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International student visas

I-20 updates

We look forward to your arrival and have been hard at work making plans to welcome our new international students to campus.

What we want you to know

  1. Do not delay in submitting your documents required for issuance of your I-20 to us. Upload the documents required to issue an I-20 through My ASU. The upload tool on My ASU only allows the upload of each document type once, so please be sure to have all your documents ready prior to upload. If you upload financial documents that do not cover the full funding needed as shown on the financial guarantee, you will be requested to submit additional documentation to show the full funding, which will delay issuance of your I-20. Please make sure your financial documents show sufficient funding prior to uploading.

  2. Once ASU has received all documents to issue an I-20 and has verified that the documents are complete, your I-20 will be emailed to you. Once received, you should print the I-20 and sign the document. You will not receive a physical I-20 via mail.

  3. Once you have received your I-20, be sure to pay your I-901 fee. Once the fee has been paid do not delay in contacting your consulate to obtain a visa appointment. Some consulates may have long wait times, so do not delay on securing an appointment time.

  4. If you are unable to submit the documentation needed to receive an I-20 from ASU or are unable to obtain your F1 visa in time to arrive by the start of the semester of your admission, contact ASUinternational@asu.edu and we can advise you on your options.

  5.  If you have any questions, please contact our International Admission Services team. We will work with you to keep you on track.

Helpful reminder

Be sure to check wait times for your local embassy or consulate, as some areas may be experiencing wait times longer than 30 days. You can now apply for your visa up to 365 days before the start date listed on your I-20. Complete these steps as soon as possible so that when your local embassy can take your appointment, you will be ready to proceed with your next steps.

Types of international student visas

As an international student at Arizona State University, you will need to obtain an F-1 or J-1 student visa.

F-1 student visa

The F-1 visa is the most common student visa and is issued to full-time students enrolled in an academic or language program at a U.S. institution. Any student who is funded either by personal or outside funds, or a combination of the two, is eligible for F-1 status. If you are a student applying for an F-1 visa, you must request the SEVIS Form I-20 from the appropriate ASU admission office once admitted to ASU.

 

J-1 student visa

The J-1 visa is an exchange visitor visa issued to students at all academic levels. Students must have a substantial portion of their funding coming from a source other than their personal finances (e.g., their home institution or government). If you are a student applying for a J-1 visa, you must request Form DS-2019 from the appropriate ASU admission office once admitted to ASU.

 

F-2 dependent visa (undergraduate)

The F-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows dependent spouses and children of F-1 student visa holders to enter the U.S. and enroll in an educational institution. As a student with F-2 visa status, you can attend ASU only as a part-time student. For the undergraduate level, this means you may register for up to 11 credit hours for the spring and fall terms.

F-2 dependent visa (graduate)

The F-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows dependent spouses and children of F-1 student visa holders to enter the U.S. and enroll in an educational institution. As a student with F-2 visa status, you can attend ASU only as a part-time student. For the graduate level, this means you may register for up to eight credit hours for the spring and fall terms. Some graduate programs do not allow students to attend part time. For additional information, please contact your program of interest.

SEVIS Form I-20

An initial I-20 is issued for students with a new SEVIS record. A transfer I-20 is issued for students who have an active SEVIS record at a U.S. high school or higher education institution, and are transferring their records to ASU.

Initial I-20

If you have not been issued an I-20 in the past, or if you have but the SEVIS record affiliated with that I-20 was terminated or completed, you should request an initial I-20.

Once you have uploaded all required documents in My ASU for the I-20, ASU Admission Services will begin the process of creating your initial I-20.

 

Transfer I-20

If you have an active SEVIS record at another U.S. school (high school or higher education institution) and are requesting an I-20 through ASU, you should follow the Request Transfer SEVIS Form I-20 section below. Once you have uploaded all required documents in My ASU for the I-20, ASU Admission Services will begin the process of creating your transfer I-20.

