The I-20 or DS-2019 is a government form that serves as the first step in obtaining an F-1 student visa. The form certifies the applicant will be a full-time student, and that the learning institution has accepted the student. In addition, the form certifies the applicant proved there is adequate financial support for him to study and live in the U.S. for the duration of his chosen course.

Step 1

Find a school with a relevant program. Any program from an ESL (English as a Second Language) school, a vocational school, a graduate school or the regular courses of colleges and universities will require foreign nationals to have an approved I-20 form.

Step 2

Download the I-20 from the school web site or request it from the school or university by mail. The student must attend the school as specified in his visa.

Step 3

Type or print in black ink the information required in the spaces provided. Do not use pencil. If a space is not large enough to answer an item, attach another sheet of paper with the answer properly labeled, including the name, date and address of the applicant, duly signed (Reference 2).

Step 4

Make sure all questions are answered fully and accurately. Do not leave any blank spaces. Write N/A or "none" if the question is not applicable. Sign the student certification at the bottom of the page (Reference 3).

Step 5

Make a photocopy of all documents, including the application form and any attachments submitted, for reference and follow-up purposes

Step 6

Write on the envelop the summary or title of the contents of the package. Submit the application form to the college or university’s international student services department. The university will mail the certificate of eligibility and immigration documents after the specified processing period.