Request Form I-20

Admitted students who wish to study with an F-1 visa status at Kennesaw State University must first obtain a Form I-20 from the International Student and Scholar Services Office. The I-20 is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security document that indicates the student’s eligibility to receive an F-1 visa and/or study in F-1 visa status. The student’s I-20 record, housed in the SEVIS system, contains certain biographical, educational, financial, and immigration information related to the student’s F-1 status. An I-20 is required to study on an F-1 status in the U.S.

Generally, there are three types of I-20s that can be requested upon admission. These depend on your current location and immigration status.

  • Students seeking an initial I-20 to attend KSU should submit:

    • Copy of passport identification page
    • Proof of funding, please see our Cost to Attend page for details   

    After admission, students will receive an email with instructions on how to submit their documents via the iStart online portal. Once the required documents are received and approved, an international student advisor will issue you an I-20 and provide you with mailing options. You must have the original I-20 when applying for your F-1 visa. More information about applying for your visa at the embassy can be found on our Visa Application Process page below.

    More Information
  • Students seeking to transfer their I-20 to KSU should submit:

    • Copy of passport identification page
    • Proof of funding, please see our Cost to Attend page for details
    • Copies of F-1 visa status documents: visa, current I-20, and I-94
    • Transfer verification information completed online by current school
      After admission, students will receive an email with instructions on how to submit their documents via the iStart online portal. You should also contact your current school's international student advisor to discuss a date to transfer your I-20 to KSU. Please note that regulations require students to begin their studies within five months of their last day of class at their previous institution, or their last day of OPT. Once the I-20 is transferred, an advisor will update your I-20 with your new KSU information and provide you with mailing or pickup options.

    If you are intending to travel abroad before beginning your program at KSU, you must factor your I-20 transfer date into your travel plans. Transfer students must re-enter the U.S. with the I-20 from the school currently holding their SEVIS record. Discuss your travel plans with your international student advisor to determine the best time to transfer your I-20, and please ensure that you have a travel signature on the second page of your I-20 BEFORE leaving the United States.

    Transfer students are required by F-1 regulations to report to their new school within 15 days of the program start date.

  • Students who are in the U.S. with a valid non-immigrant status may be eligible to apply to USCIS to change their current status to F-1 from within the U.S. Students interested in changing their status from within the U.S. should read the considerations below and meet with an ISSSO advisor to review the requirements and determine the best course of action for their situation.

    Consideration Apply for Visa at Embassy Apply for Change of Status in U.S.
    Visa Restrictions N/A

    Current B-1/B-2, C, or D visa holders may not begin studies until the F-1 status is approved.

    F-2 visa holders may only study part-time until the change of status is approved.

    K, M, and Visa Waiver holders may not apply for a Change of Status in the U.S.

    Approval Wait Times Appointment dates can be scheduled on average within 30 days. Decisions are usually provided at appointment, unless the student is required to undergo further administrative processing.

    Approval is currently taking approximately 12 months.

    Cost Student incurs expense of international travel. Please check your local embassy for visa application fees. The fees are typically less than $200.

    Please check the USCIS website for the current I-539 application and biometrics fees. 

    Location Requires in-person interview at a U.S. embassy outside the U.S. An embassy in the student's home country is preferred.

    Student must apply to USCIS from within the U.S.

    Visa Stamp Student receives F-1 visa stamp in passport to be used for entry into the U.S.

    Student receives status of an F-1 student and the corresponding benefits but does not receive the visa stamp. 

    Travel Requires travel outside the U.S. to apply for visa. Once holding the visa, student may travel internationally provided the visa is valid and the student has not reached the permitted number of entries listed on the visa.

    Student must remain in the U.S. while the application is pending. Departing the U.S. could be considered abandonment of the visa application.

    Since no visa stamp is received upon approval, the student must apply for a visa at the embassy if they depart the U.S. and wish to re-enter.

    Semester of Enrollment Prior to the I-20 program start date and entry into the U.S., a student may request a deferral to a later semester, if needed.

    Student must attend KSU full-time at the first available semester after the change of status approval. This is true even if the change of status is approved to begin in the summer semester. Please note that full-time in the summer is very rigorous.

    Off-Campus Employment If applying for a visa in the middle of their studies, student should speak to an advisor about any impacts to CPT or OPT.

    Student should speak to an advisor about when they may qualify for CPT or OPT.

    In Case of Denial Student must reapply for the visa.

    Student must depart the U.S. or continue in their current status (if applicable.)

    Also see our Change of Status handout

Receiving Your I-20

Once an I-20 has been issued, it will be sent electronically to the student. The I-20 will be available to download from iStart. Students will need to print a paper copy to carry for their visa interview and for travel to the US.