J-1 Scholars
Student Stories
Getting a Student Visa
Attending CUNY
AttendiMaintaining Your Immigration Statusng CUNY
Understanding Employment Options
Living in New York
STEP 1: Welcome Letter & Required Forms
STEP 2: Form I-20 or DS-2019
STEP 3: Letter Accompanying I-20 or DS-2019
STEP 5: U.S. Consulate Appointment
STEP 6: U.S. Entry
STEP 7: Reporting to the College
STEP 2: Form I-20 & DS-2019
I-20 and DS-2019 fo
I-20 Forms (for F-1 students) and DS-2019 Forms (for J-1 students) help the U.S. monitor the location and legal status of the thousands of international students studying in the U.S.
After the college has determined that you have provided the required information and sufficient funds to support your education and living expenses, the International Student Advisor will mail the Form I-20 if you are a prospective F-1 student; the Form DS-2019 if you are a prospective J-1student.

Most people come to the U.S. as F-1 students. The J-1 status is for those who are in an exchange program or who are being sponsored by their home government or university.

I-20 and DS-2019 forms are very important documents, issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of State to monitor the location and legal status of the thousands of international students across the U.S. The DSO/RO uses the Student Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS) to assist with this process.

The Forms I-20/ DS-2019 will be reviewed and verified by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer via SEVIS each time you enter the U.S. The SEVIS database is also updated by your International Student Advisor when you report to school, register for classes, change your major, drop below full-time status, apply for permission to work, change your address, graduate, withdraw from school, and any other related F/J requirements.

It is extremely important that you take care of your I-20 or DS-2019 forms and do not lose them. Your I-20 or DS-2019 forms, passport with the valid F-1 visa stamp and I-94 Admission/Departure Card are documents that are critical in maintaining your immigration status in the U.S.
Frequently Asked Questions
Printable Summary (PDF)