Getting an I-20

An I-20 is an important immigration document that F-1 students need in order to obtain their student visa and enter the U.S. ASU guides each student through the process of obtaining their I-20. Priority Tasks on My ASU alerts students to the steps they need to take. The process of obtaining an I-20 can take some time, so it is important not to wait until the last minute to begin gathering the necessary documents and uploading them. 

For sponsored students, the steps to obtaining an I-20 are slightly different than for nonsponsored students. Students should use the descriptions below to determine whether or not they are a sponsored student.

Sponsored student

A sponsored student’s school and living expenses are paid by a sponsoring agency recognized by ASU. 

Some examples of sponsoring agencies are ADNOC, Aramco, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Kuwait Cultural Office, Oman Cultural Division, Qatar Airways, Qatar Defense Attaché, Qatar Higher Education Institute, QatarEnergy, RasGas, Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, Sidra, UAE Cultural Division and the UAE Scholarship Coordination Office. 

Most of ASU’s sponsored students come from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman. 

Note: Students receiving an ASU scholarship or TA/RA position are not considered sponsored students.

Once you have uploaded all required documents in My ASU for the I-20, ASU Admission Services will begin the process of creating your initial I-20.

 

Nonsponsored student

A nonsponsored student’s school and living expenses are paid for through personal or family funds, loans, or other means not associated with an ASU-recognized sponsoring agency. 

Students who are unsure if they are a sponsored student should contact ASU Admission Services at ASUinternational@asu.edu or +1 480-965-2437. 

How to request an I-20

Step 01

Fill out the Financial Guarantee form

In compliance with the Department of Homeland Security and SEVIS regulations, all international applicants on the F-1 student visa must provide evidence of sufficient funds available for their studies in the U.S. For this purpose, a Financial Guarantee form  must be completed and submitted along with bank statements dated within the past 12 months and signed or wet stamped by an authorized bank or representative, or by a recognized sponsoring agency in the U.S. Please submit your Financial Guarantee form along with your bank statements or sponsor letter from an authorized sponsoring agency. ASU will not be able to process your SEVIS Form I -20 without receipt of your Financial Guarantee.

Please refer to the Financial Guarantee form to determine the amount of funds required for your specific program and campus. You can access the form here .

Students with dependents (e.g., spouse, child) who will be joining them in the U.S. during their time on an F-1 or J-1 visa will need to provide proof of the following additional funds:

Additional financial support needed for dependents:
Spouse – $7,000
Each child – $5,000

Financial Guarantee form 

Step 02

Provide bank statements

The Financial Guarantee form is separate from the financial documentation that you will need to provide. Examples of financial documents valid for I-20 processing are listed below.

Bank statements that show liquid funds (funds that can be immediately accessed and used). These can be one statement covering the entire amount displayed on the financial guarantee form for one year of attendance at the university, or a collection of bank statements from the people listed on the financial guarantee as sponsors. Note that the summary of available balances on these statements will still need to total the amount listed on the financial guarantee form for one year of attendance at the university. These statements need to be dated within the last 12 months. Please note that an Affidavit of Support cannot be used in lieu of a bank statement.

For sponsored students, a sponsor letter produced by a sponsoring agency recognized by ASU stating the applicant’s full name, academic program in ASU, term of the sponsorship and amounts covered by it. Some of the agencies are: ADNOC, Aramco, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Kuwait Cultural Office, Oman Cultural Division, Qatar Airways, Qatar Defense Attaché, Qatar Higher Education Institute, QatarEnergy, RasGas, Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, Sidra, UAE Cultural Division and the UAE Scholarship Coordination Office. You can read more about this in the sponsored student section.

Scholarship Letters and TA/RA (ASU teaching assistant/resident assistant) offer letters: If the scholarship and/or TA/RA offers do not cover the full costs indicated on the Financial Guarantee for your program, please make sure that additional funding support documentation is also submitted.

 

 

Step 03

Upload a copy of your passport

You may take a clear photo or scan of the biographic page of your passport and upload it to the link on My ASU. The bio page is the page that shows your picture and personal details. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the U.S. If it is not valid, the I-20 will not be processed.

