Requesting an I-20 or DS-2019


To obtain a visa and enter the U.S. in the correct international student status, you require a certificate of eligibility: Form I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1.)

After you have accepted your admissions offer, your admissions department will send you information about required documentation, timelines, and instructions to apply for a I-20 or DS-2019.  The request process will be sent to you by your admitting program/department. 

I-20/DS-2019 Request Process:
  • STEP 1: Once ready, your admitting department will invite you to complete an I-20/DS-2019 Request within the University of Chicago's OIA Portal. You will need your CNET ID and password to access the OIA Portal. NOTE: Activating your CNET ID may take up to 3 days to fully complete, which could prevent successful login to the OIA portal. 
  • STEP 2: Once in the OIA Portal, you will see the I-20/DS-2019 Request Form and instructions. Complete all sections and upload all required documentation (e.g. passport bio page, financial documentation, etc. - see below).
  • STEP 3: Upon upload, your I-20/DS-2019 Request will be reviewed and processed by our office. You will be notified if it is incomplete and requires further attention.
  • STEP 4: If accepted, your I-20 or DS-2019 will be issued within 3 weeks. If rejected, you will be notified by email why your submission was rejected (e.g. missing documents, etc.).
  • STEP 5: Once your I-20/DS-2019 is issued, you will receive an email with your SEVIS ID#, School/Program Code, and next step instructions to pay the SEVIS Fee and schedule a visa appointment at a U.S. embassy/consulate. 
Required documentation for the I-20/DS-2019 Request:
  1. A copy of the biographical page(s) in your passport (the pages with your picture, name and date of birth).  Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future at all times while in F-1/J-1 status.
  2. Proof of sufficient funds to cover the estimated expenses for the first academic year of study at the University of Chicago. Your admitting program will send you a financial coversheet outlining expenses and allowing you to list funding sources.
    1. For more about acceptable financial documentation.
    2. Please only submit summary statements and not all pages of accounts. 
  3. Copy of your letter of admission to the University of Chicago (this can be the PDF you received via email). NOTE: if the letter of admission is conditional (e.g. full admission is conditional on completing additional steps/requirements), you will not be issued an I-20/DS-2019 until you have satisfied those requirements and have a letter of unconditional admission. If you submit an I-20/DS-2019 Request with a conditional letter of admission, it will be rejected.

I-20/DS-2019 Request Estimated Cost of Attendance 

  • The estimated cost of attendance for the first year of studies is set for each program and cannot be altered for personal circumstances.
  • The estimated cost of attendance is an estimate and for immigration purposes only.  Your actual costs or tuition bill may vary.
  • Living Expenses 
    • U.S. visa regulations require that you document financial support for your first academic year.
    • Individual costs may be more or less than the estimates.
  • Required Health Insurance 
  • Dependents
    • If dependents will be accompanying you to the U.S., your budget must include funds for their living expenses.
    • You will be required to show funding of $4,000 for each dependent that will accompany you.  Non-degree exchange students must show funding of $1,000 per dependent per quarter. One-year MA students only need to show $3,000 for each dependent (summer living expenses are excluded for one-year programs).

Financial Documentation Requirements