Coming Soon: A Redesigned Form I-20
The format for the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” will change on June 26. This redesigned Form I-20 is part of the larger Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Release 6.21.
Below are highlights of important information to help you understand what this redesigned form means for you and your students.
When will my students need to have the new Form I-20?
Beginning June 26, 2015, any new Form I-20 that is produced will be in the new format. There is no mandate that students must have the new version of the form immediately; therefore, students will have time to obtain the updated version throughout the next year. By July 1, 2016, F and M students and their dependents are required to have the redesigned Form I-20.
Also beginning June 26, 2015, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) instructs designated school officials (DSOs) to reprint Forms I-20 using the revised version for any student whose name in SEVIS changed as a result of the name conversion and/or any student who wants to apply for a Social Security number or a driver’s license. If none of these circumstances apply to a given student or dependent, that student/dependent may continue to use their current Form I-20 to enter into the United States and apply for other types of benefits until July 1, 2016.
What changes can I expect on the new Form I-20?
The new Form I-20 will be easier to read and update. Some notable changes you will find on the redesigned Form I-20 include:
- A more visible SEVIS ID number, school and program of study for the student.
- A better separation of the student’s information from the dependent(s) information.
- Expandable field boxes that display information about cap gap extension, change of status, event history and other authorizations.
- General design improvements that include moving the instructions to the third page of the Form I-20, as well as the removal of the barcode, and the blocks for visa and port of entry information.
- The new Request Mass Reprint functionality that allows DSOs to reprint Forms I-20 for multiple students at a time.
For an entire list of changes, read the Redesigned Form I-20 SEVIS Fact Sheet.
Why is the Form I-20 being redesigned?
The name standardizations in SEVIS, more than anything else, triggered the need to update the Form I-20. Beginning June 26, SEVIS will only allow DSOs to use a standard set of characters when entering nonimmigrant names into SEVIS. During the SEVIS Release 6.21, the system will convert existing student names to the new standard.
As a DSO, you must be familiar with the new format of the Form I-20. Please keep in mind that the purpose and use of the Form I-20 will not change; only the format in which the information is displayed will change. If you have questions about SEVIS Release 6.21, send inquiries to SEVISHelpdesk@ice.dhs.gov or call 800-892-4829, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, except holidays.
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