obtaining an i-20 or ds-2019
Obtaining an I-20 (F-1 Students)
The first step in obtaining an F-1 visa is to complete the International Student Financial Certification Form so that SFAI can issue your I-20 Certificate of Eligibility (I-20). You should have received this form in your admissions packet. If you did not, you can download a copy here.
In addition to submitting the International Student Financial Certification Form to the Global Programs Office, you are required to submit financial support documents and a copy of your valid passport before an I-20 can be created.
Acceptable Financial Support Documents
In order to issue an I-20, SFAI is required to verify that you have sufficient funds to cover the period of your stay in the United States. Please see section IV of the International Student Financial Certification Form to confirm your specific funding requirements. In most cases, the documentation we require is also required at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate when you apply for your F-1 visa (keep a copy of all funding documents for that purpose).
To obtain your I-20 in a timely manner, submit the following acceptable financial support documents:
SFAI Awards (Scholarships, Grants, etc.)
- Copy of award letter printed on official SFAI letterhead. The letter must state the official amount and the time period of the award.
- Official bank statement(s) dated within the last six months that clearly state your name and show the balance of the account.
Private Sponsors (must include both of the following):
- If a family member or friend is sponsoring you financially, he or she must complete section IV of the International Student Financial Certification Form that shows the relationship between you and the sponsor(s), the amount of support, and length of support.
- The sponsor’s bank or other financial statements must be dated within the last six months and clearly state his or her name and show the balance of the account.
Other Support / Award Letters
- Letter from an employer or another institution/organization on official business letterhead showing amount and length of support in U.S. dollar amounts. This entity must also complete section IV of the International Student Financial Certification Form.
Loan Certificates / Letters
- Loan certificates or letters must indicate your name and the amount of the approved loan on the lender’s official letterhead. It must also clearly state the time period of the loan and be dated from within the past six months.
All financial support documentation must:
- Be dated within the past six months (older statements will not be accepted)
- Be translated into English (especially names)
- Clearly show the type of currency and their U.S. dollar (USD) equivalents
- Show liquid assets that can be converted to cash. Salary statements, tax documents, property ownership documents, etc., are NOT acceptable
Copy of your Valid Passport
In addition to the above documents, you must also submit a copy of the biographical page of your passport.
Submitting / Resubmitting Documents
Make sure all supporting documents are attached to your International Financial Certification Form before sending to the Global Programs Office. We prefer you send all documents electronically to email@example.com. Other acceptable forms of submission are via fax (415.749.4517) and via mail.
Please note, all faxes should include a cover page that is addressed to the Global Programs Office, and all mail delivery should be addressed directly to the Global Programs Office. I-20 Certificates of Eligibility cannot be processed until all funding documents and a copy of your passport page are received.
Upon receipt we will send you an email verifying the status of the documents and your instructions for return delivery. Once materials are complete, your I-20 Certificate of Eligibility will be processed in five to seven business days. Please allow additional time for delivery, depending on the method you check for return delivery on the International Student Certification Form.
Obtaining a DS-2019 (J-1 Fulbright Students)
All Fulbright students attend SFAI in a J-1 nonimmigrant visa status. Fulbright students should contact the Institute of International Education (IIE) for instructions on how to obtain a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility as part of their J-1 visa application process.