Before You Arrive

In this section prospective international students will find information about requesting or refusing an I-20 or DS-2019, insurance and financial requirements, and other essential pre-arrival information.

Our goal is to assist and advise incoming international students on U.S. immigration related issues and regulations.  We also help direct students to finding answers to many questions about the transition to Penn State as a newly admitted student.

Possible Requested Documents Checklist

How to Use this Checklist:

  • Be sure to save each document in a separate file.
  • Keep all pages of the same document type in one file whenever possible.
  • Try to use unique file names.
  • Label each item appropriately (ex. “JaneDoe_I94,” “JaneDoe_F1Visa”).

The Checklist

Financial

  • A copy of an Affidavit of Support (Form I-134) demonstrating sponsorship by another individual. 
  • Any other Financial Evidence that demonstrates you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself while in the United States. 
  • A copy of bank statements in the applicant's name. 
  • A copy of a Financial Award, Financial Aid, or a Grant demonstrating sufficient funds to pay for studies and to support oneself while in the United States. 
  • Fee receipt for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) SEVIS (Form I-901).

Correspondence

  • A copy of a Notice of Action Form I-797 demonstrating current non-immigrant status. 
  • Letter from Applicant stating the reason for the change of status.

Family Relationship

  • A copy of an adoption decree issued by a government authority. 
  • Any other evidence that supports the family relationships on the application. 
  • A copy of a divorce decree issued by a government authority. 
  • A copy of a marriage annulment record issued by a government authority. 
  • A copy of a marriage certificate issued by a government authority. 

Identity

  • A copy of a birth certificate issued by a government authority. 
  • A copy of a U.S. driver's license issued by a government authority. 
  • A legible copy of a foreign passport. Include only copies of pages showing the passport number, date of issue and expiration, photo, name, surname (family name), date, and place of birth. Uploading documentation of any blank pages in the passport is not required. 
  • A legible copy of a United States passport. Include only copies of pages showing the passport number, date of issue and expiration, photo, name, surname (family name), date and place of birth. Uploading documentation of any blank pages in the passport is not required. 
  • Any other evidence that supports the identity information on the application. 
  • A statement as to why none of the requested identity evidence is available for submission. 
  • The above documents should also be submitted for the primary visa holder if requesting a change to or from a dependent status.

Immigration Status

  • Any Other Immigration Status Evidence - Any other evidence that supports the immigration status information on the application.  These may include any or ALL of the following:
    • Transcripts and/or Academic Verification
    • Previous I-20s or DS-2019s
    • Proof of maintenance of H-1B status (ex. Pay stubs, employer letters, etc.)
    • Other proof of status (ex. I-797 approval notices, primary’s visa documents, visa stamps, I-94, and passport)
  • An Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94/I-94W/I-95) demonstrating arrival-departure information and current nonimmigrant status. 
  • A copy of a current Form I-20 or DS-2019 issued by an educational institution.    
  • A copy of an entry stamp on a passport that demonstrates:
  1. Arrival-departure information
  2. Current nonimmigrant status; and/or
  3. The familial relationship between multiple benefit seekers. 
  • A copy of a visa that demonstrates:
  1. The arrival-departure information
  2. The current non-immigrant status; and/or
  3. The familial relationship between multiple benefit seekers.