Department Information: F1 & J1 Student Visas

Form I-20/DS-2019 Issuance Information for UCONN Schools, Colleges & Departments

International Graduate Admissions Flow Chart

International students who will study at UCONN under the F-1 or J-1 visa will be issued a Form I-20/DS-2019 by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in order to apply for their visa. This information is intended to help UCONN departments understand who can get a Form I-20/DS-2019, which UCONN office issues the Form I-20/DS-2019, and what documents are needed to request the form.   The Form I-20 is issued for F-1 Student visa and the Form DS-2019 is issued for J-1 Exchange Visitor visa.

Who can get a Form I-20/DS-2019?

Students who meet the following criteria may be eligible to receive a Form I-20/DS-2019 in order to apply for the visa:

  1. Student must have made a written application to the program and been fully admitted to their academic program through standard admission procedures. This includes meeting English language proficiency requirements set by the established UConn admission criteria.
  2. Only students who are admitted to full-time academic programs approved on UCONN’s Form I-17/SEVIS School Certification are eligible for Form I-20/DS-2019 issuance.  Please contact the Director of ISSS for further information on this requirement:  rae.alexander@uconn.edu.
  3. Students must have been matriculated in UCONN’s Student Admin System.
  4. Students must anticipate being able to meet all billed and unbilled estimated expenses while in the U.S. for the expected duration of program, and must demonstrate liquid funds available for at least the first year of study in their program.
  5. Form DS-2019 for J-1 visa is issued only if the student is funded by a government sponsor that requires study on the J-1 visa, and when all other eligibilities for J-1 status are met.  All other matriculated students who are not required by their financial sponsor to have a J-1 visa will receive the Form I-20 for F-1 visa.  ISSS reserves all rights and authority to determine visa type for students studying under UConn’s visa sponsorship.
  6. Dependents: dependents of F-1/J-1 visa holders will also receive Forms I-20/DS-2019 for their derivative F-2/J-2 visas.  Only spouses and minor child(ren) under the age of 21 are eligible for dependent visas.  F-2/J-2 visas are to accompany their principal F-1/J-1 visa holders during the length of their program, not for occasional visits to their principals.

Who Issues the Form I-20/DS-2019?

Different offices at UConn process initial Forms I-20/DS-2019, depending on the admitting office and current immigration status of the student.

Undergraduate Students:

Undergraduate Admissions processes Forms I-20 for nearly all students who have been newly admitted to Bachelor’s programs.  The office of Undergraduate Admissions will work directly with admitted students to issue and distribute the Form I-20. Any inquiries regarding Undergraduate I-20s, please contact the International Admissions Officer at the office of Undergraduate Admissions.

ISSS issues Forms I-20/DS-2019 for the following undergraduate students:

  • Current UConn students who are changing to F-1/J-1 status mid-program
  • All students admitted to Bachelor of General Studies program
  • Any new admit to a Bachelor’s program who requires a Form DS-2019 for a J-1 visa

ISSS Advising Staff for Undergraduate Students:

Sarah Manning – All STORRS and Regional Campus students with CLAS majors and UCAELI students

Annie Casarella – All STORRS and Regional Campus students with ACES, Engineering, Business, Fine Arts, CAHNR, Pharm.D. and Nursing majors

Graduate Students:

Upon full admission to a graduate school program and receipt of required support documentation from the Graduate School, ISSS will issue Forms I-20/DS-2019 for ALL international admitted students.

Processed Forms I-20/DS-2019 will be included in the Graduate School admission packets for new students, and may be picked up by departments at the Graduate School for express mailing (or mailed out by the graduate school via USPS). ISSS strongly recommends that international admit packets containing Forms I-20/DS-2019 be sent via express mail with a tracking service to ensure for a timely delivery, as international USPS deliveries are often lost in the mail or do not arrive in time for visa processing.

Financial Documentation The student’s financial documentation will be collected by the Graduate School as part of the initial application process. ISSS will follow up individually with students to collect further financial support documentation as needed.  All questions regarding required documentation should be directed by e-mail to ISSS.

GA Letters:

If your department has awarded an incoming international student a Graduate Assistantship please forward this to Graduate Admissions to be included with the initial I-20 request. If the GA-ship has been awarded after I-20 issuance please forward to ISSS directly.

ISSS Advising Staff for Graduate Students:

ALL OTHER PROGRAMS Requesting Forms I-20/DS-2019:

ISSS issues Forms I-20/DS-2019 for all programs where admissions are not processed through UCONN Undergraduate Admissions or the Graduate School. This includes:

  • School of Law (LLM, JD, Law Exchange and SJD)
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Certificate of Entry into Nursing (CEIN/BS)
  • Bachelor of General Studies (BGS)
  • PharmD (post-Bachelor stage)
  • UCAELI
  • All other eligible programs not covered above

Program administrators/coordinators for all of the above programs can request a Form I-20/DS-2019 for their admitted students by submitting the following documents in electronic format to isss-submit@uconn.edu. Please include the following information in the subject line: I-20 Request STUDENT’S LAST NAME, First Name PS #: xxxxx.

  • Student’s application for admission
  • Admission letter
  • Student’s passport ID page, passport ID pages for any accompanying F-2/J-2 dependents
  • Documentation of English language proficiency (if this is not clear from the student application)
  • Completed Financial Declaration Form.  If there is no estimated Cost of Attendance figure applicable to your program, please contact international@uconn.edu.
  • Financial Support Documents: Students must follow the instructions on the Financial Declaration Form and provide bank statements or other financial support documents to demonstrate they have enough liquid funds readily available to meet the estimated annual expenses for at least the first year in the program.  ISSS will review the financial support documents and contact the student if they are insufficient for I-20/DS-2019 issuance. UConn admission offices do not have to verify sufficiency of financial support documents. All questions regarding required documentation should be directed by e-mail to ISSS.
  • After Processing: Programs based at the Storrs campus will be notified that their documents are ready for pick-up. These programs are responsible for disbursing the Forms I-20/DS-2019 to their students. ISSS will mail Forms I-20/DS-2019 to programs based at Regional Campuses for disbursal to students). ISSS strongly recommends that international admit packets containing Forms I-20/DS-2019 be sent via express  mail with a tracking service to ensure for a timely delivery, as international USPS deliveries are often lost in the mail or do not arrive in time for visa processing.

Timeline:

ISSS processing time can take up to 2 weeks from the time we receive the completed Form I-20/DS-2019 request packet. In addition, students who must apply for visas at a U.S. consulate overseas may need several months for visa processing, depending on their field of study and other circumstances. Therefore, ISSS will only process Forms I-20/DS-2019s July 31 for fall semester and December 31 for spring semester (or up to three weeks before the start date of the admit term for the student), except on a case-by-case basis where we have determined that visa processing is not required.