Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What is I-20 and what to do if it Contains Errors?

The first step towards getting the student visa is to get an I-20 form. I-20 form is an official document from the international services office of a university which explains all the issues related with your course. It contains information in following way:

First Page

1. Information regarding the candidate, the name, address and date of birth of the candidate, country and citizenship status of the candidate

2. Information regarding the university, the school name, school official to be notified of student’s arrival, school address and school code

3. Information regarding why this certificate has been issued

4. Level of education (masters or doctorate whatever applicable)

5. Nature and duration of the course

6. English proficiency: if any English test is required and if you have any

7. Estimated expenditure

8. Estimated income (assistantship amount)

9. Some remarks

10. School certification: bears the date, signature and designation of the school official issuing the document

11. Student certification: this is where your name is printed and you have to put your signature. This means your acceptance of the terms and conditions which are printed on page 2.

This is your responsibility to recheck if all the information is correct and up-to- date. What if some information is incorrect or there is some printing mistake, say in your name? Immediately inform the ISO about the error and request them to send a new updated I-20 correcting those errors. Do not go for a visa with an I-20 containing errors or even minor printing mistakes.

Only after you get the new error-free I-20 proceed to next step towards the visa process. Your ‘I-20’ contains a very important code starting with ‘N’ which is located in the top right of page one above the barcode. This code is know as 'SEVIS' code.

Page 2

This is also a good idea to read all the terms and conditions on page 2. Some of the students have misconception that they can work outside the university to support their expenses while this is not allowed in normal circumstances.

Also check the third page for any errors. Once you are convinced that everything is correct proceed to the next step. The next step is paying SEVIS I-901 fee.

There are new contents forthcoming which will be targeted to make visa process easier. Please do follow the blog to boost my interest in writing new useful posts. Thanks in advance.

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