Student Visa/I-20 Documentation

International students, including Canadian students, must meet U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines in order to enter the United States under F-1 student status. International students who have been offered acceptance into a UWS on-campus program will need to complete and submit I-20 documentation in order to apply for an F-1 student visa and to enter into the United States.

Learn more or start the I-20 process here:

I-20 Forms and Applying for a Student Visa

What is the I-20? The I-20 is an official document required for all international students in order to apply for an F-1 student visa and to enter into the United States.

What forms do I need to complete?

*The parent/sponsor form is only required if a parent or sponsor is showing funds on your behalf. If you are showing all of the funds on your own, then you will only submit the expense outline and financial certificate.

What supporting financial documents do I need? Along with your I-20 form, you will need to submit evidence of sufficient funding to cover the cost of one academic year at UWS. The dollar amount is not necessarily how much you will spend your first year — your lifestyle will affect the amount of money you will actually spend — but this is the amount the U.S. government will expect you to have at your disposal upon arrival into the United States. What you show for the I-20 proof of funding is in no way tied to your tuition payments and is solely used to determine your eligibility to enter the U.S. as an F-1 student. This final cost includes tuition, books, fees, housing and miscellaneous costs.

Proof of financial support may be demonstrated through a combination of any of the following:

  • Original bank statement or a letter on bank letterhead.
  • Original letter from a bank showing a line of credit.
  • Original scholarship award letter.
  • National government or provincial aid loan and grant award letters.
  • Original bank account statement of a parent or sponsor.*

*Students who show the proof of funding through a parent or sponsor must include a completed parent or sponsor form with notarization along with their I-20 application.

When must the I-20 be completed? Your I-20 form must be completed and sent by email to your advisor before your intended start date. UWS recommends sending the completed forms and financial documentation two months before classes begin.

What happens after I send my I-20 and supporting documents to my advisor? As soon as your advisor receives the following items, they will process and send the issued I-20 Certificate to you with I-901 SEVIS fee payment instructions and guidance on how to enter the US under your student visa status. 

  • Original signed I-20 forms (I-20 application, financial certification and optional parent/sponsor form)
  • Original financial documents
  • Copy of passport photo page

What happens after I receive my I-20? How do I get my student visa?

After the I-20 document is issued, all international students applying for F-1 status are required to pay a SEVIS fee and print the receipt. This fee is paid directly to the U.S. government, not UWS. Proof of payment is required before going to the U.S. consulate for a visa interview and is also required when crossing the border into the United States. Canadian citizens do not need to visit a consulate for an interview or to obtain a student visa.

F-1 students are allowed to enter the United States with an issued I-20 document and SEVIS payment receipt within 30 days of the first day of classes.

All international students in valid F-1 student status are granted certain privileges and are subject to certain federal requirements and restrictions on activities. It is the student’s responsibility to understand these regulations and to maintain student status. For more information, please visit the Study in the States website.