Can a DSO Send Scanned Forms I-20 to Students?
November 6, 2014
International students must receive a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status” from their designated school official (DSO) in order to apply for a student visa and enter the United States to study. Upon the student’s acceptance to a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school, the Form I-20 is sent to F and M students, as well as to their dependents who will accompany them to the United States.
The student must have their original Form I-20 to study in the United States. Given the potential for fraud, a scanned or photocopied Form I-20 is not acceptable. SEVP asks DSOs not to send scanned Forms I-20 to students.
International students need the Form I-20 for many reasons, including:
- To pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee;
- To apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate;
- To enter a U.S. port of entry with U.S. Customs and Border Protection;
- To apply for a driver's license or Social Security number.
Students should consult their DSO with questions regarding the Form I-20. The SEVP Response Center (SRC) is available to answer questions from school officials about SEVIS-related questions, including how to create and update a student’s Form I-20. Contact the SRC at 800-892-4829 or 703-603-3400 or email your questions to SEVISHelpDesk@ice.dhs.gov.