Step #2: Requesting Your I-20

  • It will typically take 2-3 business days to prepare your I-20 once you have submitted all of the required SEVIS/visa documents upon admission to the University of West Georgia. 
  • Once your I-20 is created, you will receive an electronic copy by email.
  • Please review all the information in the email and on your I-20 to ensure everything is correct. Be sure to print and hand sign your I-20.
  • Your email will also contain the necessary information to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. This fee must be paid at least three days before your F-1 visa appointment or entry to the U.S. When paying the fee online, print at least two receipts. Take the receipt (Form I-797) to your visa appointment and keep it permanently with your I-20 forms.

Important Information about Your Immigration Documents

What are they?

Form I-20 and DS-2019 (also called Certificate of Eligibility) are official immigration forms that allow you to apply for a student visa at a U.S Consulate or Embassy. When you receive your visa, you may travel to the U.S. 

How are they different?

  • Form I-20 is used to apply for the F1 Visa (degree seeking student visa)
  • Form DS-19 is used to apply for the J-1 Visa (exchange visitor student visa)

I'm already in the U.S. with an F1 visa.

  • You are an international "transfer student". Request your current school to transfer your I-20 through SEVIS to UWG as soon as you finish your current program of study. 
  • Then, UWG will update and print your I-20 to UWG + your new degree and mail it to you in the U.S. for free. 
    Submit the UWG Transfer-in Form (PDF, 111K) to start the process.  
  • If you don't have a student visa, you may need to exit the US to obtain one or file a Change of Status (COS) petition, which takes several months. You cannot enroll at UWG until the Change of Status is approved. Contact ISAP for advice and eligibility for COS.  

After I get my immigration form, what's next? 

  • New visa applicants: use your SEVIS # (on your immigration form) to pay your SEVIS I-901 Fee online. This is a mandatory government fee. No exceptions. 
  • Transfer students don't need to pay this fee if they are in active status.
  • You will need to present the form at the port of entry along with your F1 or J1 visa in your passport, so don't put it in your checked baggage. You will not received your baggage until after clearing customs in most locations. 
  • You can enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the 1st day of your program, but not before.  


What's the next step?

Step #3: Obtaining a VISA