OIE understands that the issuance of an I-20 or DS-2019 is a time-sensitive process. We will work to issue documents as soon as possible. Please read the information below to avoid common delays. Questions from students about the timeline for this process should be directed to the program department.
Once the program department has initiated the I-20 or DS-2019 request with OIE, graduate students will receive emails from firstname.lastname@example.org providing details on how to upload their passport, confirm biographical information, and upload financial documents (if required).
A) Steps which need to be complete before a Graduate I-20 or DS-2019 request can be made:
1. Program Department internally reviews applicants and makes admission decision
2. 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.
3. Student gets routed to OIE and populated in iStart 2-3 business days after Graduate Studies enters the accepted 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.
B) Once student has been accepted and an iStart profile has been created: Program department initiates the Graduate I-20 or DS-2019
- Comprised of 4 e-forms in iStart
The student must wait for email notifications from email@example.com to provide Passport, financial documentation (if personal funds are needed) and other immigration data that is needed to issue the I-20 or DS-2019
1. PROGRAM INFORMATION E-FORM
- Department complete this e-form with the student’s program of study information.
2. GRADUATE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION E-FORM
- Department initiates this e-form and students receive a unique link via firstname.lastname@example.org to upload a PDF of their passport 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.
- OIE does not require a transfer form or document. For more information on the transfer process, click here.
- Include your transfer date on this e-form to reduce delay of your I-20/DS-2019 processing
- Current J visa holders: Make a Change of Status appointment with an Georgia Tech International Student Adviser to discuss appropriate visa, travel options, and documentation by calling (404) 894-7475.
Dependents: If you have dependents that need a visa, this form will collect that information and you will be required to provide additional proof of funding for each dependent
- $500 per month for a spouse
- $300 per month for each child)
3. FINANCIAL INFORMATION E-FORM
TO AVOID DELAY students should review financial documentation requirements found on OIE's Financial Document Requirements website.
If the student is fully funded with a GRA/GTA the department will complete this whole section by uploading their award letter in iStart
- “fully funded” means the department covers all tuition, some institutional fees, and living expenses. See the Bursars Office website for details.
If the student is partially funded with a GRA/GTA/GA or self-funded, the department will initiate the financial e-form and then email the student a unique link and pin number which the student will use to upload financial documentation
- Departments offering GRA/GTA/GA that cover only a portion of tuition, fees, and living expenses and student will be required to show additional funding
“Student funded: Personal funds are needed”
- Students will need to show they have funds which will support them financially throughout at least the first academic year.
- **Bank accounts not in the students’ name need to be accompanied by a sponsor letter***
- “Partially funded”
- SPONSOR LETTER: Students who submit their sponsor's financial documents without a sponsor letter will have the I-20 reuest denied and the I-20/DS-2019 process will be delayed.
- A template Sponsor letter can be found here.
- If Bank accounts are all in the student’s name a sponsor letter is not required
4. FINAL DEPARTMENTAL E-FORM
- This e-form is submitted by the department. If the request is complete and accurate, this is the last step
Once this e-form is submitted, OIE will review and process the graduate I-20/DS-2019 request.
- Students and departments will be contacted by OIE if additional documents are required
- Please allow 5 business days during nonpeak times and 7-9 business days during peak periods (May-July)
C) I-20/DS-2019 is issued once all documents provided are complete and accurate
1. Students and Program Departments will get an email the moment the I-20/DS-2019 is printed and ready for the department to pick up and ship out to the student
- Program Departments will use the address listed by the student on their graduate application to ship the I-20/DS-2019. Students can review this address by logging in to buzzport.gatech.edu and going into Oscar.