What is an I-20 Form?
An I-20 form is an official government document, which certifies that a person is eligible to be an F-1 non-immigrant student at Hofstra. This form is not automatically generated for non-immigrants. It is created when students are accepted to a full-time program and show that they have enough financial resources to cover the full length of their studies. It is then sent to the student by email in order to be used to apply for an F-1 visa at a United States Embassy or Consulate in their home country.
Once you have been issued an I-20 form, you should only sign the I-20 for the school that you will be attending in the United States. Signing the I-20 means that you understand all the rules and regulations that you will have to follow once you are in the United States. You should read the regulations listed on the back of the I-20 before you sign it.
How to get your I-20
- Financial evidence, usually bank statement(s) or certificate(s) of deposit, equivalent to the cost of one academic year of tuition and living expenses, minus any merit scholarship award (per year)
- Copy of valid passport
- I-20 Application Form
- Affidavit of Support Form (if the financial documents include an account that is not in the student’s name). Please fill in the U.S. dollar equivalent that the sponsor promises to provide.
Financial Evidence for Form I-20
Acceptable forms of funding are below. A combination of sources is acceptable, as long as the total is the equivalent to one year of tuition, fees, and living expenses for your program. All documents must be in English or an official English translation must be provided.
Hofstra Merit Scholarship Award
This will be awarded upon acceptance and the amount will be indicated on a “conditional acceptance” letter. Subtract this amount from the total of one year of tuition and living expenses that you will have to provide in additional financial evidence.
Personal Bank Statements
A current bank statement on bank letterhead. The statement must:
- Be immediately available funds (such as a checking or savings account).
- Indicate the date of issue and the current balance.
- This document should have been issued within the past 3 months.
- Must be in English. It could be issued in English by the bank, or translated by an official translator.
- Funds do not need to be in U.S. dollars, but currency of available funds should be noted.
Funds from "Sponsors" (parents, relatives, friends, organizations)
This would include a signed Affidavit of Support and a bank statement (as explained above) verifying the amount available.
It is important for the sponsor to note on the Affidavit of Support the amount they promise in support. This is the amount we will consider when calculating available funds, not the total of the statement from the sponsor. You may have as many sponsors as needed.
- If using a company bank account, the sponsor must also provide either:
- a letter on company letterhead with the company owner’s signature verifying the company will sponsor the education of the student, OR
- proof the sponsor is the owner or majority shareholder of the company, such as a business license, and signed Affidavit of Support in the sponsor’s name.
A copy of a scholarship award letter.
External Scholarship Awards
Evidence of the award and the amount awarded on official letterhead with an indication of when the funds can be applied. Please find links to external scholarship opportunities here.
Loan disbursement or sanction letters must show approval for a specific loan amount. If conditionally approved, the only acceptable disbursement condition is issuance of the I-20 and/or F-1 visa. Your loan provider may need to send a request to Hofstra University to certify your enrollment status and loan amount before they share the final loan documents with you and initiate the process to disburse funds to the University. Student Financial Services handles the loan certification process, and their office can be reached at email@example.com if you have any questions. Please note that Hofstra University does not partner with any banks or lenders to provide loans to international students, and Hofstra staff cannot directly assist students with obtaining a loan.
Working in the United States
There are job opportunities on campus for international students, however, they should not expect to finance study by working while in the United States. International students are eligible to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters and up to 30 hours per week during the university breaks.
These opportunities cannot be used in the I-20 or student visa application process, as they will not be available until after you have arrived on campus as a student and been granted your student visa.
Please find more information on the ISA resources page.
Helpful additional information:
Acceptable forms of Financial Evidence
Estimated Cost of One Year of Study and Living Expenses