Schools approved by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can issue Forms I-20
via SEVIS in order to accept foreign students to their institutions. The Department
of State (DoS) uses the I-20 data as part of the student’s visa application process.
Upon admission to the United States (U.S.), a DHS official at the port of entry examines
the I-20 along with the student’s other documents to determine whether to grant entry
to the U.S.
All F-1 (academic) and M-1 (vocational) students enrolled in a DHS-approved school
must have a SEVIS issued Form I-20. A completed I-20 is evidence that the student
is maintaining status while in the U.S. and is the primary DHS document for F-1 students
who do not have an I-766 (Employment Authorization Document) issued by DHS.
The I-20 is a white, 3-page computer-generated form. The information provided on page
1 and 2 are used for enumeration purposes.