Obtaining the I-20 Form
To become an F-1 international student in the United States (U.S.), you must first obtain a Form I-20. Once you've been fully admitted to Cooper and paid your deposit, you will be contacted by the International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO) regarding the next steps to obtain your I-20. Please note that we do not collect documents for the I-20 until you've been fully admitted.
An I-20 is a U.S. government form that is issued by Cooper Union for the purpose of certifying that you are eligible for the F-1 student status. The I-20, also known as the Certificate of Eligibility (COE), certifies that:
- You've been fully admitted to Cooper Union and we expect that you will be attending as a full-time student towards a specific educational objective.
- You have sufficient funding to study and live in the U.S. for the duration of your educational program.
Obtaining an I-20 from The Cooper Union
To obtain your I-20, we will require the following documentation, which must be uploaded to your applicant portal once you have made your initial deposit:
- I-20 request form
- Copy of visa (only if you are currently in the U.S. on a different visa status)
- Copy of passport (biographical page only)
- Proof of available funding for your first year of study
- Proof of potential income for your remaining years of study
- If you have a sponsor providing proof of funds, please submit an affidavit cash support form
Please note that we are looking for available funding for at least the first year of study (tuition and living expenses). Additionally, we look for financial capability to cover future years of study. You can review tuition and fees here and acceptable financial documents.
Transferring your I-20 SEVIS record to The Cooper Union
If you are already an F-1 student and need to transfer your I-20 to Cooper, you must complete the above steps first and then submit the following:
- Transfer form request, located in your applicant portal. This must be completed by you and the Designated School Official (DSO) at your previous institution
- Have your SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) record electronically transferred to Cooper
Submitting Your Documents
All documents can be uploaded to your applicant portal for review by the International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO). Once all of your documents and your deposit have been submitted, you should follow up with the ISSO at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm receipt. If all documents are in order, your I-20 will be issued within 2-3 weeks. The deadline for submitting all I-20 documents is June 1, but we recommend that you start the process as soon as your deposit is submitted.
Applying for your F-1 Visa
1. Once you receive your I-20 from The Cooper Union ISSO, you will need to pay the one-time SEVIS fee prior to applying for the F-1 visa. Learn more about paying your SEVIS fee here. You must do so before you attend your visa interview and make sure to keep a copy of your receipt.
3. Schedule your Visa Interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate (preferably in your home country if possible). Each embassy has its own visa processing times. The earliest you can apply for an F-1 visa is now 365 days (previously 120 days) before the program start date on your I-20, but you cannot enter the U.S. more than 30 days before their start date. *Citizens of Canada, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and British subjects resident in certain islands are not required to obtain an F-1 visa but will still need to pay the SEVIS fee before entering the U.S.
4. Attend your scheduled visa interview at your U.S. embassy or consulate. Here are 10 points to remember when applying for a non-immigrant visa and a video to assist with your interview questions. Check the visa in your passport to make sure that all the information on it is correct. If the information is not correct it can only be changed at the embassy or consulate that issued your visa. Attend your scheduled visa interview at your U.S. embassy or consulate. Here are 10 points to remember when applying for a non-immigrant visa and a video to assist with your interview questions. Check the visa in your passport to make sure that all the information on it is correct. If the information is not correct it can only be changed at the embassy or consulate that issued your visa.
Your I-20 should be returned to you. You will need a that to enter the U.S. If you experience any delays in your arrival or have issues with your VISA, you must contact the ISSO ASAP.