Starting Process/Obtaining I-20/DS-2019
1: How/when can I get my I-20 or DS-2019?
Once OIA receives your complete application packet from your admissions department, it will take 10-14 days to create your I-20 or DS-2019. Your admissions department will let you know what documents you need to submit and when you can start submitting them. If you have questions about the documents or timeline, please contact your admissions office. Most students receive I-20s 2-3 months before school starts.
2: When will the Financial Resources Statement (FRS) be available for my department?
The FRS will be available after your academic department or division enters the tuition and living expense numbers into the university’s data management system. Usually this occurs about 3-4 months before your program will begin. Your admissions department will notify you when the FRS is available for your program.
3: My friend at another school has already received her I-20/DS-2019. Why am I getting mine so late?
The University of Chicago starts later in the year than many other universities. This means that the timeline for receiving your I-20 and applying for your visa will also be later than other universities. This is fine, as the timeline is sufficient for receiving your documents and getting your visa.
4: I’ve submitted my FRS, financial statements, and other documents. When will I get my I-20/DS-2019?
After OIA receives your complete application packet from your academic department or school’s admissions office, it will take OIA about 10-14 days to create a new I-20 for you. We will then send it out to you in the mail. The time it will take to get to you will depend on the shipping method that you select or that your academic department uses. After OIA receives your documents from admissions, this entire process usually takes 2 to 4 weeks.
5: I am currently studying in F-1/J-1 status in the U.S. and want to transfer my SEVIS status to UChicago. How does that work?
If your current I-20 or OPT end date will be within 5 months of the UChicago quarter start date, you may be eligible to transfer your SEVIS record to UChicago. You will need to submit documents to your admissions department and complete a Transfer In form for our office. You can read the complete process and instructions for transferring your status on our website.
Obtaining your Student Visa
1: How can I get a receipt to show I paid the SEVIS fee?
You can print a receipt from the FMJFee website.
2: Can you send me my SEVIS ID number so I can make an appointment for my visa?
For security reasons, our office is unable to accommodate this request. We cannot send personal information, such as the SEVIS ID number or I-20/DS-2019 copies, over email. We also do not recommend scheduling your appointment before you have the physical document in your hand.
3: Why isn’t my specific major in item 5 on my I-20? Why does it say ‘Liberal Arts’?
Majors used for specific programs are determined by the University Registrar. Every student in a particular program will have the same major listed on their I-20 or DS-2019. This field is not customizable based on an individual student’s situation.
Travel to the U.S. Before your program
1: I have to be in the U.S. more than 30-days before my I-20/DS-2019 start date for a sports team, optional school program, or need additional time to prepare for school. What should I do?
The University cannot customize I-20 or DS-2019 start dates for specific students. The I-20/DS-2019 start date is set by your academic department or school and cannot be changed based on individual circumstances. You are allowed to enter the U.S. up to 30-days before the start date listed on the document. For more information, contact your International Student Adviser.
2: I don’t have a scanner or phone that takes pictures. How can I check in?
In addition to the equipment available at Regenstein and other campus libraries, many academic departments have computer stations at which you can scan/upload these documents. If you don't have a way to create scans of your documents, OIA has a computer/scanner in our office that you can use during office hours. Do note that there is generally a line to use this equipment. To avoid delays or long lines, it is recommended that you try one of of the above submission methods before coming to OIA. More check in information can be found on our website.
3: I will be in a different U.S. city for a week before coming to Chicago. When should I check in?
You can check-in online after you enter the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 Student status. You can do the online check in from anywhere in the U.S. If you will not have access to the internet, a camera, or a scanner, you can wait until you come to Chicago and check in at OIA within three days. More check in information can be found on our website.