How To Obtain Your I-20/DS-2019

Graduate students wishing to apply for a student visa in the United States will need to seek sponsorship from the George Washington University by obtaining either an I-20 (for students seeking an F-1 visa) or a DS-2019 (for students seeking a J-1 visa). The information provided on this page is intended to help GWSB graduate students apply for sponsorship.

For an overview of the visa process, please view our Steps to Obtain a Visa document.

Please note: we will not process any documents until you have already been accepted into a degree program and have paid your deposit.

Deadlines

Below are the current deadlines for all international graduate students to submit the necessary documents to obtain an I-20 or DS-2019 from the GW School of Business.

 

  • F-1 or J-1 Applicants Attending In-Person Summer EAP: Monday, April 4, 2022
  • F-1 or J-1 Applicants from Outside the U.S.: Tuesday, July 5, 2022
  • F-1 or J-1 SEVIS Transfer or Change of Level Students: Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Please note: Students who submit documents past the deadline will not be issued an I-20 or DS-2019 for the semester. If you miss the deadline, you may contact your degree program office to request deferral to the following semester.

Required Documents

In order to apply for sponsorship, you will need to submit the following documents (PDFs preferred) to [email protected]. Click on each icon below for more details.

Visa Request Form

All international students must correctly complete the Visa Request Form (VRF) in order to obtain an I-20/DS-2019.

All international students must correctly complete the Visa Request Form (VRF) in order to obtain an I-20/DS-2019. You must submit the most up-to-date version of the form (eg. the 2020-2021 form is valid for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021) Older versions of this form will not be accepted.

To complete the form correctly, make sure you:

  • Use your address outside of the U.S.
  • Enter the correct semester, school, and program in which you are enrolling
  • In the Source of Funds section on page 2 of the form, make sure you indicate the funds required for your program. The cost of graduate programs at the GW School of Business will vary from the average cost listed on the Visa Request Form. Therefore, when providing your financial documents, ensure that your funds correspond to the estimated cost of the program in which you are enrolled using the Academic & Living Costs document.
  • Be sure to sign and date the document. If you have a family or individual sponsor, they will also need to provide their information and their signature along with their Financial Support Documents.

View an example of a completed VRF form for guidance.

EAP Students

All students who plan to participate in the Summer English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program must contact [email protected] for their official cost estimate before they complete the VRF Form (Summer EAP Option) in order to obtain an I-20. Please follow the guidelines for completing the VRF above with the additional costs indicated.

All documents should be submitted (PDFs preferred) to [email protected].

Financial Support Documents

In addition to completing the Visa Request Form, you will need to submit supporting financial documents for your funding sources (self-support, family or individual sponsor, government or agency sponsor, George Washington University, or other loans).

All Supporting Financial Documents that you submit must:

  • Be in English; if documents are not in English you must include an official English translation
  • Indicate the currency of the funds
  • Have an issue date that is no more than 12 months from the time you plan to begin study
  • Be on official letterhead

Self-Support or Personal Funds

If you are supporting yourself or using personal funds, you must provide a letter from your bank (or a bank statement) that shows:

  • Your name
  • Balance(s) sufficient to meet the funding amount listed on the VRF. All self-support listed on the VRF will need to have a bank statement which covers the amounts listed for self-support.

Family or Individual Sponsor

If your funds are provided by a family or individual sponsor, you must provide a letter from each sponsor’s bank (or a bank statement) that shows:

  • The account holder’s name
  • Balance(s) sufficient to meet the funding amount listed on the VRF. The sponsor(s) must demonstrate funding sufficient to cover the first year of the program. (Funding must still be listed for the duration of your program on the VRF.)

Government or Agency Sponsor

If you are using funds or scholarships approved and granted by another university, an international organization, a government agency, a foundation, or an employer, you must provide an official sponsorship approval letter for each source that shows:

  • The student’s name
  • The GWSB program in which the student is enrolled
  • The name and address of the sponsor
  • Start and end dates of the sponsorship
  • The total amount in U.S. dollars available to the student for study and related expense.