Step 04

Request initial SEVIS Form I-20 

Undergraduate students

Once you are admitted to ASU and submit your Financial Guarantee form, you will need to complete two steps for us to create and send your SEVIS Form I-20. The tasks will appear in your Priority Tasks list on My ASU. Upload the following items through My ASU, Once received, Admission Services will review the documents and if all items are complete will process the request for I-20. If any items are incomplete, you will receive an email and priority task on My ASU requesting updates.

If you are already studying in the U.S. on a SEVIS Form I-20, you will need to have your records transferred to ASU by following the Transfer SEVIS Form I-20 steps (see Step 03 below).

Graduate students

Once you are admitted to a graduate program at ASU, you will see new items on your My ASU Priority Tasks list. The items include:

  • Financial Guarantee form.
  • Proof of finances.
  • Passport.

When you click on the items in your Priority Tasks, a pop-up box will provide you with additional information and directions for what you need to do.

You will also see two Graduate Admission Services holds, which will be removed when your SEVIS Form I-20 is issued.

When you submit your Financial Guarantee form and proof of finances, copy of your passport, and SEVIS Transfer form (if applicable), allow three business days for the items to be processed and removed from your Priority Tasks list. When the documentation has been added to your electronic file, the documentation will be reviewed within 7-10 business days for completeness and that the financial documents show sufficient funding for one academic year. If anything is found to be incomplete or lacking funds, you will receive an email and updated priority task requesting updated documentation. Once the documentation has been verified as complete, your I-20 will be emailed to you.

OR

Request Transfer SEVIS Form I-20

Print the ASU SEVIS Transfer Request form and submit it to your current school informing your intent to enroll at ASU. Once the DSO at your transfer out institution has signed the SEVIS Transfer request form, upload the document through My ASU.

Once the SEVIS Transfer Form, Financial Guarantee, Financial Documents and copy of passport are received and verified to be accurate, ASU will email you the I-20 once the SEVIS release date indicated on the SEVIS Transfer Form has arrived. We are unable to transfer your SEVIS record and issue an I-20 until the date indicated on the form.

If you are going to travel outside the U.S. before your studies at ASU, you will need to reenter the U.S. with the ASU SEVIS Form I-20. Present the ASU SEVIS Form I-20 at the U.S. Port of Entry.

If you have any questions, please contact the international student advisor at the school that you are now attending or contact:

Admission Services
1151 S Forest Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85287-0112
Phone: 480-965-2437
Undergrad Email: asuinternational@asu.edu
Graduate Email: GradI20@asu.edu

Step 05

Review SEVIS Form I-20 

It is important to understand your SEVIS document; each page contains important information that you must read. You must ensure that all information is correct (spelling, dates, etc.). If there are any mistakes, please contact the admission office as soon as possible to have the information corrected. You will need the SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, your ASU notification of admission, the Financial Guarantee form, and your passport in order to obtain your student visa at the U.S. consulate nearest you.

Understanding the SEVIS Form I-20

The SEVIS Form I-20 is a three-page government document used for students to obtain an F-1 visa.

  • Page 1 contains program and biographical information.

    • Your SEVIS Identification Number is on the top right side of the form. You will need this number for your visa application and to pay the SEVIS fee.

    • F-1 students will be permitted to enter the U.S. 30 days prior to their report date, which is No. 5 on their SEVIS Form I-20. Please note that if you enter the U.S. after the report date, you may encounter difficulty with immigration officials at the Port of Entry. By signing the Student Certification No. 11 on the SEVIS Form I-20, you are acknowledging that you have read and understand the terms and conditions of F-1 status.

  • Page 2 contains instructions for the school and student. It is important that you read Page 2 of your SEVIS Form I-20, which has important immigration information for maintaining your F-1 status while pursuing your studies at ASU.

  • Page 3 contains spaces for future travel authorization. You will not need a signature on this page when you travel to the U.S. using your SEVIS Form I-20 for the first time.

