Step-by-Step Process for New and Transfer Undergraduate Students

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 whether a request has been submitted should be directed to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Once the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has initiated the I-20 or DS-2019 request with OIE, undergraduate students will receive emails from providing details on how to upload their passport, confirm biographical information, and upload financial documents (if required).

Be sure to add 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 Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Before an Undergraduate I-20 or DS-2019 request can be initiated, your admission to Georgia Tech must be complete.

1. After an admission decision has been made and the admissions deposit has been paid, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions 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 Undergraduate Admissions to satisfy any outstanding documents. Undergraduate students may check their application status on the application portal.

2. Student data is populated in iStart after Undergraduate Admissions 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 and acceptance processing time inquiries to Undergraduate Admissions.

Step 2) Undergraduate I-20/DS-2019 e-form 

Students will receive an e-form link from to submit necessary information and documents after the Office of Undergraduate Admissions initiates the Undergraduate I-20 or DS-2019 request in iStart.

1. Receive an email from with a link to submit information. 

  • Please contact Undergraduate Admissions for all inquiries in regards to when an I-20/DS-2019 request process will be initiated.
  • Look for the email notification from 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 Undergraduate I-20/DS-2019 Request e-form, estimated tuition and living expenses information will be listed, 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 from a U.S. institution: 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 additional details about the transfer process, eligibility, and timing considerations, please review our Transfer In guidance.
  • Current J visa holders: Before an I-20 will be issued, we expect you to have a discussion with a Georgia Tech International Student Adviser to discuss the Change of Status options and required documentation. Please contact for more information.

Financial information

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.

  • 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 are required to provide sponsor verification. Please have your sponsor verify their sponsorship by signing under "Sponsor Verification" in the financial certification form.

Step 3) Shipping

OIE issues an 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.