Services for International Students and Scholars

Initial I-20 Application Process

Form I-20 is a visa eligibility document issued by Northeastern University to certify that an international student has
met admission requirements for a full-time program of study, and has demonstrated sufficient financial support for
his/her studies in the U.S. This visa eligibility document is needed to apply for an international student visa at a U.S.
embassy or consulate to obtain F-1 status within the U.S.

Who is an initial student?

New international students coming from outside the U.S. that are seeking F-1 visa sponsorship.

Form I-20

Form I-20 is a visa eligibility document issued by Northeastern University to certify that an eligible international student has met admission requirements for a full-time program of study, and has demonstrated sufficient financial support for his/her studies in the U.S. This visa eligibility document is needed to apply for a non-immigrant student visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to obtain F-1 status within the U.S.

Applying for the Initial I-20

You can submit an I-20 request only after you have been admitted to a program at Northeastern University. You will also need to be sure to confirm other requirements needed by the admissions office before your I-20 request submission. At that time, you will then be able to submit an electronic I-20 request through myOGS. OGS encourages you to submit your initial I-20 request as soon as possible to provide ample time for the issuance of the I-20 and for your F-1 visa application process prior to your enrollment.

How to prepare for, access and submit the online Initial I-20 Request:

Step 1: Required documents (must be in digital format of PDF or JPEG):

  • Color copy of the identity page of your passport
  • Financial documents meeting your program’s expenses:
    • To access the estimated expenses for the NU college of your program, please see “New Student I-20 Request Forms” under the Forms and Guides page
  • Currency conversion:
    • If you are submitting financial documents that are not in U.S. Dollars, please provide a currency conversion and upload it to the e-form. Here is a currency conversion calculator – https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/
  • Sponsor letter or Affidavit of Support (only required when your sponsor is a non-blood relative)

Step 2: Accessing the I-20 request e-form

  • Please see “New Student I-20 Request Forms” under the Forms & Guides page for the e-form for the NU college of your program.
  • You will be prompted to enter your myNEU username and password login. The myOGSI-20 request e-form is designed to respond to your individual situation and will guide you through the request process. If you have any questions, please contact your specific NU college’s admissions office or the OGS.

Guidelines for Demonstrating Financial Support

When requesting an I-20 for your Northeastern program of study, please show all sources of financial support and ensure that the sum equals or exceeds the program’s estimated expenses for yourself and any dependents. All financial documentation must be in English (or certified English translations must be included) and must be issued within 9 months of your program start date.

To see the estimated expenses for the NU college you have been admitted to, please go to “New Student I-20 Request Forms” under the Forms & Guides page.

 

Financial sources must be readily available liquid assets, such as:

  • Checking or Savings Accounts
  • Money Market Accounts
  • Certificates of Deposit, Term Deposits and Fixed Deposits (with maturity dates no later than the program start date)
  • Current Accounts
  • University Scholarships
  • Financial guarantee letters
  • Educational Loans (a loan application is not sufficient)
  • Benevolent Accounts

The following are examples of sources that are NOT acceptable:

  • Investment Portfolios
  • Retirement Plans
  • Public Provident Funds
  • Available Lines of Credit
  • Deeds to Real Estate
  • Material Items (examples: livestock, land, jewelry, fur)
  • Leases with Rental Income
  • Salary Agreements or Paystubs
  • Income Tax Forms

Dependents

A dependent is a spouse or children (unmarried under the age of 21).  If you would like to have dependents to accompany you during your study in the U.S., you will need to indicate this when completing your I-20 request e-form. In addition, you will need to provide a color copy of the identity page of the passport for your dependent(s).

You will also need to show additional funding on your financial documents for your dependents. For your spouse: add $10,000 to the estimated expenses for your program of study. For your child/children: add $6,000 per person to the estimated expenses for your program of study.

 

Financial sources must be readily available liquid assets, such as:

  • Checking or Savings Accounts
  • Money Market Accounts
  • Certificates of Deposit, Term Deposits and Fixed Deposits (with maturity dates no later than the program start date)
  • Current Accounts
  • University Scholarships
  • Financial guarantee letters
  • Educational Loans (a loan application is not sufficient)
  • Benevolent Accounts

The following are examples of sources that are NOT acceptable:

  • Investment Portfolios
  • Retirement Plans
  • Public Provident Funds
  • Available Lines of Credit
  • Deeds to Real Estate
  • Material Items (examples: livestock, land, jewelry, fur)
  • Leases with Rental Income
  • Salary Agreements or Paystubs
  • Income Tax Forms

When requesting an I-20 for your Northeastern program of study, please show all sources of your financial support and ensure that the sum equals or exceeds the estimated expenses for yourself and any dependents.