Note: Dependents accompanying the F-1 student in F-2 status must have their own SEVIS Form I-20 issued in the name of the dependent.

Understanding the SEVIS Form DS-2019

The SEVIS Form DS-2019 is a two-page government document used for students and scholars to obtain a J-1 visa.

  • Page 1 contains program and biographical information.

    • Your SEVIS Identification Number is on the top right side of the form. You will need this number for your visa application and to pay for the SEVIS fee.

    • This page also contains spaces for future travel authorization. You will not need a signature on this page when you travel to the U.S. using your SEVIS Form DS-2019 for the first time.

  • Page 2 contains instructions for the school and student. It is important that you read Page 2 of SEVIS Form DS-2019, which has important immigration information for maintaining your J-1 status while pursuing your studies at ASU.

Note: Dependents accompanying the J-1 student in J-2 status must have their own SEVIS Form DS-2019 issued in the name of the dependent.

Step 06

Process SEVIS Form I-901 and payment

Upon receipt of SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, you will have the information needed to pay the SEVIS fee and the SEVIS Form I-901 fee. You must pay the SEVIS fee and have a receipt prior to applying for a student visa.

The SEVIS Form I-901 fee is mandated by the U.S. Congress to support the program office and the automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors, and ensures that they maintain their status while in the U.S.

 

I-20 and DS-2019 issuance timeline

The U.S. government has strict regulations on the issuance of I-20 and DS-2019 documents to international students who wish to attend an educational institution in the U.S. The dates below are for issuance of an I-20 or DS-2019, the latest date to report to the appropriate international student office, and the final day to be enrolled full time. Any noncompliance with these dates may preclude you from registering for classes. International students not enrolled full time will have their SEVIS record terminated and become subject to detainment and deportation.

Fall 2024 semester

Feb. 1, 2024
First day to issue I-20/DS-2019.

July 22, 2024
Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 outside the U.S.

July 23Aug. 22, 2024
Mandatory SEVIS check-in with the International Students and Scholars Center.

Aug. 22, 2024
Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 for SEVIS transfer students within the U.S.

Aug. 22, 2024
First day of classes and deadline to check in with ISSC.

Spring 2025 semester

Sept. 1, 2024
First day to issue I-20/DS-2019.

Dec. 6, 2024
Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 outside the U.S..

Dec. 6, 2024 Jan. 13, 2025
Mandatory SEVIS check-in with the International Students and Scholars Center.

Jan. 13, 2025
Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 for SEVIS transfer students within the U.S

Jan. 13, 2025
First day of classes and deadline to check in with ISSC.

Summer 2025 semester

Feb. 3, 2025
First day to issue I-20/DS-2019.

April 19, 2025
Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 outside the U.S.

April 20–May 19, 2025, 2025
Mandatory SEVIS check-in with the International Students and Scholars Center.

May 5, 2025
Undergraduate students' last day to request an academic deferral and deferral of the I-20.  

May 19, 2025
Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 for SEVIS transfer students within the U.S.

May 19, 2025
First day of classes and deadline to check in with ISSC.

May 23, 2025
Graduate students' last day to request an academic deferral and deferral of the I-20  

Fall 2025 semester

Feb. 1, 2025
First day to issue I-20/DS-2019.

July 22, 2025
Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 outside the U.S.

July 22Aug. 21, 2025
Mandatory SEVIS check-in with the International Students and Scholars Center.

Aug. 7, 2025
Undergraduate students' last day to request an academic deferral and deferral of the I-20.  

Aug. 21, 2025
Final day to issue I-20/DS-2019 for SEVIS transfer students within the U.S.

Aug. 21, 2025
First day of classes and deadline to check in with ISSC.

Sept. 3, 2025
Graduate students' last day to request an academic deferral and deferral of the I-20  

The student visa application process

Step 01

Apply for nonimmigrant visa, DS-160

As a visa applicant, you must submit a completed DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application for all nonimmigrant visa categories. Read complete details about student visas.

