I-20 and Student Visa Information

Most students ask us, "How do I get an I-20?"

This page should give you all the information you need and help you understand the process to become an international student at Arcadia.

Apply for a Visa

If you want to study full-time, you must apply for a student visa in order to stay in the U.S. You can find information about the visa application at the nearest consulate or embassy in your country or visit www.travel.state.gov. If you need help from Arcadia University, contact Meredith Mashner, Office of International Affairs, at mashnerm@arcadia.edu. F-1 students must pay a fee of $200 for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. There are several ways to pay. In most cases, you can use a credit card online at www.fmjfee.com. Make sure you keep proof of your payment. You will need this at your interview.

Schedule Your Interview Appointment

Next, make an interview appointment at your nearest consulate or embassy. Plan ahead! June, July, and August are the busiest months in embassies. You may apply up to 120 days before the program start date on your I-20 and can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before your program start date.

At Your Interview

When you go for your interview, arrive early. Take your passport. It should be valid for at least six months past your program end date. Also, take passport photos, visa application fees, any documents asked for by the consular of the embassy, and the following important items:

A valid I-20. Make sure your name, date and place of birth, and country of citizenship are correct and the same as they appear on your passport. All spaces should be filled in. Make sure the Designated School Official has signed it. Finally, sign your name with the date at the bottom of the form.

Academic Documents. You must provide evidence that you are going to attend school. Take any and all of the following that you may have:

  • academic records
  • transcripts
  • exam results
  • certificates and/or diplomas
  • test score reports
  • letter of acceptance from Arcadia University
  • any other important academic information

Financial Documents. You must prove that you have enough money to stay in school and that you will not take a job illegally in the US. You must bring a letter from your parents or sponsor which explains how they are going to pay for your tuition, fees, and living expenses for one academic year. You can show proof of this with bank statements, salary slips, or contracts which are not more than one month old. If you are married and/or not dependent on parents for money, you should present evidence of your current employment and financial status. If dependents will come with you, then your financial status is even more important.

After you have successfully obtained your student visa, you are ready to prepare for your arrival to Arcadia. Here's where you'll find that information.