What is an I-20?
International students who want to study in the US on a US student visa, the I-20 is a required document. The I-20 form, officially called "Certificate of Eligibility," is issued by a US government approved education institution (UMass Dartmouth) certifying that a student has been admitted to the university in a full-time program and has demonstrated sufficient financial resources to stay in the US.
If the Form I-20 is issued, then a student would use it to try to obtain the F-1 visa from a USA embassy or consulate in the students home country or in a neighboring country. UMass Dartmouth issues the I-20, but does not issue the visa.
The I-20 application process takes time to complete, so you should be aware of the process and start collecting information and documents as soon as possible.
Do all students need an I-20?
No. If a student is maintaining a status in the US other than F-1, an I-20 is not needed.
Am I eligible for an I-20?
International students who are accepted into a master's or doctoral program are eligible to be issued an I-20. Certificate programs are not eligible for an I-20. Students must study full-time with a minimum of 9 credits per semester (fall and spring).
Required I-20 documents
To obtain the Form I-20, a student must submit documentation to prove sufficient financial support to cover the estimated cost of attending UMass Dartmouth for one academic year.
A official bank statement dated within the past six (6.0) months is required. For the Fall 2023 semester, this statement should reflect at least $41,129.00 in USA dollars, which is the current estimated cost to attend UMass Dartmouth for one academic year (this is subject to change). The unit of currency does not have to be USA dollars, but the currency conversion must be equivalent to the amount in USA dollars. This money is not actually being paid to UMass Dartmouth at this time. To qualify as official, the bank statement must be on bank letterhead, dated, and signed by a bank official whose typed name and title also appears.
If a family member and/or dependent intends to accompany a student in the USA, then the bank statement must reflect an additional $6,000.00 for a spouse and $2,000.00 for each child.
Affidavit of support
If someone other than the student intends to provide some or all funding, and/or if the bank statement described above does not reflect the students name as the account holder, then an affidavit of support is needed. The affidavit of support is a signed and dated letter in which the financial sponsor describes his/her relationship to the student (e.g., father, mother, sister, uncle, friend, etc.) and attests that his/her personal funds will be used to pay for the cost of the educational expenses at UMass Dartmouth. The name(s) listed on the affidavit of support should match with the name(s) on the bank statement. Different spellings will delay processing of your Form I-20 request.
Please provide a copy of the students valid passport. (If a spouse and/or child intends to accompany the student in the USA, then please also send a copy of his/her passport.)
Please pay the non-refundable $200 enrollment deposit through the Applicant Portal. This $200 deposit will be placed into your Umass Dartmouth account toward tuition and fees.
After submitting documents
We begin processing I-20 requests six months before the semester begins. It will typically take 2-3 weeks to prepare an I-20 after a student has submitted all required documents, paid the application fee and been admitted. March and April our the busiest months for this process and time may be delayed due to the volume of requests.