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U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Study in the States

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How to Apply to Study in the United States

October 22, 2019

If you want to study in the United States, you should start by researching schools and programs of study that meet your interests and qualifications. International students can only attend schools that are Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified. You can use the School Search page to make sure the school or program you are interested in is SEVP-certified.

Once you have determined which schools you are interested in, you will apply directly to those SEVP-certified schools. Keep in mind that each individual school may have specific application requirements. 

 After you are accepted by the SEVP-certified school(s), each school will send you a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status.” The Form I-20 is a paper record of your information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and is required for completing the next steps in the process of applying to study in the United States. If you are accepted to multiple schools, each school will mail you a Form I-20. You must only use the Form I-20 from the school you will attend. After you verify that your Form I-20 is correct, you must:

Remember, if you are issued a student visa you may seek admission to the United States up to 30 days before your official program start date listed on your Form I-20. You must report to your school by the program start date listed on your Form I-20.

Visit the additional resources below for more information on how to apply to study in the United States. 

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