This information provides a basic understanding of the I-20 preparation process. It will answer many of the common questions students may have. We appreciate the attention given to the procedure below.
Step 1 - Notification of Admission
- Graduate International Students:
Once the application for admission is approved and the admission is reflected in the University of Florida student records system, the academic department must request an I-20for the student. Once UFIC receives the request, the student will be contacted via email with a detailed explanation about what is needed for the I-20.
- Undergraduate International Students:
Once the application for admission is approved and the admission is reflected in the University of Florida student records system, the Office of Admissions will notify UFIC of the admission. UFIC will contact the student via email with a detailed explanation about what is needed for the I-20.
The admission letter will be sent to the student directly from either the academic department or the Office of Admissions, not by UFIC. Some departments may send the admission letter by postal mail, but most will send the letter in electronic form. When received in electronic form, the student is advised to print the letter in color for use during the visa application process.
Step 2 - New International Student Request Form
The initial email from UFIC will direct the student to complete the New International Student Request online. This will include submitting the Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR), proof of funds, and the copy of the passport photo page. This is required for all students regardless of the source of financial support.
Generally, acceptable proof of funds include liquid assets accounts, education loans, scholarships, and assistantship/fellowships. Non-acceptable sources would include salary, credit cards, insurance policies, and non-liquid assets such as property.
The New International Student Request also requires additional information and addresses for the production of the I-20. Once submitted, UFIC will process the I-20 for the student and any accompanying dependents. The student will receive an email confirmation once the I-20 is issued.
- SEVIS Transfer Students: Students already in the United States, either attending another institution or on a period of employment authorization, must schedule a SEVIS transfer to UF with the international student advisor at their current institution.
Step 3 - Receiving the I-20
You will receive an email when your I-20 is ready. We will issue the I-20 electronically and will provide you instructions regarding how to access the I-20. You must then print the I-20 so that you have a printed paper document in hand whenever you need it. Also, make sure to sign your name and date in the Student Attestation section on page one of the I-20. We recommend that you print the I-20 in color and sign your name in blue ink. The printed I-20 can be used for your visa appointment with the US Embassy/Consulate, for travel to the U.S. (along with your valid F-1 visa and passport), to apply for a State ID or Driver’s License, etc.
Once the student has the admission letter and I-20, the student must pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee and then schedule an appointment with the US Consulate or Embassy for the Student Visa application. For more information about the Visa Process and U.S. port of Entry, click here.
- DS-160 Visa Application form and applicable fees. Please save a copy of the Form DS-160 in PDF format. This form is only accessible for 30 days from the date of completion/submission to the US Embassy or Consulate. We will request this form as part of your online check-in documents.
English Language Institute Conditional Admission
The English Language Institute (ELI) at the University of Florida offers English Language programs for those needing to improve their English language skills. Some academic programs offer the possibility of receiving admission into the program, on the condition that the student successfully completes an English Language program from ELI and passes all mandatory testing. When the University of Florida admission is conditional on attending the UF ELI, the student will receive an I-20 Form directly from ELI for the student visa application. Once the student successfully completes the English Language proficiency requirement and is ready to begin the academic program, a SEVIS transfer will be scheduled. Once the SEVIS/I-20 record transfers from ELI to UF, the I-20 for the academic program will be processed, similar to all other SEVIS transfer students.