After admission to LSUA, the following documents are needed to study in the United States.
An I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is used to apply for the F-1 or J-1 student visa, as well as to obtain F-1 or J-1 student status when entering the United States.
To qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20/DS-2019), U.S. Immigration regulations state that applicants:
How long is my I-20 or DS-2019 valid?
The I-20 form will list the date when your studies are to begin. You may enter the United States up to 30 days before this date. The date on the I-20 form of when the program will end is the expiration date. Once expired, you will lose your student visa status and must leave the United States within 60 days.
What if I lose my I-20 or DS-2019 form?
If the I-20 form is lost, a new one can be requested from LSUA. It can be problematic if you lose the I-20 form outside of the U.S., as a replacement can take a few weeks to arrive; therefore, classes could be missed while waiting. Until you receive the new I-20 form, you will not be allowed to re-enter the United States.
When will I need the I-20 or DS-2019 form?
The I-20 form is very important and you will need it for various things, including:
To enter the United States as a student, you must have a student visa issued by a U.S. Consulate or Embassy outside the U.S., unless you are a Canadian citizen.
The visa is your permission to enter the United States. Depending on where you plan on apply for the student visa, the visa application process can take a long time; therefore, you should start your visa application as soon as you receive your Certificate of Eligibility I-20 (for F-1 visa) or DS-2019 (for J-1 visa).
How to Apply
The steps to complete visa process may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the embassy or consulate website. For more information about U.S Student Visa, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html.
2. Prepare Required Document: You should have the following documents available while you complete your DS-160.
3. Prepare for your interview by providing the following:
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