I-20 Process for New F-1 Students
You have been Academically Accepted. What’s Next?
You will need to provide financial verification of your ability to pay for educational and living expenses in Atlanta. Look for an email invitation from the International Admissions Coordinator in ISSS (International Student & Scholar Services) that will ask you to submit the required financial documents. You will submit this information through an online system called “iStart”.
- The speed of submitting financial documentation is up to you.
- ISSS cannot review your documents until your file is complete.
- ISSS cannot review individual parts of your file at different times.
- A hold is automatically placed on new student records until financial review is complete.
- You cannot register for classes until the hold is removed.
ISSS will then review your file, including financial documents, and process your form I-20 for shipping. This step takes 3-5 business days.
Submit the following through iStart for ISSS Review:
1. Copy of your passport identification page
If you do not hold a passport, please submit a copy of an official picture ID issued by your country of citizenship. If you are currently in the United States on F-1 or J-1 status, you must also submit a copy of your current F-1/J-1 visa or change of status approval notice, I-20/DS-2019, I-94, in addition to your passport identification page. If you are currently in the United States on a visa other than F-1, you must also submit a copy of your current visa and I-94. If dependents (spouse and/or children) will accompany you, you must include a copy of their passport identification page. If your country of citizenship is different from that of your country of legal residence, please submit a copy of the appropriate identification.
- Follow the steps in the iStart invitation email sent after you were academically admitted to provide information for ISSS to process your immigration document I-20 or DS-2019.
2. Financial Documentation
What are the costs, and what types of documents are needed?
- Bank Certification Letters must include all of the following: On original bank letterhead – bank’s contact information including telephone number and address; Account number and the date account was opened; Current and average amount in account; Bank official original signature; Bank official printed name. All funding should be in a liquid form such as a checking or savings account. If the funding is in the form of investments, the bank/financial institution official must state the terms of the investment and whether or not the money is accessible for your education. Photocopies, faxes, scanned documents, computer screen printouts, and/or web printouts are NOT acceptable forms of verification.
- If your financial documentation will come from a sponsor, please also have your sponsor complete the Sponsor Commitment Form or write a letter of recommendation that includes the following: Your full name; the relationship between you and the sponsor; the amount and duration of the support; the sponsor’s original signature, full name, telephone number, and address. The Sponsor Commitment Form or sponsor letter must be submitted together with original bank certification letters (please refer to Bank Certification Letters requirements listed above).
- If you are a graduate student with an assistantship, your employing department should provide a verification letter.
Please note that two original sets of financial documentation should be obtained, as a second original copy of the documents will be needed at the time of the visa interview.
Once financial documents have been approved by the International Admissions Coordinator, an I-20 will be processed and sent to you. The Form I-20 makes you eligible to apply for the F-1 student visa.
If you are transferring from another U.S. college or university, your SEVIS record must be transferred to Georgia State through SEVIS before ISSS can issue a GSU I-20 document. Contact your current international advisor or your campus “DSO” (Designated School Official) about that process.
Changing Degree Level?
If you are changing from one degree level to another at Georgia State (ex. BS to MBA), you will also need to provide new financial documents before a new I-20 can be issued.