Center for International Programs

International Student Services

I-20 Requirements

Acceptance to Saint Joseph’s University

An I-20 is the immigration document needed to apply for an F-1 student visa. A DS-2019 is the immigration document needed to apply for a J-1 exchange visitor visa. In order to receive an I-20 or a DS-2019 you must be accepted into your program of study at Saint Joseph’s.

Correct Name and Date of Birth
Whenever possible we issue your I-20/DS-2019 so that the name on the form matches the name in your passport. The easiest way for us to do this is if you include a copy of the main information page of your passport (if you already have one) with your application materials. Please be clear when writing your name on your application form and write it as it appears/will appear on your passport. In the United States our “last name” is our family name or surname, and our “first name” is our given name. Be mindful of this when filling out your application.

In the United States, we always write dates in a month-day-year format. Please be careful of this as well when filling in your birth date on the application.

Permanent Home Address
When issuing your I-20/DS-2019, it is required by immigration law to have an address outside the United States for each student. This address should be your permanent home address, the place to which you will return after completing your studies. If this is different from your current mailing address, which should be used on your application, please make sure to include your home address as well. You can put both on the application, distinguishing which is your mailing and which is your home address. Or you can include the Affidavit of Support with your application.

Proof of Funding
Once you are accepted, CIP will need to see proof that you have enough funding to pay for your first year of educational expenses. This is required by United States immigration law. Educational expenses include tuition, living expenses, and any other costs incurred while studying in the U.S. Any scholarship that you receive from the University is automatically applied to these expenses. You must then demonstrate that other funds can cover the rest. Normally this funding comes from family savings or from your own personal savings, but it can also be financial support from a close family friend, sponsorship by an employer, etc. You should include this financial information with your application to speed the issuance of your I-20/DS-2019 upon acceptance.

Your proof of funding should be no older than 3 months from the date it is received at the university. (So if you apply to the university in February, your bank letter cannot be issued any earlier than November.) We do not consider tax records, accountants’ letters or immovable assets when determining financial support, nor can we accept only the Common Application Financial Worksheet. We need to see funds available, for instance in a savings, checking or investment account; the proof should come in the form of a letter or statement directly from the financial institution on their letterhead. A letter from an employer confirming salary can be used in combination with a letter from a bank with proof of savings.

If the source of funding is not in your name, we also need a signed letter from your sponsor confirming their intent to support you financially while you are studying at Saint Joseph’s. This includes your parents if they are your sponsors. If the account is in your name, then we do not need a letter of support. You and your sponsor can also fill out and sign the Affidavit of Support and include it with your application and other financial documents instead of writing your own letter. Either is acceptable.