How do I get the I-20? What’s needed?

An I-20 form is extremely important to an international student looking to study abroad in the United States. This is because the form is necessary for applying and receiving a student visa. Typically, students can apply for a visa within 120 days from the start date of the I-20, and can travel within 30 days of the start date of the I-20.

For the I-20 form, there are certain types of financial proof that universities will accept to prove that you have the funds necessary to meet the cost of your first year. Often, acceptable sources of proof may include:

  • Education loan options (or international student loan options)
  • Scholarships
  • Personal or family income/sponsorship

This is not an exhaustive list, but guidelines on some of what may be the most acceptable way to prove funding to a school. 

Many sources of funding that typically may not be accepted include:

  • House/plot value
  • Insurance accounts
  • The value of a business
  • Credit card statements
  • Financial documents older than 6 months are not accepted

The specific requirements will vary by university and you may want to check with each school individually to make certain of what they accept and do not accept.

Often, a prospective international student has a family member that may be willing to sponsor them. Generally, this is fine and allowed within the requirements.

Again, it may make sense to check with the individual school to make sure this fits within their requirements and payment procedures.

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