The letter must also specify whether or not health insurance is included in the sponsorship. If health insurance is not included, the student must show available funds to cover the expense.

Funding from GW

If your funding comes from George Washington University, you must provide an official letter from GW that shows:

  • The student’s name
  • The dollar amount awarded, the duration of the sponsorship, and the conditions of the award
  • The period of time for which the funding is guaranteed, or a statement that the funding is renewable annually for a specific number of years

Loans

Students may submit loans in their own name (personal funds) or in a family member’s name (family funds). If your funding comes from loans, all submitted loan documents must show the following:

  • The borrower’s name
  • The amount for which the loan has been approved. (All loans must be approved before submission.)

All documents should be submitted (PDFs preferred) to [email protected].

Passport

International students must submit a copy or scan of the biographic page of their passport.

International students must submit a copy or scan of the biographic page of their passport. The passport scan or copy must be:

  • Legible, and must show the entirety of the biographic page (nothing can be cut off including the machine readable zone at the bottom)
  • Valid for six months past the start date of the program (this is required for entry into the U.S.)

All documents should be submitted (PDFs preferred) to [email protected].

SEVIS Transfer (if applicable)

The SEVIS Transfer Verification Form is for all students currently in F-1 or J-1 status wishing to transfer their SEVIS record to the GW School of Business.

The SEVIS Transfer Verification Form (TVF) is for all students currently in F-1 or J-1 status wishing to transfer their SEVIS record to GWSB. The TVF should be completed by you and an international advisor at your current school. The TVF includes a field asking “the release date entered in SEVIS” which is the date that the SEVIS record can be transferred from your current institution to GW. Students can transfer their SEVIS record to GW any time before August 24, 2020. In addition to the TVF, students wishing to transfer their SEVIS record will need to submit additional documents:

  • Copy of all pages of current I-20
  • Copy of most-updated I-94
  • Copy of your current F-1 visa
  • If you are on OPT, you must submit your EAD card and a letter stating when you forfeit your OPT.

All documents should be submitted (PDFs preferred) to [email protected].

Dependents (if applicable)

The Dependent Information Form is for international students who wish to have dependents, spouse and/or children, accompany them while they are at GWSB.

The Dependent Information Form is for international students who wish to have dependents, spouse and/or children, accompany them while they are at GWSB. In addition to the Dependent Information Form, you need to submit:

  • Copies of each dependents’ passport. Make sure the copies are clear and visible in its entirety (no part is cut off).
  • The VRF and Supporting Financial Documents will have to show increased funding for dependents. Additional funding for each year of the program is $10,796 for spouse and $5,394 per child.

If you are transferring a SEVIS record and have dependents that are transferring their status with you, please submit these additional documents for them:

  • Copy of dependent(s) current I-20
  • Copy of dependent(s) I-94
  • Copy of dependent(s) F-2 visa

All documents should be submitted (PDFs preferred) to [email protected].

Resources

This video is for ALL international students who will attend GWSB and require a form I-20. The video will show you how to properly complete the forms, and how to submit them to GWSB.

This video is for international students currently in the United States with an active SEVIS record and plan to transfer their SEVIS record to GWSB.

This video is for international students who wish to bring dependents with them on an F-2 visa. Dependents are defined as a spouse or child.

The ISO is the university’s student immigration and international student support center. If you have any questions regarding student immigration issues, please refer to their website and contact them directly.

International Services Office


The Graduate Enrollment Management Office has information for prospective graduate students at GWU, including information regarding international student admissions requirements and funding. Please refer to their website for all information regarding international student funding that is not part of your admissions package.

Graduate Admissions Office


Education USA is a network supported by the U.S. Department of State with advising centers around the world that provides international students with valuable knowledge on applying to U.S. colleges and universities.

Education USA


Study in the States is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website that helps explain the visa process and informs about rules and regulations of student visas.

Study in the States

The National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA) created this article which may be helpful to review when preparing for visa interviews.

10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Student Visa