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Certificate of Eligibility


The Certificate of Eligibility is a federal form, created in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), by either the authorized DSO or ARO at your university. The certificate of eligibility is also known as the I-20, for F students, or DS-2019, for J students. It serves many functions. One function is its crucial role in the visa application process. You must have this document, issued, and signed in blue ink by your ISS advisor prior to applying for your U.S. visa.

The I-20 or DS-2019 has the following necessary information:

  1. Your SEVIS ID number.
  2. The name of your school (or site of activity).
  3. Your degree level or exchange visitor category.
  4. Your program of study.
  5. The program start and estimated completion date.
  6. Any practical training authorizations or endorsements.
  7. Travel signatures.
  8. Other valuable information used by federal officials either at the consulate or port of entry. 

A picture of marking lists


If you decide to leave the U.S. for a brief period during your program, you will need to receive a travel signature from your ISS advisor to re-enter the country. Note that travel signatures are only valid for up to one year. If the travel signature on your document has expired, please see your ISS advisor for a new one.

The certificate of eligibility will also serve as proof of authorization if you decide to pursue academic or practical training during your time here in the states.

View the tables below to understand more about your certificate of eligibility.