To ease the transition of attending school in a new country, our schools' International Student Advisors (ISA) are here to help you along the way. ISAs are also the schools' Designated School Officials (DSOs) and will be the person to issue and update the Form I-20. Your ISA will help you with any questions you have during the student visa application process, help you find academic assistance, and confidential counseling services. Your campus will also host an orientation for international students, to introduce you to the school and answer any questions you may have.
Requirements For Applying For a Form I-20
All international applicants to an Art Institutes school must meet the same admissions standards as all domestic students. In addition the Admissions Requirements, students presenting post-secondary transcripts or credentials earned outside the United States require an evaluation by a credential evaluation prepared by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE)-member credential evaluation service and an English translation (if applicable). Please speak with an Admissions Representative to determine eligibility and learn more.
An international student seeking to enroll at an Art Institutes school on an I-20 must submit each of the following items:
- Enrollment Agreement
- A photocopy of the student’s passport to provide proof of birth date and citizenship (applicants who do not hold a passport will need to submit a copy of their birth certificate).
- Original or official copies of all educational transcripts. These transcripts must be prepared in English or include an official English translation.
- Proof of English Language Proficiency - All documents must be received in a sealed envelope directly from the official testing organization. Please see the section “English Language Proficiency Policy” in your school catalog for more information.
- International students will also be required to present evidence of financial support sufficient to cover the first academic year.
- For those students that are being sponsored, a statement of support is also required.
Students already present in the US in F1 status are also required to submit:
- Copy of F1 visa- Students present in the US are required to provide a copy of a valid visa or change of status approval notice.
- Copy of previous I-20’s
- Transfer clearance form
- Electronic entry document
After Receiving Your Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility):
- Review the personal and program information on page one of your I-20 to ensure accuracy.
- Email your advisor to confirm receipt of your I-20. Report any necessary changes to your advisor immediately to obtain a corrected form.
- Complete your I-20 by printing your name, and signing and dating the form on the bottom of page 1.
- Read the rules and regulations on page three of your I-20 carefully, as you are responsible for understanding the regulations you agree to when signing the I-20 and entering the U.S. as an F-1 student.
Provide Payment for Your SEVIS I-901 Fee within 30 Days of Obtaining the I-20
- Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee by mail or online. Refer to the SEVIS I-901 fee instructions, located in the I-20 package.
- Find your SEVIS ID number on page one in the upper right-hand corner of your I-20.
Apply for the F-1 Student Visa
- Contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your home country for information on how to apply for an F-1 student visa. Allow sufficient time to receive your visa, as it can take more than a month to process. Policies vary according to each embassy/consulate, as some will accept your visa application at any time, while others require you to schedule an appointment in advance.
- Apply for an F-1 student visa if you are from a country that is participating in the visa waiver program. DO NOT try to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver or existing visa.
- Email your advisor when you have received your F-1 Student Visa.
Make Your Travel Arrangements
- Book your flight to the airport closest to the campus which you will be attending, upon receipt of your F-1 Student Visa. You MAY NOT enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date of your program listed on the I-20.
Notify Your ISA of Your Arrival
- Send your advisor an email confirming the date and time of your arrival.
- Your ISA will provide you additional information about checking in and registering with the school.
You are responsible for following the guidelines set by your F-1 immigration status. Immigration rules and regulations change frequently, so it's important that students stay in touch with their ISAs and review U.S. government websites regularly.
We realize you have questions (that's good) because your education is a major investment. We’ll talk about your interests, and what program is a good fit for you. And our Financial Aid staff can help you review your options, including merit- and need-based scholarships, and will help you navigate the process. Contact us to get moving on your tomorrow.