All prospective F-1 students who wish to study in the United States need a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.” Haverford College is a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school, and can issue a Form I-20 to admitted students.
- The Form I-20 certifies that a student has been admitted for full-time study at an SEVP-certified institution and that the student has demonstrated sufficient financial resources to pay for their study and living expenses in the United States. Form I-20 is an important document that you should keep safe, as you will need it throughout your time as an international student and beyond.
- The I-20 allows a prospective student to apply for an F-1 student visa at a United States embassy or consulate abroad.
- You will obtain several different versions of your I-20 during your time at Haverford. It is important that you keep all copies of the I-20 that is issued to you. These copies may be required for future employment authorization applications. Always use the most recently issued I-20 for travel, work, or other purposes.
Lost your I-20?
Contact our office for a replacement I-20. If you are outside the United States, you will need to have the replacement I-20 in hand to re-enter the United States. If an I-20 must be physically mailed to you, allow sufficient time for processing and mail delivery.
How the I-20 is Used
Outside the United States
After receiving your I-20, you must apply for a visa and take their I-20, along with other important documents, to your visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate (the visa is needed to be allowed entry into the U.S. in F-1 status). Students must present both the F-1 visa and the I-20 to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer upon arrival at the U.S. port-of-entry.
Inside the United States
The Form I-20 certifies to a Customs and Border Protection officer that a traveler is a student admitted into an SEVP certified school. It acts as identification and proof of F-1 status. Students will also need their Form I-20 to apply for a Social Security Number, or Driver’s License and during the employment verification process. Students with approved Practical Training will have their employment recorded on the 2nd page of their Form I-20.
Receiving Form I-20
Admitted students will receive an email from the International Student Support Office around April or May. Students must submit the required documents to the ISSO office for review and processing. The required documents include:
- Financial documentation that proves the student has financial resources to support the costs of tuition, board, room, orientation and student government fees, and health insurance.
- A copy of the biographical page of a valid passport.
- Copy of their Haverford admission letter.
- Complete the New Student I-20 Request Form.
Admitted students will receive additional information and instructions on how to submit these documents. Please do not email these documents to the ISSO office.
Form I-20 & Travel
Students traveling internationally must take their I-20 with them. You will need your I-20 if you are required to renew your visa and for re-entering the United States. Students will need to receive a travel endorsement from their Designated School Official (Natasha Weisz) before traveling abroad. Please come to a walk-in hour or schedule an appointment to receive your travel endorsement. A travel endorsement is valid for one year and can be used for multiple entries. We strongly recommend that students review the Point of Entry Reminders document before international travel.
Your Program End Date
Make certain your I-20 accurately reflects your anticipated program completion date (graduation date). This is the date at which a student is expected to complete the degree. The program end date can be found in the “Program of Study” section of the I-20. If you will not be able to complete all degree requirements by your program end date, you should complete the Request for Extension of I-20 form at least one month prior to the program end date. It is very important that your I-20 does not “expire” as that could have negative consequences to immigration status. Alternatively, if you will be graduating early, please contact your Designated School Official when you have received approval from the Committee of Student Standing and Programs (CSSP). It’s very important that the program end date on your I-20 accurately reflects when you will complete graduation requirements.
The 60-day Grace Period
When students complete their program of study, they are allowed a 60-day grace period to either:
- depart the United States
- request a school transfer
- apply for optional practical training
- change visa status.
Seniors will meet with Natasha Weisz during their final semester to discuss their post-Haverford plans.