International students who reside abroad are required to obtain an F-1 visa from a U.S Embassy or Consulate General's Office to enter the U.S. To apply for the F-1 visa, the international students must receive first the admission/invitation letter and an Inital Attendance I-20 from UF. After the international students arrive to the US and complete the check-in process with UFIC, students will receive their Continue Attendance I-20 from UF. Students must be aware that:
- The Continued Attendance I-20 will be issued after classes start. Students will receive an email when this new I-20 is ready to be picked up, generally about 30 days after classes begin. Students must bring UFID/Gator 1 Card to to retrieve an I-20.
- Students must keep all I-20s issued with their personal documents. These are important immigration documents.
- International students need the Continued Attendance I-20 in order to apply for a Driver’s License.
- International students need both a Continued Attendance I-20 and job offer to apply for a Social Security Number.
- Students must request a new I-20 for any change in major, degree level, or funding.
- Students who are not able to complete their degree requirements before the program end date listed on their I-20, must request an I-20 Extension before the program end date. The program end date information is found on page 1 of the I-20, under Program of Study.
A Continue Attendance I-20 is signed for travel by an International Student Advisor (ISA). The travel signature is on Page 2 of the Continued Attendance I-20 and is valid for one year from when it was last signed or until the end of your Program End Date, whichever is earlier at the time of re-entry, while in classes. If you apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or STEM OPT after you graduate, the travel signature is valid for six months from when it was last signed.
- Granting a travel signature for the I-20 depends on having valid F-1 status. UFIC will review your record and any problems found will delay our ability to grant a travel signature. For this reason, we require that students bring in the most recent I-20, allowing at least 5-7 business days for processing the request.
In addition of the most current continue attendance I-20, international students must have the following documents to re-entry to the U.S.:
- A current valid passport; your passport must remain valid at all times and must be valid for at least six months after your re-entry date.
- A current valid F-1 visa; if the visa has already expired or was issued only for a single entry, you will need to renew it prior to re-entry. Please make an appointment to renew your F-1 visa by contacting the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in the home/destination country before leaving the U.S.
- If traveling to a U.S. contiguous country or adjacent island for less than thirty days, re-entry on an expired F-1 visa may be allowed except for nationals of certain countries. Please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/visa-expiration-date/auto-revalidate.html for detailed information.