How to Request an Initial I-20 or DS-2019
In compliance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, University of Illinois at Chicago requires all admitted international students to submit detailed financial statements before a Form I-20/DS-2019 can be processed. These statements should include the amounts and sources of funds available for educational expenses in the United States.
Admitted students must submit certified bank statements in English verifying that they have sufficient funds available to finance their first year’s tuition and living expenses. Financial assistance awards may be deducted from the amount to be certified. Students planning to enroll in summer courses are advised to budget an additional amount of money to cover their summer tuition expenses.
Because some embassy officials verify students’ financial documents, students should obtain two original copies (with original signatures) of all financial documents. One copy can be sent to the University, while the student retains the other copy for obtaining the visa.
The cost estimate for living expenses covers only minimal essential expenditures. Expenses for clothing, recreation, and incidentals are variable, and the cost of travel outside Chicago is not included. Since students admitted to the United States on student visas are not permitted to work off-campus during the first academic year (thereafter only under limited circumstances), employment should not be considered as a means of support.
It is very important that international students who wish to study at the University of Illinois at Chicago come prepared to financially support the cost of their education during the entire time that they expect to remain in the United States.
Obtaining an Initial I-20/DS-2019
Applicants must submit the following:
- The UIC Declaration and Certification of Finances Form. It must be signed by both the student and the sponsor. The UIC Declaration and Certification of Finance form must ALWAYS be submitted for students who will be requesting an I-20 or DS-2019 Form. Other affidavits of support may be submitted in addition to the UIC Declaration, but will not be accepted in its place.
- A bank statement that is valid no later than six months upon receipt, an original bank statement or letter signed and/or stamped by a bank official. To determine the amount you must show, see Estimated Expenses. Listed below are the types of accounts OIS will accept.
- If available, include a copy of the biographical information page in your passport.
The following is a summary of account types we DO accept:All summary of account statements must be valid no later than six months upon receipt, and must be signed and/or stamped by bank official
- Certificates of Deposit
- Checking Accounts
- Education Loans: it must be evident that the person is pre-approved or approved for the loan
- Fixed Deposits, Fixed Term Certificate of Deposits, Bonds, Time Deposits and Term Deposits: the maturity date or value date must be clearly listed and be before the first day of the semester.
- Provident Funds: the amount available for withdrawal must be stated in the letter
- Savings Accounts: all forms of savings accounts will be accepted, including demand deposit, current accounts and money market.
- Scholarship Award Letters: must clearly state what the scholarship includes, such as tuition, fees, and books. If the scholarship includes a stipend, it must state the dollar amount per month.
Please click on the following links to view sample financial documents to assist you in proper documentation to our office.
The following is a summary of account types we DO NOT accept:
- Business Accounts
- Chartered Accounts: are statements from accountants
- Demat Accounts: are used for the trade of stocks, securities, and debentures.
- Foreign Exchange
- Insurance Policies
- Retirement Funds
- Salary Statements
- Solvency Certificate: is a summary of all assets including bank accounts, CD deposits, bonds, property, salary, etc.
- Stock Market Funds, including mutual funds, equity funds/accounts, and yield funds.
Submit documents to:
Office of International Services (MC 326)
University of Illinois at Chicago
Suite 2160 Student Services Building
1200 West Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607-7164
Department Awards and Financial Assistance
Teaching Assistantships and Fellowships are awarded through your academic department. If you have received a departmental award that covers the full amount of tuition, fees, and living expenses, then you may be exempt from submitting separate evidence. You must still provide a Certification and Declaration of Finance form to firstname.lastname@example.org . Evidence from personal funds will be required of all students who have not received departmental support or whose award is insufficient.
UIC does not require students to submit evidence of financial support at the time of application. If you have received a letter recommending you for admission from your department or an official notification asking for financial documents from OIS, you will need to provide a bank statement and a signed UIC Declaration and Certification of Finances form.
Here are the recommended time frames for submitting financial documents by semester:
Fall – February 15 to May 1
Spring – July 15 to October 1
Summer – December 15 to March 1
You may wish to submit your financial documentation with your application and other materials. If you do so, your documents will be reviewed after you are approved for admission. Your financial documents may no longer be valid at the time of this review. Financial papers are time sensitive items. The Office of International Services will not be able to use the documents if more than 6 months old from the time of review.
A spouse or unmarried, minor child (under age 21) is eligible for a dependent visa (F-2 or J-2). Extended family members such as parents and siblings are not eligible for a dependent visa.
To request an I-20/DS-2019 for your dependent:
- Fill out the Certification and Declaration of Finance form, indicating your dependent’s information on page 1.
- Submit financial documents that demonstrate you have funding to support your dependents in addition to your program of study. For one dependent, you must show $4500 for one academic year. For each additional dependent, you must show $3285.
If you have any questions, please email OIS at email@example.com.
OIS will prepare the form I-20/DS-2019 in the order we receive a completed request. Allow up to three weeks for processing and an additional four to six weeks for delivery. OIS will send your I-20/DS-2019 by the U.S. postal service. Therefore, no tracking number is available. If you would like to arrange express mail service, please email OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org, include your name and UIN in the email. We will contact you with instructions once your I-20/DS-2019 is ready. A completed request consists of the following:
- A letter from the Office of Admissions formally admitting you to the university. Please keep in mind that the OIS may not receive this letter at the exact time that you receive this letter; so if you have been notified of admission, OIS must still wait for an official copy from the Office of Admissions.
- A complete UIC Declaration and Certification of Finances Form and acceptable financial documents.
You can check the status of your I-20/DS-2019 through the Office of Admission website unless you are applying to the following programs:
If you are applying to any of the preceding programs, please email OIS at email@example.com if you have inquiries about the status of your I-20/DS-2019.
For all other programs, you can check your status of your I-20/DS-2019 through the Office of Admission website. We will record the day we receive your financial documents. If you are missing any documents, we will record this as well. From the day you are admitted and we have complete financial documentation, allow 3 weeks for processing and another 4-6 weeks for delivery. If you would like to arrange express mail service, please email OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org, include your name and UIN in the email. We will contact you with instructions once your I-20/DS-2019 is ready.
Students may decide to defer their admission to the University of Illinois at Chicago for many reasons, such as a delay in obtaining a visa or personal reasons. If you would like to defer your admission to a later semester, you must contact your academic department. Your academic department will inform you of the proper procedures to defer your admission. Please review registration requirements before deferring admission to a subsequent semester:
Please contact the Office of International Services (OIS) at email@example.com to inform us of your plans for deferral. If your deferral is approved by the Office of Admissions, OIS will review your financial documents. If your financial documents were issued within the last 6 months, OIS will amend your immigration record and start dates on your I-20/DS-2019 and mail you a new I-20/DS-2019. If your financial documents are more than 6 months old, OIS will request updated financial documents before issuing the I-20/DS-2019. If you are funded through your department, OIS will request an updated letter from your department.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about deferring your admission.