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  • Prospective Students

    I-20/DS-2019 Information

    The New School is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant international students. Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents (green card holders) must obtain an I-20/DS-2019 form before they can apply for a visa to study in the United States. It is essential that you begin the visa application process as soon as you receive the letter of acceptance from your program, as the process can take 90 days or longer. We recommend that you review Your 5 Steps to U.S. Study at for a suggested timeline.

    In your acceptance letter, you will find a link to our I-20/DS-2019 application website from which you can submit your I-20/DS-2019 application online. The same link is also available in the Accepted Students tab in The I-20/DS-2019 application website is not accessible through the main ISSS website, so only students who have received an acceptance letter or whose account has been set up will have access to it.

    After you complete and submit the online I-20/DS-2019 form, you must send the required supporting documents as a single PDF file to If you do not have access to email, you can fax or mail the documents, but this may delay processing. Here are samples of the I-20 and DS-2019.

  • Requirements

    Supporting Documents

    • A copy of your passport biographical page (begins with your picture and ends with the passport expiration date; usually on the same page). If your passport has been renewed, make sure you include the validation extension pages.
    • Copies of prior or current I-20s, DS-2019s, or IAP-66s, I-94, visas, and EAD cards (required only if you have previously studied in the United States).
    • Supporting financial documents translated into English (translations do not need to be certified). Documents should be no more than four months old. If you submit original financial documents by mail, they will be returned to you in the mail with your I-20 or DS-2019.
    • A copy of your official Letter of Admission to The New School. Do not send the original letter; you will have to present the original document at your visa interview.

    International Student and Scholar Services prefers that all documents be sent as a single PDF file by email (please do not email photographs or Word documents), though documents sent by fax or courier are also accepted. Sending documents by fax or post may delay processing.

    You will receive an email from ISSS confirming receipt of your I-20/DS-2019 application; you can also check the status of your application online. Once we have received your application and all the supporting documents, we will issue the I-20/DS-2019 within ten business days. Be sure to complete the eShip Global Form so that we can send your documents by FedEx. Send an email to if you have any questions or concerns.

    Transfer Students

    Even if you already have an I-20 or DS-2019 document from another school in the United States, you must obtain a separate I-20 or DS-2019 from The New School as described above. In addition to the supporting documents described above, you must also print out the Transfer Certification from the online application form and give it to the international students office at your current school so that they can transfer your SEVIS record to The New School. You must apply for a New School I-20 or DS-2019 no later than 15 days after beginning classes here.

    The SEVIS Fee

    If you are a non-immigrant alien entering the United States under any student status, the U.S. government requires you to pay the SEVIS fee. At the time this Web page was updated, the F-1 SEVIS fee was $200 and the J-1 SEVIS fee was $180. These fees are subject to change. Citizens of all countries entering the United States as students must pay the SEVIS fee, including citizens of Canada and the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda.

    The SEVIS fee is payable online by credit or debit card, by international money order, and by a check drawn on a financial institution in the United States and payable in United States currency. Be sure to pay the SEVIS fee before you enter the United States or visit a U.S. consulate or embassy to apply for a visa. You can learn more about the SEVIS fee, pay it online, and print a receipt by going to You can also view a I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Tutorial here.

    Visa Application Process

    After you receive the I-20 or DS-2019 document, go to a U.S. consulate or embassy office in your home country and apply for an F–1 Student or J–1 Exchange Visitor visa to enter the United States. The application process varies from country to country and can take from one day to many weeks, so please plan ahead. You must bring the following documents with you to the consulate or embassy:

    • Signed and dated original Form I-20 or DS-2019
    • Your original letter of acceptance from The New School (not a copy)
    • Valid passport
    • Original or certified copies of financial documents (with translations, if necessary)
    • Proof of ties to your home country (this is critical for a successful visa application; see below for more information)
    • Proof of SEVIS fee payment, if necessary (see SEVIS fee section below)

    You will be required to present original visa interview documents to a U.S. immigration official when you arrive in the United States. These documents are valuable. Never put these or other travel documents in your checked luggage. For more information on U.S. student visas, visit the U.S. Department of State website or

    Proving Your Ties to Your Home Country

    Ties to your home country are facts that are perceived as giving you strong reasons to return from the United States after you have finished your studies. Anyone applying to enter the United States to attend school must be able to demonstrate strong ties to their home country with official documents. For example:

    • If your family owns a business, bring letters from the bank describing the business and/or documents showing that the business is registered and truly owned by your family.
    • If your family owns property, bring deeds or or other documents proving ownership.
    • If you and your family have previously visited the United States, bring your passport—even if it's an old one—to demonstrate that you have been issued visas in the past and visited the United States and that after every visit, you returned to your home country.
    • If you belong to a professional organization in your home country, bring proof of your membership.
    • If you have the prospect of a job in your home country, get a letter from the company stating that you will be considered for a job upon your return or that they often hire workers with the kind of education you are seeking.

    Citizens of Canada and the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda

    Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not need a visa to enter the United States, but they do need the Form I-20 or DS-2019 if they are coming here to attend school. They must pay the SEVIS fee before arrival. At the U.S. port of entry, they must present proof of identity and citizenship. Since January 1, 2008, Canadians have been required to have a valid passport to enter the United States; students must also present Form I-20 or DS-2019. Refer to the visa application checklist above to prepare for interviews at the port of entry. Visit the U.S. State Department website for more detailed information.

  • Visa Denial

    If you are denied a visa, you will receive a formal notice from the U.S. immigration authorities explaining the reason for denial and offering you the option to apply again with new information. If this happens, email us immediately at and fax or email a copy of the denial notice so that we can make recommendations about your documentation in case you wish to reapply.