About Your I-20

Page One has the basic information about who you are and why you are in the US. If there are any errors, alert your DSO immediately. Click through the tabs below for a personal tour of the information on your I-20.

top of sample i20SEVIS is the database in which the US government keeps information on all non-immigrant students. Your DSO uses SEVIS to create a unique I-20 for you and to update the US government on your progress in your Program of Study. Your SEVIS ID is the number assigned to you and information about you. It begins with the letter N and is at the top of your I-20. This will be listed on your F-1 visa when it is issued.

middle sample i20This is what you are in the US to do, what you are studying. If you are learning English, your Education Level will say "Language Training". If you are studying for a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, it will say your Education Level is Bachelor and your major is Chemistry.  If you change your program, you receive a new I-20. If you change your major, you receive a new I-20. It should always be up-to-date with the actual courses you are taking.

This is the date you first begin classes in the US. You are allowed to enter the country up to 30 days before this date but you should report to your school that you have arrived in the US even if you plan to travel first. Check-in and Orientation happen before the start of classes and both are required.

You should not arrive after Program Start Date or you may be denied entry by US Customs and Border Patrol.

This is a big one! This is the date you are expected to finish your current Program and it determines the last date you are have student status in the country. It can be extended with permission but don't ever let it expire unless you have finished your studies. Your DSO also watches this date but you are responsible too!

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Attestation is a fancy word that means you promise that this is the truth. When you sign your I-20, you are promising to follow the rules of your student status. You are signing a contract with the US government and it is the DSO's job to monitor how you follow the rules.

The Form I-20 is a contract between you and the United States of America. Page 3 of your Form I-20 contains some of the more important rules that the US government wants you to know and follow. Read through.

Learn directly from the US government. Visit this website.

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