The I-20 is a government form that tells the United States (U.S.) government that you are eligible for F-1 Student Status. It certifies that (1) you are or expect to be a “bona fide” student; 2) you meet our admissions requirements; (3) you will pursue a full course of study; (4) you proved to us that you have enough money to study and live in the U.S. without working illegally or suffering from poverty. You need a Form I-20 to obtain an F-1 student visa or status, or to keep lawful F-l status when transferring or changing schools within the U.S.

The SEVIS I-20 is a legal document and must reflect accurate information. Changes in any of the categories listed below should be reported to ISP and a new I-20 should be requested.

  • name
  • country of citizenship
  • major
  • degree program
  • financial resources

I-20 Completion Date

Students are allowed to pursue full-time studies toward the completion of the program reflected on their I-20 up to that date. The date is reflected in item five on your I-20.

  • The completion date does not include the 12 months of Optional Practical Training employment a student may apply for based on completion of a program of study.
  • If a student completes the program of study prior to the completion date, the I-20 will automatically expire on the date the student completes their program of study. A student has an automatic grace period of 60 days upon the completion of studies to:
    • Depart the United States;
    • Gain admission to a new program of study;
    • Apply for a change of visa status.
  • Degree-seeking students unable to complete their program of study by the completion date must apply for a program extension with the International Student Program before the expiration date.
  • Students unable to complete their program of study by the completion date and who fail to extend their I-20 before it expires will violate legal status and overstay their visa.

Grace Period Eligibility

60-Day Grace Period: DHS regulations automatically provide a 60-day grace period for F-1 students who complete a program of study. The 60-day grace period should be calculated from the date of completion. Students authorized post-completion Optional Practical Training have a 60-day grace period beginning from the date Optional Practical Training employment expires. Students who do not complete a program of study are not eligible for a 60-day grace period.

15-Day Grace Period: Students who elect to discontinue their program of study are not eligible for a 60-day grace period. Prior approval from the International Student Program is required before a student cancels classes or discontinues the program at the end of a term. Based on obtaining the prior approval from the International Student Program, a student has a 15-day grace period in which to depart the U.S. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain the 15-day grace period approval to avoid problems in reentering the United States.

Important Note:

Do not carry original I–20, I–94 or passport with you. Carry photo copies of these documents instead. Original are required when traveling outside of the University of Minnesota, Morris.

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