Note: After you have completed the DS-160, you will need to print and keep the DS-160 barcode page.

Step 02

Schedule visa interview

To schedule your interview, locate your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Each consulate sets its own timeline for accepting and processing student visa applications. If the consulate says apply “at least” 60 days before your program departure, this means no fewer than 60 days. To avoid problems, submit your visa application at the earliest date the consulate will accept it.

Step 03

Pay visa application fee

Please read information about nonimmigrant visa application fees. Applicants must pay these fees as directed prior to their visa interview, and they must bring the receipt to their interview.

If the visa is issued, please note that a Visa Issuance Reciprocity Fee may be applicable based on your country of citizenship. Please refer to the Visa Reciprocity Table to see if this fee applies to you.

Step 04

Prepare for visa interview

Start gathering the required documents for your student visa application the moment you apply to your program. Read through all information provided online by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that you will be visiting.

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for at least six months after your proposed date of entry into the U.S.
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo. You will upload while completing the online form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring a 2x2 inch photograph of yourself.
  • SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 with your SEVIS record number issued by ASU. You must sign Form I-20.

Additional documentation may be required

A consular officer will interview you to determine your qualifications for a student visa, and may request additional documents. You should be prepared to provide evidence such as:

  • A receipt of your SEVIS Form I-901 fee.
  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees or certificates from schools you attended.
  • Standardized test scores required by your U.S. school.
  • Your intent to depart the U.S. upon completion of the course of study.
  • How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs, including financial evidence showing you, your parents or sponsor have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses during your study.

   Tips on preparing for your interview

In addition to visiting the U.S. State Department link above, here are some additional tips on preparing for your interview.

  • A consular officer will interview you in English to determine whether you qualify for a student visa. Do not ask them to conduct the interview in another language.
  • On average, visa interviews are about three minutes long. Students must be proactive at their visa interview to succeed. Be prepared if they ask you (1) why you want to study in the U.S., (2) why you chose your major and why you chose to study at ASU, (3) what you are excited about, and (4) what you plan to do in the future and/or what ties you have to your home country.
  • If asked for proof of funding, some officers look favorable upon students who can show more than the required amount on their I-20 as a way to show they can afford their education and time in the U.S. If funds from extended family members are submitted, be prepared to answer questions about how close you are to your relatives, if you are planning to pay them back, if they are funding your entire education, how much that person is providing you, etc.

For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Step 05

Prepare documents for travel

As you get ready to arrive in Arizona, be sure to prepare your documents for travel. Here are some items you should carry with you. It is advisable to keep a copy in your checked luggage and one with your family at home. Make sure you have these original documents available at all times while traveling to and within the U.S.:

  • SEVIS Form I-20 or Form DS-2019.
  • Valid passport. 
  • Current visa.
  • Copy of immunization records.
  • Original supporting financial documents.
  • Dependents' I-20 or DS-2019 and passports if your spouse and children will be traveling with you.
  • International travel coverage documents, if you purchased this coverage.

Frequently asked questions about student visas

How do I get a student visa?

To get a student visa, you must first apply and be admitted to ASU. Once admitted, you must apply for an I-20 through ASU by uploading the required documentation. Once you receive your SEVIS number from the I-20 created by ASU, you’ll apply for your student visa through your country’s embassy. The visa process includes some paperwork and an in-person interview with an immigration officer at your local embassy. The embassy then creates the student visa with your passport and will indicate the dates you can arrive in the U.S. for your studies.

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. You must complete a SEVIS form I-20 to get an F-1 student visa or a SEVIS form DS-2019 to get a J-1 student visa.

Can I get a job while in the U.S. as a student?

Yes, you may work as a student, though ASU recommends you work no more than 20 hours per week. Many international students work for ASU, as the university employs more than 10,000 students. You may also work off campus, but if you do, it’s important that your employer understands that you are an ASU student and that your education is one of your top priorities.

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