final degree requirements. The day of your graduation ceremony or the day on your I-20 might not be the same as the real completion date. In fact, many students actually finish their degree requirements before the completion date on their I-20.
All you need to know about I-20
The last day of final exams for the semester in which your degree standards are completed is called the completion day.
The day on which you complete all degree criteria, such as submitting your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate Division, is the completion day. If your degree programme does not have a testing portion (as with an MBA programme or other technical school), the graduation date would be the last day of final exams for the semester in which your degree requirements are completed.
The Grace Period is a period of 60 days in which you can do whatever you want.
You have a 60-day grace period after finishing your study programme to leave the United States, order a school move, or adjust your citizenship. Students who choose to serve in the United States after completing their degree must apply for Optional Practical Training work permit at least 90 days prior to the program’s end date.
Is an I-20 Form Needed for Everyone?
Some foreign students are exempt from obtaining I-20s. You may not require a 1-20 if you have another nonimmigrant status in the United States and will be eligible to attend school full- or part-time.
Understanding Your US Entry Visa
Both nonimmigrant foreign travellers (except Canadians) must have the appropriate visa stamp inserted in their passports in order to access the United States. A “nonimmigrant” is anyone who does not want to remain in the United States indefinitely. Visas are issued from a US embassy or consulate in another nation. Since a visa is just a “entry” document, it cannot be issued inside the United States.
People visit the United States for a variety of purposes, and the form of visa you apply for can correspond to the reason for your visit. An alpha-numeric scheme is used to classify visa forms. A tourist going to study in the United States, for example, can be granted a “F-1” or “J-1” student visa. An individual visiting the United States for tourism can be granted a “B-2” visa, also known as a visitor visa. The following is an example of a visitor visa:
What is the visa’s main purpose?
The visa requires you to go to a U.S. port of entry (such as an airport) and introduce yourself to an Immigration Officer. The Inspector will question you on your plans for visiting the United States and review to see whether you have the proper visa. If you’ve been accepted, you’ll be granted another form called an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, the details which nonimmigrant status you can use and how long you can stay.
The Expiration of Your Visa and the Duration of Your Stay in the United States
And if a passport has an end date, it has little bearing on how long you will stay in the United States. Other considerations decide the duration of stay until you arrive in the United States. International travellers who come to the United States as F-1 or J-1 students are usually permitted to stay for the duration of their studies.
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