The Form I-20 will be issued 7 – 10 days after all required documents have been received by the Office of Graduate Admissions.
Transfer Students: The USD School Transfer Verification Form must be submitted if you are currently studying in the United States.
F-1 visa information for students not currently in the United States
You must have the following before we will issue your Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status):
- Be accepted to the University of San Diego Graduate School
- Have paid an Enrollment Commitment Deposit
- Submitted the USD Certification of Finances form with supporting documents
After you receive your Form I-20, you should present it, along with our letter of acceptance, financial documents and your passport, to the nearest U.S. Consular Office. There, the appropriate official will stamp the F-1 Student Visa into your passport and return the Form I-20 to you. You will be asked to present your Form I-20 to the Immigration officer at the U.S. Port of Entry. If you have immediate family members (spouse and minor children) accompanying you to the U.S., they should apply for an F-2 visa at the same time. Your family members applying for the F-2 visa will need their own I-20 form issued by our office.
It is good idea to apply for your visa as soon as possible. The Consulate or Embassy may take longer than you had planned to issue a visa or may require you to obtain additional documents. You may want to contact the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy to inquire about the details of their visa application procedure: for example, how long will it take, what documents are required, what is the fee? If the application is approved, you will be issued the visa stamp in your passport with the classification “F-1” (or “F-2” for dependents). The Consular Officer should return the I-20 form and other documents to you. You will need to present these documents along with your new visa to the Immigration Officer when you arrive in the U.S. You may enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the expected reporting date indicated on item #5 of the I-20 form; you may not, however, be allowed to arrive after that date (please contact our office if you are not able to arrive on or before the expected reporting date).
If you are denied an F-1 visa, it is important that you ask for a reason. Often the consular officer denies an F-1 visa because he or she believes there are not sufficient financial resources or that the student intends to reside permanently in the U.S. Be sure to bring copies of your financial documentation.
Students need to attend the institution that issued the Form I-20 at least one academic term before they can transfer to another U.S. institution. If you have been admitted to and have I-20 forms from more than one school, be sure to use only the Form I-20 issued to you by the school you plan to attend. In other words, use the Form I-20 issued to you by the University of San Diego if you plan to attend the University of San Diego. You may have trouble if you enter the country with a Form I-20 from an institution other than the University of San Diego.
F-1 visa information for students currently in the United States
If you are already studying in the United States on an F-1 student visa there are four steps you must take in order to maintain F-1 visa status:
- 1. Complete the International Student Transfer Verification form, and have Section B completed and signed by the Designated School Official at your current institution. Your Form I-20 will not be issued until the Office of Graduate Admissions receives the completed International Student Transfer Verification form. You will need to have proof of full-time attendance during the last term at your previous school. You must prove that you are “in-status” when you first attend USD. If you are unable to prove that you are in valid F-1 status, you are considered “out of status” and must apply for a Reinstatement. THIS PROCESS WILL INCLUDE A FEE and will involve your personal appearance at the District Office in San Diego. The Reinstatement process does not cancel any penalties for being “out of status”, and could affect all subsequent visits to the United States. You must include copies of your current Form I-20, F-1 visa, passport page and I-94 card (front and back) with the International Student Transfer Verification form.
* Note that there is a grace period of only 60 days to apply to a university after an F-1 student has completed a degree at an educational institution.
- Obtain the Form I-20 from the University of San Diego.
- Report to the Office of International Services immediately. Bring to the Office of International Services your passport, visa page, I-94, Form I-20 from the previous school, and the new I-20 from the University of San Diego. The I-94 card is your Arrival/Departure record which you received at the U.S. Port of Entry.
- The transfer process will be completed at USD Office of International Services by registering you into SEVIS (Student Exchange and Visitor Information System).
The USD School Transfer Verification form must be submitted if you are currently studying in the United States.