Request for the I-20

Congratulations on your admission to Bates College!

Welcome to the Center for Global Education’s (CGE) website for submission of your Application for Visa Certificate of Eligibility (I-20).

What is the Application for Visa Certificate of Eligibility (I-20)?

The I-20 is a document issued by Bates College for an admitted student that is evidence of your eligibility for a non-immigrant student status in the United States. Students in F-1 status are required to study full-time during the academic year. Bates College defines full-time study as registration for three or more courses per semester.

Eligible students for F-1 status receive an I-20 form. You must obtain your I-20 form from Bates before you apply for an F-1 entry visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad, or a change of status if you are already in the United States. 

Canadian nationals must apply for an I-20 form and pay the SEVIS fee before appearing at immigration inspection at a port of entry.

Who needs an I-20?

  • Non-U.S. citizens who have never studied in the United States;
  • Non-U.S. citizens who are transferring from a secondary school, college or university in the United States;
  • Non-U.S. citizens who are switching their current visa status to the F-1 visa; and,
  • Non-U.S. citizens who are returning from a leave of absence from the United States that is greater than 5 months.

When can I expect to receive my I-20?

The Center for Global Education will begin issuing I-20s for initial status students entering for August 2020 beginning on Monday, April 27, 2020. Per U.S. government regulations, the earliest Bates can issue I-20s is 120 days before the program start date. The anticipated on-campus arrival date for incoming international students is Sunday, August 23, 2020. For the 2020-21 academic year, this arrival date is subject to change due to current conditions at the time. 

For students requesting an initial I-20, what is the step-by-step process?

Step 1: When instructed, complete the On-Line Application for initial status students.

Step 2: Submit a scanned .pdf of the identification page of your passport to globaleducation@bates.edu. Submissions in other formats like .jpeg or .tiff, or by postal mail, fax or courier service will not be accepted. The CGE accepts scanned documents although the college reserves the right to request original documents. The CGE will acknowledge receipt of your documents via email.

If you do not have a passport yet, enter your name on the on-line application exactly as it appears on your passport application. Expired, or soon to expire, passports are acceptable. You do not have to update your passport number until you arrive in the United States.

Step 3: Your completed I-20, signed by a designated Bates representative, will be sent to the email address you provided on your on-line application. 

How is my SEVIS record transferred to Bates from my current school?

If you hold F-1 status or were in F-1 status within the last 60 days, you can transfer your SEVIS record from your current school to Bates.

Step 1: Print the Transfer-In Form and submit a completed copy to your current school’s Designated School Official (DSO) for their signature.

Step 2: Email the signed Transfer-In Form as an attachment to globaleducation@bates.edu.

Step 3: When instructed, complete the On-Line Application for transfer status students.

Step 4: Submit scanned copies in .pdf format of these documents to globaleducation@bates.edu:

  • identification page of your passport;
  • all pages of previous I-20 forms; and,
  • both sides of your I-94 card or your I-94 electronic document.

Submissions in other formats like .jpeg or .tiff, or by postal mail, fax or courier service will not be accepted. The CGE accepts scanned documents although the college reserves the right to request original documents. The CGE will acknowledge receipt of your documents via email.

Step 5: Your current school’s DSO will release your SEVIS record to Bates around the date of your school’s graduation, or at the time you are ready to transfer from another college or university to Bates.

Step 6: Your completed I-20, signed by a designated Bates representative, will be sent to the email address you provided on your on-line application.

For current Bates students returning from a leave of absence, they must submit the letter or email approving their return to the college from the appropriate college dean.

What are the next steps in the visa application process?

  • Check the consistency of name spelling. The spelling of your name must match exactly on your passport, your I-20 from Bates College, and your entry visa.
  • Apply for the F-1 visa as soon as you receive your I-20 from Bates. Please note that each Consulate has its own application requirements and processes. U.S. Embassy and Consulate websites are available at: http://www.usembassy.gov/.
  • Present proof of the required SEVIS fee payment. This U.S. government fee is paid online by completing Form I-901 at http://www.fmjfee.com or through Western Union. Remember to print your payment receipt.
  • Submit the online Form DS-160 (Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application). U.S. Embassies and Consulates requiring Form-DS-160 is available at: http://travel.state.gov/visa/forms/forms_4230.html. Follow the instructions for completing the online application form closely. Print and save the page with the barcode and bring it to your F-1 visa appointment.
  • The DS-160 online visa application form requires your address in the United States. Use the address of the Center for Global Education in Box 2 of your I-20 form: 

9 Andrews Rd
124 Roger Williams Hall
Lewiston, ME 04240 USA

  • In addition to the certification on your form I-20, the Consular Officer may require evidence of English proficiency sufficient to pursue your proposed program of studies or evidence of ties to your country of citizenship. The length of visa validity, number of entries permitted, and application fee are based on reciprocity and generally reflect your country’s policies in granting visa privileges to visiting U.S. students. The Consular Officer has the final word on your application; their judgment is not subject to review.
  • U.S. Consulates require original documents with your application for an F-1 student visa. Consular standards for visa eligibility may be considerably more rigorous than the standards you must meet to qualify for the I-20 form. Review the information on the Consulate’s website so that you are adequately prepared.
  • Do not purchase your airline ticket until you have received your passport with your entry visa back from the Consulate and connected about your arrival to Bates with the Associate Dean and International Student Advisor James Reese: jreese@bates.edu.