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I-20 and DS-2019

I-20 Update Regarding COVID-19

Based on recent updates with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the International Student and Faculty Services Office (ISFS) has recommended that the Graduate College create electronic I-20 forms for travel signatures.  Please refer to the guidelines below:

  1. The electronic I-20 forms may ONLY be sent to your Ohio University email account, as that is the email account that is reported in your SEVIS record. There can be no exceptions to this rule.
  2. It is important that you read and print out the SEVP FAQ page and take it with you to the visa interview and when traveling to the U.S. You can present it in case of any questions about the electronic signature.

It is recommended that you also visit the ISFS COVID-19 frequently asked questions webpage for additional information.

I-20/DS-2019 Issuance

After you are admitted to Ohio University, you will need to apply for a student visa (F-1 or J-1), which requires a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20/DS-2019) issued by Ohio University. To obtain your I-20 (F-1), you must submit a Financial Support Form and the appropriate financial documents to demonstrate that you have adequate funds to cover your estimated school and living expenses for one academic year.

To obtain your DS-2019 (J-1) and for all DS-2019 related information and questions, please refer to International Student and Faculty Services.

Visa Appointment Wait Time

NOTE: Your admission letter from the Ohio University Graduate College indicates your program of study at Ohio University. The name of the program listed on your I-20 may be different, as the SEVIS system uses a set of codes for a variety of majors. This may not be an exact match to the major program listed on your letter of admission. 

Financial Assistance and the Financial Support Form

If you are awarded a graduate appointment, it will change the amount of funding you need to demonstrate on your Financial Support Form.

International tuition scholarships cover the cost of instructional fees (up to 18 credit hours) and the non-resident surcharge for specific terms.

Even if you are being fully funded by a Teaching Assistantship or Graduate Assistantship, you must still complete a Financial Support Form.

The amount of the scholarship and the amount of the stipend will be reflected on your I-20 and decrease the amount of funding you will be required to demonstrate.

However, if your tuition scholarship and stipend amount is less than this amount, you will be required to provide the Financial Support Form and appropriate financial documentation to demonstrate that you have adequate funds to cover the remaining expenses.

Financial Assistance Awarded After I-20 Issuance

In some cases, financial assistance may not be awarded until after Ohio University has issued your I-20.

If that happens, contact Susan Spence if your last name begins with A - K, or

Traci Fetherolf if your last name begins with L - Z, to request an updated I-20.

Updating an I-20 immediately voids your original I-20.

Your new I-20 will be emailed to your OHIO email, and you will need to take it to the Embassy to obtain your visa.

I-20 Major

The major listed on the I-20 is based on a selection of programs available on the SEVIS system. The major listed on the admission letter is the actual program you will be enrolled in, and the closest option available on SEVIS, will be listed as your major on the I-20.

I-20/DS-2019 Arrival Date

New international students are required to attend a mandatory orientation before beginning their first term at Ohio University. It is very important that you arrive no later than the arrival date indicated on the I-20/DS-2019. Ohio University cannot issue a new I-20/DS-2019 date to accommodate late arrivals.

LATE ARRIVALS (within the first week of classes ONLY)

Under extenuating circumstances, a late arrival may be available. The student will need to obtain approval from the Graduate Chair of the Academic Department. The Department will then need to contact the Graduate College.

SEVIS Transfer

Students transferring to Ohio University from another U.S. institution must transfer their immigration record. Please supply the following information: