The Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility, is the form that you will use to apply for your student visa, enter the United States and provide continued proof of your attendance at Marymount College. Because it is such an important document, we want to give you some information about the form itself as well as the next steps in the admission process.
Form I-20A-B Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20)
As its name indicates, this form certifies that you are eligible to attend the school that issued you the form and that the name listed on it is yours. It indicates to you, the consular officers and customs officials which school you can attend, your intended program of study, the duration of your program and the funding required. You will use this form, in conjunction with your passport, to apply for your student visa and enter the United States. Once you are enrolled, you will use it for travel and re-entry to the U.S. and to provide proof of your eligibility to attend the school on the form, as needed, during your stay in the U.S. Do NOT lose this form.
Note: If any of the information on this form is incorrect, or if it changes before you will enroll at Marymount College, you must contact the Admission Office immediately.
Please verify the information provided on this form, and read page 2 of the I-20 carefully. You should then sign, print your name and write the date on the bottom of page 1.
Applying for the student (F-1) visa
Since you have now received your Form I-20, you should contact the United States consulate or embassy in your area immediately to apply for your student visa. You may apply for your visa at any time once you have the Form I-20. Your visa will be issued no earlier than 90 days before the start of school, as indicated on your I-20. Applying early will allow consular officials to complete any special clearances or other processes that may be required. Procedures for applying for the student visa vary in each country, so you need to check the U.S. consulate or embassy web site for your region and/or call or visit to find out the exact procedures to follow. U.S. regulations now require an appointment to make a visa application, so you should make that appointment as soon as possible.
There are some basic requirements for applying for a student visa:
- Valid SEVIS-generated Form I-20 from the school you wish to attend
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Please visit the DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
- Current passport valid for at least six (6) months after the proposed date of entry to the US
- One (1) inch-by-two inch (2”x2”) photo in the proper format
- MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee
- SEVIS I-901 fee receipt.
You may also need to present:
- Transcripts or diplomas from your previous schools
- Copy of your letter of admission to the College
- Evidence of the funding you have available to support your studies (such as current bank statements, parents’ employment documents, and/or information about your family’s land, business or property ownership)
- Evidence of legitimate ties to your home country to ensure your return following completion of your studies in the U.S.
At the visa interview, it is critical to assure the consular officer that you will return to your home country following your studies. In addition, remember to speak clearly and concisely about your educational plans. It is always important to be honest and clear with the consular officer.
Note: If you have received a Form I-20 from another school, it is CRITICAL that you choose the school you will attend and use only that school’s Form I-20 to apply for your student visa. The other school’s Form I-20 will become invalid once you apply for a student visa, so you will not be able to use it, even if you change your mind.
Once your visa has been approved, a one-page stamp will be placed in your passport. This visa stamp should indicate a visa type of “F-1” and the dates for which the visa is valid. The visa stamp is used to indicate to a U.S. customs official that you have been permitted to enter the U.S. between those dates. The visa does NOT indicate how long you may stay in the US. Your Form I-20 will indicate such information.
If you have another type of visa to enter the U.S., you may wish to consider acquiring a student visa. If you are currently in the U.S., you may or may not be allowed to change your status. In addition, you may not be allowed to attend school depending on your visa type (i.e. a tourist visa). Be sure to check with the Admission Office to see if you should apply for a student visa.
If your visa is denied, ask the consular officer for the reason for the denial in writing. You should then contact the Marymount College Admission Office as soon as possible. Be prepared to fax a copy of the denial letter to the Admission Office at +1.310.265.0962. We will advise you on how to proceed. Please remember that Marymount College cannot guarantee that a student will be granted a visa.
Entering the U.S. – Port of Entry
A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. Student visitors must have their Form I-20 in their possession each time they enter the United States
. In advance of travel, students should review important information about Admissions/Entry
requirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bringing food
, agricultural products
or other restricted/prohibited goods
explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website. Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT
entry-exit program. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U.S., it’s very important to keep in your passport.
US-VISIT requires that all visitors – regardless of race, national origin or religion – entering the United States with a visa have their two index fingers scanned and a digital photograph taken to verify their identity at the port of entry. Because all foreign students have a student visa, they are subject to these new requirements. This new procedure should not add significant time to the entry process. Please note that some individuals may be asked to provide additional information under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Please contact the Admission Office if you have any questions about this process.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Department of State