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I-20 or DS-2019 Information

The I-20 or DS-2019 are multi-purposeful documents issued by a U.S. government-approved educational institution certifying that a student has been admitted to a full-time program of study and has demonstrated sufficient financial resources to stay in the U.S for the duration of the program. The I-20 or DS-2019 is officially titled the “Certificate of Eligibility,” because it allows an individual to apply for an F-1 or J-1 student visa at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad. All nonimmigrant visitors are required to have a valid visa in their passport to be allowed entry into the U.S (with the exception of Canadians*). 

*Canadian citizens are not required to apply for a visa to enter the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1, but must still pay the SEVIS Fee and present an I-20 or DS-2019 at the U.S. port of entry. However, if the visitor has been admitted to Canada as a non-Canadian citizen permanent resident, a U.S. visa is required to enter the U.S..