Once you have been accepted to a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school, there are several steps you must take prior to your arrival in the United States.
After you accept your admittance to an SEVP-certified school and provide evidence of your financial ability to study in the United States, your designated school official (DSO) will issue you a Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status." You need the Form I-20 to:
You will also need your Form I-20 if you choose to apply for student benefits, such as a driver’s license.
To make sure you are prepared for your arrival in the United States, review the list of official documents you will need to hand-carry with you, including your passport, visa and original Form I-20. Do not put these documents in your checked luggage. In addition to the original documents, you should bring at least two sets of copies: one set to keep in a safe place and one to give to your DSO. You may also want to leave a copy of these documents with your family in your home country.
Do you have any questions about how to prepare to study in the United States? Visit the International Student Life Cycle page on Study in the States or talk to your DSO.