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Information for Admitted International Undergraduate Students

What to Do Once You're Admitted

  1. Accept your offer of admission online.
  2. If you need a student visa to attend, see I-20/DS-2019 instructions below.
  3. Verify your enrollment.

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How to Obtain Your I-20 or DS-2019

Admitted students must complete and submit the online I-20 application in order to have an I-20 or DS-2019 issued. Read all instructions within the application very carefully. Improperly submitted applications and documents will delay I-20 or DS-2019 issuance. Illinois will not issue I-20s and DS-2019s after August 1, 2015. 

Students will need to upload the following documents within the online I-20 application. Documents sent to our office outside of the application will not be matched.

  1. Financial Verification: Federal regulations require that you submit complete and accurate information regarding your sources of financial support. The University of Illinois does not award any form of need-based financial aid to international students.

    Confirmation of sufficient funds and sources of support must be demonstrated with the following documentation, which must be dated within one year prior to the date classes begin:

    • A bank letter or statement indicating sufficient funds (minimum $57,500) for at least one year of study. The account holder's name on the bank statement must match the name of your sponsor as entered in the I-20 application. The bank letter or statement must also be written in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.

      Examples of documents that ARE acceptable: Loan or award letters stamped or certified by a lending institution; bank letters signed by a bank official; and bank statements issued directly from a bank. 

      Examples of documents that ARE NOT acceptable: Internet bank statements; bank documents without the account holder’s name in English; life insurance policies; pension statements; beneficiary trust statements; credit card statements; documents which reflect salary amount, estate or property value, stock or securities value, or tax liability.
  2. Passport Copy: Submit a copy of your passport. Do not submit a copy of your sponsor's passport.

The evidence of financial resources we are requesting you to present is frequently required by US embassy or consular officials before a visa is granted. Therefore, we recommend that you make and maintain copies of all documents submitted for your personal use. We do not return or provide you with copies of these documents.

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Transcript Verification

If admitted as a freshman, you must submit an official or certified true copy of your academic record (transcript, external exam certificate, etc.). This documentation must match the courses, grades, and/or exam results which you reported on the Self-Reported Academic Record. You must also submit official academic documentation indicating successful completion of high school equivalent to year 12 in the US system.

All records must be received by July 10th in order to be eligible to enroll. If documents are not received by that date or if discrepancies are found between the self-reported courses, grades, and/or exam results and the academic record, your admission offer will be rescinded and you will not be eligible to enroll.

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How to Obtain Your Student Visa

I am currently living outside the United States.

Present the I-20 or DS-2019 to the US Consulate or Embassy in your home country to obtain the F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor visa. Citizens of Canada do not need a visa to study in the US; however, they must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee prior to entering the US and show the I-20 or DS-2019 in order to enter the US. Entry to the US is allowed up to 30 days before the program start date listed on your visa document.

I am an F-1 or J-1 student transferring from another college or high school within the United States.

Inform the international student advisor at the high school or college you are now attending of your intention to transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The International Student Advisor must release or transfer out your record in SEVIS, which then permits the University of Illinois to create a "transfer in" I-20 or DS-2019. Our SEVIS school code is CHI214F01070000. We do not issue transfer-in forms.

I am planning to attend the University of Illinois Intensive English Institute before I begin the university academic program.

Notify the Office of Undergraduate Admissions (call 217-333-0302 or email before applying to the Intensive English Institute. 

I am presently living in the United States on a dependent visa allowing full-time study (such as H-4 or E-2).

You will not need the form I-20. However, if you plan to change status to F-1, you will need an I-20. Notify the Office of Undergraduate Admissions if you will seek the F-1 visa outside the US or seek to change status while in US. You should also discuss your visa status with an advisor at International Student and Scholar Services (call 217-333-1303 or email

I am an applicant for Permanent Residency and have submitted form I-485.

You will not need the form I-20. Present your Permanent Resident application materials, especially form I-485, when you report at International Student and Scholar Services.

I am currently in the United States in B-1/B-2 visitor status.

U.S. Government regulations will not allow you to enroll in a program of study. Your status must be changed to F-1 or J-1 outside the US prior to enrolling at the University of Illinois. If you are unsure of how to change your status, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for information.

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Check-In Before Classes Start

All international undergraduate and exchange students (regardless of visa status) starting in spring of 2015 must report to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) on campus no later than Wednesday, January 14; students starting summer of 2015 must report no later than Wednesday, June 10; students starting fall of 2015 must report no later than Wednesday, August 19.

Those students who cannot arrive and check in by the appropriate date listed above should reapply for a later term.

When reporting to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) you will need to present:

F-1 or J-1 Students

  • Passport
  • Entry Visa (not applicable to Canadian citizens)
  • I-20 (F-1) OR DS-2019 (J-1)

Pending Permanent Residency

  • Passport
  • Entry Visa (if applicable)
  • I-797 receipt notice of I-485 application submission
  • EAD card (if applicable)

Other Students (For example: E-2, J-2, H-4)

  • Passport
  • Entry Visa (if applicable)
  • Notice of Action (if applicable)

The check-in process consists of completing a pre-arrival e-form and a review of all data and immigration documents by an ISSS advisor. It is best to complete the e-form (available on the ISSS site beginning in mid-May) prior to checking in with ISSS. Find more information for new international students.

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Transitions to Illinois Program

Come to campus early to get prepared with English skills, campus knowledge, and social experiences to help ensure a successful freshman year. For more information, visit the Transitions to Illinois Website.

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Helpful Links

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