Steps After Receiving Form I-20
Step 1: Check for Errors
Please check and verify all information listed on your Adelphi University Form I-20 is accurate and printed correctly. This includes your name as it appears in your passport, your program of study, the length of study, your previous schools name if you are a transfer student, country of birth, country of citizenship, date of birth and financial information. If anything is listed incorrectly please contact International Services immediately to make a correction.
Step 2: Sign your I-20
After you review your Form I-20 for accuracy, immediately sign and date the student attestation on the first page.
Step 3: Pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee
Each international student issued an initial status Form I-20 is responsible for paying the required $350.00 SEVIS I-901 fee. To pay this fee, please go to the SEVIS I-901 Fee Payment Website located: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html
What is SEVIS?
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) acts as the bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information about foreign students. It is designed to help the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State better monitor school and exchange visitor programs and F, M and J category visitors. SEVP administers the F (academic) and M (vocational) visa categories, while the U.S. Department of State manages the J exchange visitor program. SEVP uses Web-based technology known as the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), to track and monitor schools and programs, students, exchange visitors and their dependents while they are legally enrolled in the U.S. education system.
SEVP collects, maintains and uses the information to ensure that only legitimate foreign students or exchange visitors gain entry to the United States. The result is an easily accessible information system that provides timely information to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Step 4: F-1 Visa Process
All non-immigrants coming to the United States for the purpose of studying must obtain an F-1 student visa necessary for travel to the United States. This document can be acquired at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country or residence and is placed in your valid passport. International travelers who are citizens of Canada, Bermuda and meet all necessary requirements are eligible to travel to the United States without a visa.
Please visit the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Cultural Affairs for information on this process.
F-1 Student Visa
Visa Wait Times
Visa wait times for interview appointments vary by location and season, so you should apply for your F-1 visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location you will apply for your visa here: Visa Appointment Wait Times
Complete the Online Visa Application
- Complete the online visa application, and
- Print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
Schedule Visa Interview
Students should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more difficult to qualify for a visa outside of the country where you live.
Websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates and Diplomatic Missions
Required Documentation for your visa appointment
You should have the following required documents prior to your visa interview:
- Passport valid for travel to the United States. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States.
- 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 your photo while completing the online Form DS-160
- Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status, Form I-20
Additional documentation may be required
- Additional documents may be requested to establish your qualification. Be prepared to present the following documents at your visa interview.
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
- Scores from tests required for admission, such as the TOEFL
- Standardized test scores required by your U.S. school
- Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of stud
- How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs
Attend your Visa Interview
A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a student visa. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa. After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing. The consular officer will inform you if this is required. After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee (if applicable to your nationality), and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you. Review the visa processing times to learn more.
The visa interview is a conversation, not a document review session. As the applicant, it is recommended to clearly articulate the following during your appointment. You should practice and be comfortable with these questions prior to your visa interview. Also important, as for any first conversation, is to dress nicely and smile.
- Why you want to go to Adelphi University?
- What you plan to study?
- How you plan to use your education when you return?
- Who will sponsor your education?
- What are your plans after finishing the degree?
Step 5: Entering the United States
A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. A visa only allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. Your travel ability is dependent on the type of I-20 issued to you. Please review the specific requirements for your I-20 type:
- Initial Status I-20: Students with initial status can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to the program start date indicated on your I-20.
- Transfer Pending I-20: Students with a transfer pending I-20 can travel within and enter the U.S. with no limitation prior to your program start date listed on your I-20.
- Change of Educational Level I-20: Students with a transfer pending I-20 can travel within and enter the U.S. with no limitation prior to your program start date listed on your I-20.
When you arrive, you must have the following documents in your possession:
- Valid passport for at least six months in the future
- Original SEVIS Form I-20
- Valid F-1 Visa
- Adelphi Letter of Acceptance (recommended)
- Documentary Evidence of Financial Support (recommended)
Step 6: Completing Required Immigration Check In
You will be required to complete an Immigration check in prior to your program start date. To complete this requirement, you must provide the following documents to International Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Most Recent I-94 Arrival / Departure Document
- Copy of current F-1 Visa
- Copy of valid passport
- Updated student physical address and SEVIS Check-in Form
Step 7: Register for a Full Course of Study and Maintain Valid Status
While studying in the United States, it is your responsibility to maintain valid status determined by your F-1 Academic Visa Classification which includes:
- Fulfilling the purpose for why the Department of State issued the student visa
- Following the regulations associated with that purpose.
- Report to the DSO located in International Services prior to the program start date listed on the form I-20
- Complete the Immigration Check-In Process with International Services
- You must attend the school listed on your Form I-20
- Abide by rules requiring disclosure of information and prohibition on criminal active
- Keep your passport valid at all times
- International Students are required to report a change of address within 10 days of the change. You can do this by logging into your eCampus account and going to My Profile.
- International students are required to enroll in a “full course of study” each semester. This includes 12 credits for undergraduate students and 9 credits for graduate students.
- If eligible, a student may file for a reduced course load to complete their academic program in the final semester.
- The student must be authorized by International Services for the reduced course load prior to the course reduction or this would be considered a violation of status.
- In order to maintain valid F-1 status, the student must make normal progress towards the program of study indicated on Form I-20 and prior to the expiration of the program completion date on the Form I-20. If any information on the form I-20 changes, it is the students responsibility to meet with the Designated School Official to appropriately update the information and form I-20.
- Students who need additional time to complete their academic program are responsible for filing a timely program extension application with international services. This must be done prior to the program completion date listed on form I-20.
- An international student may only work when authorized by a DSO in some cases, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in others. If you choose to work without authorization, you will be in violation of your status and forced to leave the United States immediately, and you may not be able to re-enter the United States at a later date.
The designated school official (DSO) at the University is responsible for specific reporting requirements which include necessary updates and maintenance of each student record in SEVIS. Students may contact SEVP by email at email@example.com if the DSO is not able to assist or if the student seeks additional guidance.