All financial documentation must be in English (or certified English translations must be included) and must be issued within 9 months of your program start date.

Financial sources must be readily available liquid assets, such as:

  • Checking or savings accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • Certificates/term deposits/fixed deposits (with maturity dates no later than the program start date)
  • Educational loans (a loan application is not sufficient)
  • Benevolent account
  • Current account
  • Post Office accounts
  • University scholarships
  • Financial guarantee letters (for SACM or SABIC international students)

The following are examples of sources that are NOT acceptable:

  • Investment portfolios

(Examples: stocks, bonds, mutual funds)

  • Retirement plans
  • Public Provident funds
  • Available lines of credit
  • Wire transfers
  • Deeds to real estate
  • Leases with rental income
  • Salary agreements or paystubs
  • Material items (examples: livestock, land, jewelry, fur)
  • Income tax forms

What is an I-20?

An I-20 is a U.S. immigration document issued by Northeastern University to certify that an international student has met admission requirements for a full-time program of study and has provided proof of sufficient financial resources for his/her studies. An I-20 is required to apply for an F-1 student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Newly admitted international students that have paid a deposit should request an I-20 from Northeastern University.

When can I request an initial I-20?

You can submit an I-20 Request only after you have been admitted, have accepted the offer, and have paid a tuition deposit. At that time, you will be able to submit an electronic I-20 Request through myOGS. The Admission office of your school will guide you with these steps.

I am a new international student coming from outside the U.S. Will I be considered initial student?

Yes, initial students are considered new international students coming from outside the U.S. seeking visa sponsorship.

I have a financial document but I am not sure if it’s acceptable for I-20 issuance. What should I do?

Please refer to the “Guidelines for Demonstrating Financial Support” on the I-20 Instructions.

When is the I-20 deadline for my initial I-20?

You need to contact your Admission office of your respective school to find out the deadline for I-20 submission.

How long does it take for the initial I-20 to be issued?

The Office of Global Services takes up to two weeks for I-20 review after the request has been approved by the Admission office. Please note that during the peak season it may take longer.

What document do I need to submit for initial I-20 request?

In general, you need to submit a passport copy and a financial document but you should refer to the I-20 instructions.

Who will be my point of contact if I have questions about the I-20 request?

Your I-20 request will be fist reviewed by the Admissions office and during that stage please communicate with them. Once your I-20 request is approved by the admission office, the OGS will receive it and we will contact you typically within 10 business days.

My financial document is not in US Dollars. Will it be still acceptable?

You can convert the amount into US dollars via oanda.com and upload a screen shot of the conversion together with the financial document.

How much money do I need to show for I-20 issuance?

You need to show that you can cover at the expenses for the first academic year. Please refer to the I-20 instruction information for the exact amount for your program.

I will be coming with my wife/husband/child to the US. When should I request their I-20?

If you are planning to arrive together you should request both of the I-20s at the same time.

I have a spouse and a child. How much extra do I need to show for their I-20s?

$10,000 extra for your spouse and $6,000 for your child.

Can you send me a scanned copy of my I-20 once it’s issued?

The Office of Global Services will not be able to send you a scanned copy. You will need to receive the original document for your visa appointment. We will send you your SEVIS number in advance for you to start the F-1 visa process.

How will I receive my I-20?

Your I-20 can be mailed to you or you can pick it up from our office in case you are in the U.S. Please mark your choice when completing the I-20 request.

When can I enter the U.S.?

You can enter as early as 30 days prior to the start of your I-20 and as late as the start of your I-20.

My initial I-20 does not have a travel signature and I will be entering the U.S. for the first time. Will I be able to enter the U.S.?

You do not need to have a travel signature when you enter the U.S. for the first time on your initial I-20.

I am incoming Ph.D. student and I received SGA from my academic Department with the amount, which technically can cover for my spouse, who will be coming on F2 visa as my dependents and for myself. Can I show this SGA letter as proof of financial document for both of our I-20s?

No, not for both. You can only show this document for your own I-20, but not for your spouse. You would have to show additional funding of $10,000 with your I-20 request at that time, since SGA offers only cover principals, and not dependents.