F-1 Students: Request Form I-20

After Academic Admission: What’s Next?

You will receive an email from the International Admissions Coordinator about using an online system called “iStart” to provide financial documentation and other information needed to process immigration documents: Form I-20. Learn about iStart >> here.

Please be aware:

  • All newly admitted students automatically receive an international admissions hold until ISSS review is complete and immigration documents are issued.
  • You cannot register for classes until the hold is removed.
  • The speed of submitting financial documentation is up to you.
  • ISSS cannot review your documents or individual parts of your file until your file is complete.
  • Once the review is complete and approved, ISSS will process your Form I-20 for shipping or pick-up by your designee at ISSS.

Please note: The normal processing time for all I-20 requests is between 5-7  business days from the time of a complete and acceptable submission.

Submit the following through iStart for ISSS Review:

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 Form I-20.

What are the estimated costs, and what types of documents are needed?

  •  All financial documentation must be updated for each new program of study and may not be more than 6 months old, based on the date of issuance for the I-20 (not the program start date on the I-20).  
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Organization(s) Sponsorship Letter (Including GSU Award Letter). This letter is required of all students who are receiving funding from any organization, including Georgia State University.It must include these requirements:
    1. Official original letterhead with organization’s contact information including telephone number and address.
    2. Student’s full name.
    3. If GSU Award Letter: The estimated value of any tuition waiver must be clearly stated, as well as any offered stipend.
    4. The duration of the support as well as the semester support will start.
    5. Original signature and title of the responsible official.

Documents will be electronically uploaded and submitted via iStart. 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.

Be Aware: The financial information on your I-20 is only an estimate, not a tuition bill.

Transfer Students

  • 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. See Transfer Students under Step 1.

Changing Degree Level?

  • If you are advancing from one program or degree level to another at Georgia State (ex. IEP to Bachelor; BS to MS; or MA to Ph.D.), updated financial documentation is required for each new I-20. It may not be more than 6 months old, based on the date of issuance for the new program I-20 (not the program start date on the new I-20). ISSS cannot process the new program I-20 without updated financial documentation.