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F-1 status is a non-immigrant classification which allows you to remain in the U.S. as long as you are a properly registered full-time student and maintain your F-1 status.

All international students admitted to eligible degree programs within the Johns Hopkins University will be issued a Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, unless the specific funding source requires a J-1 student visa.

Form I-20

The Form I-20 is a document issued by OIS from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). I-20 is necessary for an F-1 visa application at a U.S. consulate abroad or to request a change of status to F-1 from USCIS. To be eligible for an I-20, you must be fully admitted to an eligible academic program and demonstrate that you have the financial resources to meet full tuition and living expenses for the first academic year of the program.

Receiving your I-20

When you submit a request to OIS, you will be informed of the options for receiving your I-20.  If multiple options are available, you can choose only one.

New and transfer students must set up and pay for the I-20 shipment in eShip Global.*

Continuing students in F-1 status who are issued an updated I-20 can request to have it shipped via eShip Global or regular USPS mail (domestic shipments only). Tracking is not available for USPS mail.*


*All students: During the COVID-19 emergency, SEVP is allowing schools to issue the I-20 electronically. If you choose this option, you will receive a digitally signed Form I-20 that contains a digitally reproduced copy of a physical signature. We will send it to you by secure email to the email address we have on file.  To open the email and retrieve your I-20 from a non-JHU email address, you will be prompted to set up an account with Cisco Registered Envelope Service (CRES).  Instructions for creating an account can be found here.

SEVP has coordinated with both the Department of State and U.S. Customs and Border Protection regarding their policy to allow electronic I-20 issuance for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. You may want to consider printing the announcement and carrying it with you when you apply for a visa or enter the U.S. to help avoid confusion.

Validity of the I-20

Your initial I-20 is issued for the expected length of your program. If you need additional time beyond the I-20 end date to complete degree requirements, you must request an extension of your I-20. Alternatively, if you complete your degree requirements before the I-20 end date, you must notify OIS so we can update the I-20 end date. Regardless of the actual end date on your I-20, the I-20 effectively ends as of your last date of enrollment in the final term of your JHU program. After the I-20 end date or your last date of enrollment in your final term, whichever is earlier, you will have a 60-day grace period during which you may remain in the U.S. You cannot engage in employment during the grace period.