This outline is designed to give international students a basic understanding of the I-20/DS-2019 preparation process; it will answer many of the common questions students may have. Deviations from the established procedure greatly delay the I-20/DS-2019 preparation time frames. Therefore, adhering to this process will expedite the I-20/DS-2019 preparation. We appreciate the attention given to the procedure outlined below.

We take great care to update the student at each step in the process with the intent of keeping the student informed while maximizing efficiency in the I-20/DS-2019 process.

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 will request an I-20/DS-2019 for the student in the Graduate Information Management System (GIMS). Once UFIC receives the request, the student will be contacted via email, with a detailed explanation about what is needed for the I-20/DS-2019.
  • 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 and the student will be contacted via email, with a detailed explanation about what is needed for the I-20/DS-2019.

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 - Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) & Proof of Funds

The initial email communication from UFIC will request that the student submit the Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR), proof of funds, and the copy of the passport biographical details page. This is a requirement for all students regardless of the source of financial support. The CFR should only be submitted once UFIC has requested it. The CFR form contains instructions for completion and a description of acceptable sources of funding. Once complete, the student should submit the CFR, proof of funds, and passport copy by email directly to the UFIC advisor who contacted the student. Upon review of the financial documentation, the student will receive a second email requesting the I-20/DS-2019 Application.

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. J-1 degree seeking students must be substantially third-party funded from a source/s other than personal and/or family funds.

Step 3 - I-20/DS-2019 Application

The I-20 Application requests the biographical information and addresses needed for the production of the I-20/DS-2019. This should only be completed once UFIC has requested it. Upon receipt of the application, if all the information is complete, the I-20/DS-2019 will be issued for the student and any accompanying dependents. The student will receive an email confirmation once the I-20/DS-2019 is being issued.

  • SEVIS Transfer Students: for students already present in the United States, either attending another institution or on a period of employment authorization, who wish to study at the University of Florida a SEVIS transfer needs to be scheduled.

Step 4 - Mailing of the I-20/DS-2019

Once ready, the document will be sent by express mail for students present outside the United States or by regular mail for students residing within the United States. Students will receive the tracking number once the I-20/DS-2019 is shipped. Delivery can be expected within 3 to 5 business days from the receipt of the tracking number. Once the student has the admission letter and I-20/DS-2019, an appointment for the Student Visa application may be scheduled with the US Consulate or Embassy. For more information about the Visa Process and U.S. port of Entry, click here.

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. Degree seeking J-1 students who are conditionally admitted my received ELI time under the UFIC issued DS-2019. Please contact Exchange Visitor Services (EVS) at evs@ufic.ufl.edu for more information.