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What’s an I-20?
An I-20 is the name of an immigration document required to apply for an F-1 visa. The I-20 is issued by an individual school in the U.S., and includes a summary of all relevant information for the school and student, including the dates you are anticipated to be enrolled in the degree program at that school and how you will cover the costs of your education in the U.S.
While an I-20 includes three pages, the first page has the information that is relevant for new students. A sample I-20 can be found here: Sample I-20
ISSS will work with all admitted Graduate and Undergraduate international students on all matters related to the I-20. Students outside the U.S. will receive a new I-20, and students already in the U.S. will work with ISSS to transfer their existing I-20 to UMBC.
Financial Requirements and Documents for I-20 Processing
To make an I-20 for you, ISSS must verify that you have been admitted, that your personal information is correct, and that you have adequate funding to cover the costs of your education in the U.S.
We will need:
- a copy of the bio (picture) page of your valid passport
- financial documentation (see below)
- a letter of financial support (if financially supported by another person)
Fall 2023 Financial Requirements
The following student expenses are approximate and may vary depending on a variety of factors; they do not reflect other potential expenses, such as cost of books and materials, computers, and general cost of living.
You must provide proof of available funding for at least the amount listed next to TOTAL for your degree level.
|Full-Time Tuition and Mandatory Fees**||$30,322*||$25,120|
|Living Expenses (lowest estimate)||$13,669||$13,669|
|TOTAL (per year)||$46,990||$41,788|
|Additional Dependent Expenses*** (for each spouse or child, if applicable)||$5,225||$5,225|
*The majority of first-year undergraduate international applicants whose applications are complete by February 1 receive a merit-based scholarship between $5,000 and $12,000 USD.
**All students are responsible for paying fees. This includes graduate students who have been awarded an assistantship. For more information here.
***Dependent expenses reflect the cost of health insurance, food, additional rent for a larger space, and general cost of living expenses.
Please note: Shady Grove campus programs and the Graduate programs in Management of Aging Services follow separate fee structures. More information here.
Acceptable sources of funding include:
Checking and savings account bank statements with a current balance, approved loan documents, scholarships and Graduate Assistantship (GA) awards. Please note: documents cannot be more than 6 months old.
- If you have been offered a GA, please upload the offer letter or contract received from the UMBC academic department showing: amount of funding offered and dates of the GA contract as your financial documentation.
- If you have been offered a merit scholarship by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships, please upload the offer letter along with your other financial documentation.
Financial Support Letter: If the source of these funds belongs to anyone other than you, a signed Financial Support Letter must accompany the bank documents. The letter must include: the name of the sponsor, the sponsor’s relationship to you and a statement attesting that they expect to support all your expenses for the duration of your program (see Financial Support Letter Template).
You will also need to provide this financial documentation at your visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy.
Unacceptable sources include:
Real estate holdings, stocks, bonds, investments, salary verification letters, retirement funds, property, life insurance policies and unapproved loan documents. These are not accepted because they are not readily available to you, or because the value can change.
Requesting an I-20 in the ISSS Portal
Once admitted, you will receive an email from our office directing you to complete a New Student Request application. To do so please:
- Create and activate your myUMBC Account – please allow a minimum of 24 hours after account creation to log in to the ISSS Portal
- Log in to the ISSS Portal Homepage using your myUMBC username and password*
- Click the “Search Forms” button
- On the forms page, select “New F-1 Student Request”
- Select your term and click “Create” Your term is listed in your UMBC admission letter
- Fall = August Start Date
- Spring = January Start Date
- Summer = June or July Start Date
- Review the “Instructions” section for required documents to submit
- Upload required documents in the “Attached Documents” section
** If you are receiving any kind of scholarship or Graduate Assistantship, be sure to upload a copy in this section to be included on your I-20 financial information!
- Complete the “Dependent Request” and “Student: Immigration Information” forms in the “Questionnaires” section.
- Transfer students ONLY: If you are already in the U.S. on an F-1 Visa, complete the “Recommendations” section
- Click the “Submit” button at the top of the page. Your application status will change from “Pending” to “Submitted – Under Review” if submitted correctly.
- Once you have submitted an application please allow 5-7 business days for review. At that time, you will receive an email with your signed I-20 and instructions on next steps
For step by step screenshots of the process, click here: I-20 Request Tutorial
Activate your myUMBC Account:
You cannot use the ISSS Portal to request an I-20 until 24 hours after you have fully activated your myUMBC account. Instructions on activating your account are below:
– Visit UMBC WebAdmin
– Click “Create My Account” — you will need your date of birth and UMBC Campus ID (format: AB12345)
Note on Health Insurance
F-1 students at UMBC are required to be enrolled in a US Health Insurance plan. All F-1 UMBC students are automatically enrolled in UMBC’s Health Insurance plan upon registration each semester. Please plan for these expenses as noted in the information above. For more information on UMBC’s Health Insurance plan, and the requirements to try to waive this plan and use another US plan, please review the information here.