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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:
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
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