Temple University International Student and Scholar Services

International Student and Scholar Services
I've Received My I-20 or DS-2019... now what?

If you have received your I-20 or DS-2019 you have a good deal of preparing ahead of you:

  1. Pay the Sevis Fee. Be certain to print out 3-5 copies of the receipt. More information is available here.

    You must pay the Sevis fee
    • If you are a first-time applicant for an F-1 or J-1 visa
    • If you have been out of status or out of the U. S. for more than 5 months
    • If you are applying for a different entry visa. For example, you were in the U.S. in J status and wish to apply for an F-1 entry visa, you are required to pay the SEVIS fee again before your apply for the F-1 visa stamp.
  2. Read the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement FAQ for F and J Students

  3. Contact a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply your student visa. Individuals from countries that are visa exempt (Canada, Mexico and some of the adjacent islands) do not need a visa but they still need to pay the Sevis fee.
  4. Plan to arrive no more than 30 days prior to the start of your program or you may be turned away at the border. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security excludes students from entering the country more than 30 days prior to the start date listed on item #5 of your I-20.

  5. Read about the U.S. VISIT  program.

  6. Read about Arrival and Maintaining Status in the US
  7. If you have on-campus housing, you must confirm the move in date. You will have to make alternative arrangements if you plan on arriving before you can move into the dorms.

  8. If you still need off campus housing, you can check with the Office of Off Campus Living, or check our new housing page
  9. Have a medical and dental check up. Health care is expensive in the U.S. Many U.S. policies do not cover dental check ups

  10. Leave your immigration documents readily accessible so that you have them in hand when you arrive in the US as you need to present them at customs when you arrive. This includes your passport, I-20/DS-2019, financial documentation and sevis payment receipt.

  11. Review Data on the International Driver's License

  12. Make sure you have housing from your first night in the U.S.

  13. Prepare for orientation

Also, note that the International Student and Scholar Services is only involved in issuing the I-20 or DS-2019 form. All questions regarding billing, housing, registration should be directed to to appropriate office.