Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019)
The certificate of eligibility for nonimmigrant status in the US (Form I-20 for F-1 students or DS-2019 for J-1 students) is an important 3-page document issued by the DSO at your school in SEVIS after you are admitted to the school.
It is required as a part of the visa application process and you must have the original form on hand along with your visa to enter the US.
Keep your I-20 or DS-2019 up to date, and let your International Student Advisor know about any changes.
You will be issued a new I-20 for certain updates to your record. You must keep all of your previous I-20s in a safe place, you may need them in the future to apply for certain immigration benefits.
When you travel outside the US, get a travel signature from the International Programs Office that will be no more than 1 year old (6 months if on OPT) when you return to the US. See here for instructions for how to obtain a travel signature.
Your I-20 or DS-2019 contains:
- Your SEVIS ID number
- The name of your school (or site of activity)
- Your degree level or exchange visitor category
- Your program of study
- The program start and estimated completion date
- Financial information
- Any practical training authorizations or endorsements (page 2)
- Travel signatures (page 2)
- Other important information used by the consular official and port of entry official
Form I-20 Example (from https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/I-20_Active.pdf)