OIE understands that the issuance of an I-20 or DS-2019 is a time-sensitive process. We work diligently to issue documents as soon as possible to ensure students can apply for the visa and arrive on time. Please read the information below to avoid common delays and to obtain answers to questions you likely have about the process. The timeline for this process varies for each student. Questions to confirm a request has been submitted should be directed to the academic program department.Once the academic program department has initiated the I-20 or DS-2019 request with OIE, graduate students will receive emails from email@example.com providing details on how to upload their passport, confirm biographical information, and upload financial documents (if required).
Be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe sender list to ensure you don't miss any important emails about your I-20/DS-2019!
Step 1) Admission
Apply for and obtain admission from the academic program and the graduate school. Before a Graduate I-20 or DS-2019 request, your admission to Georgia Tech must be complete.
1. After program department internally reviews applicants and makes admission decision, the Office of Graduate Studies officially enters an institutional acceptance decision, formally accepting the student to Georgia Tech.
- Students should monitor their admission decision
- ACCEPTED PENDING: If there are pending documents such as official transcripts, etc, the student needs to communicate directly with Graduate Studies to satisfy any outstanding documents. Graduate students may check their application status here.
2. Student data is populated in iStart after Graduate Studies fully processes the final acceptance decision.
- iStart is the paperless system used by OIE to collect all requests, e-forms, and documents related to immigration for international students and scholars. To learn more about iStart, click here
- Please direct all admissions acceptance processing time inquiries to Graduate Education and/or your program department
Step 2) Graduate I-20/DS-2019 e-form
Students will receive an e-form link from email@example.com to submit necessary information and documents after the graduate coordinator in the graduate department initiates the Graduate I-20 or DS-2019 request in iStart.
1. Receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to submit information.
Please contact your graduate department for all inquiries in regards to when a I-20/DS-2019 request process will be initiated by the program coordinator in your graduate department.
Look for the email notification from email@example.com to provide passport, proof of financial documentation and any other immigration data that is needed to issue the I-20 or DS-2019
2. In the Graduate I-20/DS-2019 Request e-form, your department submits the I-20/DS-2019 request e-form for a student with the student’s program of study information and estimated tuition and living expenses information, and all students will be asked to upload a PDF of their passport, financial certification form, proof of financials requirements and complete personal information.
Transfer students: A transfer I-20 or DS-2019 can only be issued on or after the release date set by your previous institution so make sure that you have a release date from your current institution. Please Include your transfer date in the e-form to reduce delay of your I-20/DS-2019 processing. OIE does not require a transfer-in form or document. For more information on the transfer process, click here
Current J visa holders: Before an I-20 will be issued, we expect you to have a discussion with an Georgia Tech International Student Adviser to discuss the Change of Status options and required documentation. Call (404) 894-7475 to schedule an appointment.
All students must show they have funds which will support them financially for the first academic year. To avoid delay, students should review financial documentation requirements found on OIE's Financial Document Requirements website.
Fully funded students with a GRA/GTA/GA, the department will indicate this on Part 1 of the e-form. “fully funded” means the department is offering a GRA/GTA/GA that covers all tuition, some institutional fees, and living expenses. See the Bursars Office website for details. If you are fully funded, you will be required to upload a copy of your official GRA/GTA/GA letter when submitting the I-20/DS-2019 e-form with a financial certification form.
Partially funded students with a GRA/GTA/GA and self-funding, will be expected to upload a financial certification form and financial documentation showing proof of personal funding for any estimated total expenses not covered by Georgia Tech. “Partially funded” means the department is offering a GRA/GTA/GA that covers only a portion of tuition, fees, and living expenses and student will be required to show additional funding.
All international students who are required to provide proof of funding must submit a completed financial certification form and financial documentation.
Students who are not using a personal bank account in their name, sponsor verification is required. Please have your sponsor verify their sponsorship by signing under "Sponsor Verification" in the financial certification form.
Step 3) Shipping
OIE issues a I-20/DS-2019 after all documents submitted in iStart are complete and accurate. Current e-form processing times are available on the OIE website.
Students will receive an email when the I-20 or DS-2019 is issued.
- I-20 Issuance: OIE will issue a digitally-signed electronic I-20 form. Once the I-20 form is issued, students will be able to immediately access their I-20 from the iStart portal. Students should download the I-20 form, print and sign at the bottom of the first page.
- DS-2019 Issuance: OIE will issue a hard-copy of the DS-219 that has been signed in ink by a Responsible Officer. You will receive a shipping e-form once your document has been issued. In this e-form, you will be provided instructions for how to select available shipping options through UEMS eShip Global and pay for your shipping. You will be able to indicate the shipping address and track the shipment based on the UEMS tracking information. Upon receipt, students should sign at the bottom of the first page of the DS-2019 form.