Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Office of International Education
Form I-20A-B: Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students

An I-20 reflects your biographical information as well as information pertaining to your program of study in the U.S. It is required for the F-1 student visa application/interview process and must be presented at the U.S. Port of Entry every time you attempt to re-enter the U.S. It is your responsibility to review all of the information on your I-20 for accuracy and monitor the end date; it must be accurate at all times. If you require an update (e.g., program name, financial information) you must contact the Office of International Education for a new document.

Certificate of Eligibility

Item 1: Your Name

The name indicated on your I-20 should match your name as it appears on your passport exactly. All of you immigration documentation (passport, visa, I-20. I-94) should reflect the same name format and spelling. To request a new document with a name change, please submit a copy of your passport to the Office of International Education.

Item 5: Program of Study and Program Dates

Your intended program of study/ major should be noted in item 5. It will reflect the closest program category option available in the SEVIS system. If your exact program code is not available, a program of study name remark will also be included in item 9.

Item 5 also indicates your program start and end dates. With an “initial attendance” I-20, you may enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program start date indicated on your I-20. If there is a situation that requires you to enter the U.S. after the program start date indicated on your document, please contact the Office of International Education as you will require a new document or letter of explanation in order to enter the U.S.; the latest day an I-20 can be issued for "initial attendance" is the last day to add a class for the academic semester (indicated in the ESF academic calendar).

You will have 60 days from your program/OPT end date by which to exit the United States. During these 60 days, you are not eligible to leave the U.S. and re-enter unless you have obtained a new, valid immigration status. The 60-day grace period is intended to be used for domestic travel and/or to prepare for and depart from the U.S.; you may not be employed during this time.

Item 7: Estimated Expenses for One Year of Study

Item 7 indicates the estimated expenses for one year of study as set by ESF’s Financial Aid Office.

Item 8: Documentation Provided By Student to Meet Financial Obligation

Immigration regulations require international students to submit credible documentary evidence that they have enough readily available funds to meet all expenses (tuition, fees, and living expenses) for an entire year of study. It is expected that students will have adequate funds to support themselves throughout the duration of their program of study. Updated financial documentation must be submitted every time a student requests an I-20 update (e.g., change of program, extension).

Item 10: School Certification: Signature of Designated School Official

Item 10 should contain the signature of the (Primary) Designated School Official (P/DSO)—Thomas E. Carter.

Item 11: Student Certification: Student Signature

If all of the information on your Form I-20 is accurate, please print your name, sign, and date the document.

Port of Entry Information (Upper Right-Hand Corner of your I-20)

This space will be blank if you have an initial entry I-20 or your I-20 was issued in the U.S. It is filled in by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Official upon entrance to the U.S. The CBP official should stamp your date of entry to the U.S. and mark your non-immigrant status/class (F-1), and the period you are eligible to stay in the U.S. until (D/S). If your document is marked differently or indicates a departure date, please contact the Coordinator of International Education as this must be corrected immediately. If a departure date is indicated, this is the date you expected to exit the U.S. by; you would not be eligible for an extension of program and would accumulate overstay if you did not depart by the end date.

Travel Signature (Bottom of page 3 of your I-20)

A valid travel signature is necessary to re-enter the U.S. every time you exit the U.S. after your initial entry. An initial I-20 will not have a travel signature; a travel endorsement may be obtained after entering the U.S. and attending the Travel Seminar.