Initial Form I-20

Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status

Information specific to Intensive English Program (IEP) students can be found here:  Initial Form I-20 for IEP students.  All degree-seeking international students, please read below.

Once you have been accepted for admission to UIS for a program of study, you will need a form I-20 in order to apply for your visa (or change to F-1 status). To learn more about the form I-20, please visit Study in the States. This document, along with your passport, visa, and arrival/departure record (form I-94) should be kept current and up-to-date at all times. You will receive the form I-20 from the Office of International Student Services and must report any changes to the information contained on the form to our office as soon as the change occurs.

In order to issue form I-20, ISS must first verify that you have been fully admitted to your program of study and must receive from you documents that demonstrate that you have available to you all the financial resources that you need for at least your first full academic year of study. The expenses that you must be able to cover include your tuition and fees (for an estimate of your tuition and fees, see the Tuition Calculator provided by the Office of Records and Registration), books and supplies, housing, food, and other living expenses, health insurance, and similar expenses for any dependents (spouse and children) who may accompany or join you while you are studying in the United States.

Then, gather your financial documents that show that you have available to you funds to cover all of these (at least $35,000 for the first 12 months). The funds may belong to you, to another member of your family, or even to a friend who is willing to assist you in payment of your expenses. You will indicate each of these sources on a Financial Statement form (PDF) and will attach copies of documents showing that each person supporting you has the declared funds available. For example, you may have $20000 of your support in a bank account belonging to you. Your father may have an additional $10000 in his bank account that he is willing to use to support you while you are studying. Your aunt may have another $5000 that she is willing for you to use. Each person listed on the declaration will need to indicate the amount that he or she will be making available to you, will need to sign the form, and will need to provide a copy of a bank statement showing that the funds exist. Once you have gathered all the documents, you will be ready to upload them using this Web Form.

Keep the original documents. You will need them when you visit the US embassy or consulate to apply for your visa.

The following documents are acceptable:

  •  Bank statements showing liquid assets such as cash deposits, certificates of deposit, savings, or any other funds that you can withdraw at any time you may need them
  • Investment statements showing funds that you can actually withdraw and use them immediately (statement should clearly indicate that you can access them as needed)
  • Scholarship letters (in English) stating that the scholarship funds are immediately available to you at the beginning of your studies
  • Approved lines of credit and any limits
  • Funding provided by your government and its date of availability

The following are NOT acceptable:

  • Payroll reports or expected income
  • Tax statements
  • Property assessment
  • Insurance policies
  • Bank statements that do not include actual amounts
  • Chartered account statements
  • Loan statements for funds you have not yet received
  • Statements about property, jewelry, automobiles, or other forms of non-liquid assets
  • Any other statements about worth of non-liquid assets

All funds must be available for you to spend upon arrival in the US. All documents must be in English. The supporting documents must include the name of the owner of the funds. The documents must be dated and must not be more than 9 months prior to the date your classes will begin at UIS. The documents should also include the type of currency. (We will convert the amounts to the US dollar equivalent on the day the form I-20 is created.)