New Student Visa Information for Academic Programs

International students who will study at UConn require a Form I-20 to apply for the F-1 Student visa. Some students will come to UConn to participate in an exchange program, and they will require a Form DS-2019 to apply for the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa.  Forms I-20 and DS-2019 are issued by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (for new undergraduate students) and International Student and Scholar Services (all other students).

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

UConn may issue a Form I-20/DS-2019 to students who meet the following requirements:

  1. The student made a written application to the University and has been fully admitted to their academic program through standard admission processes.
  2. The student met the English language proficiency requirements set by the University for academic admission.
  3. The program to which the student has been admitted is a full-time, on ground program approved on UConn’s Form I-17/SEVIS School Certification. New academic degrees must be listed and approved on the Form I-17 before we can issue a Form I-20 for study. Programs that are defined as part time, and hybrid or online programs, are not eligible for I-20 issuance. If an international student is admitted to a graduate certificate or post-bac certificate program, they must enroll on a full time basis for all semesters except their final term to be eligible for a Form I-20. Please contact the Director of ISSS for further information on this requirement:
  4. The student must have been admitted and matriculated in UConn’s Student Admin system.
  5. The student must be able to meet all estimated billed and unbilled expenses for the duration of program, and must demonstrate liquid funds already available for at least the first year of study in their program. The student will submit evidence of their financial ability when they request a Form I-20/DS-2019 from the Office of Undergraduate Admission, or from ISSS.
  6. Admitted exchange students will be issued the Form DS-2019 for the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. The Form DS-2019 will also be issued when the student is funded by a government sponsor, and the sponsor requires study on the J-1 visa.  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.
  7. International students with families: Spouses and dependent, unmarried children under the age of 21 may qualify for the Form I-20/DS-2019 to apply for the F-2 or J-2 visa. F-2/J-2 visas are to accompany the student or exchange visitor during the length of their program.

I-20/DS-2019 Process

New Undergraduate Students: The Office of Undergraduate Admissions collects the documents needed to issue the Form I-20 with the student application for admission. The office mails the student the Form I-20 directly.

Graduate Students: ISSS processes the Form I-20/DS-2019 on behalf of admitting graduate programs. Upon admission to The Graduate School, students are directed by graduate admission staff to request a Form I-20/DS-2019 through the ISSS New Student webpage . Processing of the Form I-20/DS-2019 can take up to two weeks from the time we receive the complete online request for a matriculated student. For Storrs campus programs, ISSS contacts the admissions coordinator in each academic department to pick up the completed Forms I-20/DS-2019. The academic program mails the form to the student. For regional campus programs, ISSS contacts the students directly to arrange for the shipping label.  ISSS will mail the I-20/DS-2019 to the regional campus student.

International Graduate Admissions Flow Chart

Review the Status of I-20/DS-2019 Requests in the ISSS Portal

Exchange, Law School, and UCAELI Students: ISSS issues the Form I-20/DS-2019 on behalf of admitted exchange students, School of Law students (LLM, Exchange, SJD and JD) and UCAELI students. For UCAELI students, ISSS contacts the UCAELI office to pick up the completed Forms I-20/DS-2019. UCAELI mails the form to the student. For exchange and Law School programs, ISSS contacts the students directly to arrange for the shipping label.  ISSS will mail the I-20/DS-2019 to the exchange/Law School student.

Mailing Forms: If you are mailing the Form I-20/DS-2019 overseas, please use a trackable, express mail service to avoid documents getting lost in the mail. Please do not scan and email Form DS-2019s to admitted Exchange Visitors.

Visiting Research Students: If you are an academic department inviting a visiting student to come for research, please refer to hosting a visiting scholar for further information.

Students currently in the United States: If you have admitted an international student who is already in the United States with a student visa or other visa type, ISSS will work with the student directly to determine whether they will need a Form I-20/DS-2019. Students currently in the U.S. on an F-1 visa will need to transfer their SEVIS record to UConn before we can issue the Form I-20, a process outlined on the ISSS New Student webpages.

Deadline to request Form I-20/DS-2019: Form I-20/DS-2019 requests must be received by ISSS at least one month before the start of the semester. Certain exceptions may apply.

Arrival Date

Students who travel from outside the U.S. to attend UConn may arrive up to 30 days before the program start date listed on the Form I-20/DS-2019. For most students, the program start date listed is the first day of orientation, but you should check the form to confirm the listed program start date. Students must arrive in time to attend orientation. Students who are unable to arrive on time may be required to cancel their enrollment or defer to a later admission term.

Working on Campus

F-1 students who travel from outside the U.S. to attend UConn, and students transferring from another institution may begin on-campus employment up to 30 days before the session start date listed on the Form I-20. The session start date is the first day of the semester. On-campus employment is restricted to 20 hours per week or less. International students may be employed through special payroll and student employment. J-1 students may not begin employment prior to the program start date listed on the Form DS-2019, and will require written employment authorization from ISSS before starting any employment.

ISSS Online Check-In Requirement

All new F-1 and J-1 visa holders are required to complete ISSS Online Check-In upon arrival at UConn. Failure to check in may result in loss of visa status. Please encourage your students to complete their online check in as soon as possible.


All F-1 and J-1 visa students must attend an orientation to the F-1/J-1 visa regulations provided by ISSS. Storrs campus graduate students attend the international student orientation program administered by ISSS. Other students will attend an ISSS immigration session as part of their academic program orientation.  Visit ISSS Orientation Information for further information on orientation dates and required sessions.


Contact, or the ISSS advisor assigned to your program.