Eligibility Documents

For the majority of students and scholars, the I-20 (for individuals in F status) and the DS-2019 (for those in J status) are the forms, collectively referred to here as “eligibility documents,” that provide relevant information about the status they are expected to maintain. Among the purposes that the documents serve are the following:

  • To evidence eligibility to apply for a US entry visa at a US consular office and admission to the US at a port of entry
  • To show the parameters of the program for which status was granted
  • To initiate changes or updates to the status once it has been granted
Overview of Forms and Functions
I-20 or DS-2019used to apply for US entry visa
Entry Visa AND I-20 or DS-2019used to apply for admission to US in F or J status
I-94 AND I-20 or DS-2019used to provide details about admission and status granted

Source: Fosnocht, David (Ed.) 2000: NAFSA Advisor’s Manual of Federal Regulations Affecting Foreign Students and Scholars 2018 Edition, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, USA