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Obtaining an Initial I-20/DS-2019

Upon admission, the Office of International Services (OIS) will request the submission of the required OIS Documents in order to prepare the proper immigration document (I-20/DS-2019). Submission can be done by logging into your application summary page and following the instructions for uploading documents. As part of your OIS Documents, international students must 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.

NOTE: Students are not required to submit the OIS Documents until they have been admitted to UIC. However, submission prior to admission will help expedite the processing of the I-20 or DS-2019 and students are welcome to do so at any time after submitting their application.

For the most up-to-date information regarding your admission, please check your Undergraduate or Graduate application status online.

Submitting the OIS Documents for your Initial I-20 or DS-2019

All international students who will be sponsored by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), including those students who will transfer their immigration record to UIC, must submit a completed UIC Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF), financial documentation, and a copy of the biographical page in your passport in order for you to obtain the I-20 or DS-2019 necessary to obtain your student visa. These documents are collectively known as “OIS Documents” on your application checklist. To fulfill your "OIS Documents" requirement, please submit the documents by logging into your Undergraduate or Graduate Application Summary Page:

  1. Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF)
    • Complete this document in full, including your signature and the names and signatures of your financial sponsors (if any).
    • The UIC Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF) is a required document and cannot be substituted by other affidavits of support.
  2. Evidence of Funding
    • Submit a financial statement (or combination of statements) showing a total balance equal to or greater than the estimated expenses for your first year of study at UIC.
  3. Copy of passport
    • Photocopy your passport's biographical page showing your name and personal information.

Which account types are acceptable for the I-20/DS-2019 request?

Financial statements must be signed or stamped by a bank official, and show a current balance. Students may be contacted to submit additional proof of authentication, if needed. Statements should not be issued more than six months from the date of request. Documents must be in English, or include a certified English translation.

The following is a summary of acceptable sources of funding:

  • Certificates of Deposit, Fixed Deposits, Fixed Term Certificate of Deposits, Time Deposits and Term Deposits.
  • Checking Accounts.
  • Education Loans: it must be evident that the person is pre-approved or approved for the loan.
  • Bonds: 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: an official letter from the sponsoring agency must clearly state the terms of the scholarship, such as tuition, fees, and books and living expenses provided. If the scholarship includes a stipend, it must state the dollar amount per month.
  • University Funding: students admitted to programs that provide University funding in the form of assistantships, fellowships, tuition waivers or other forms of scholarship may wish to delay submission until an official letter of appointment or offer has been issued by the academic department. If the funding provided by your academic department does not cover the total expense listed in the estimated expenses, you will need to submit evidence of personal funds to cover the difference between your award and the full amount required. If funding from your academic department is not guaranteed, and you intend to attend the University even without funding, it may be best to submit the documents as soon as possible to avoid delays with obtaining your visa. This will not affect any funding decisions from your academic program.

Please click on the following links to view sample financial documents to assist you in submitting proper documentation to our office.

The following is a summary of account types OIS does 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, DE deposits, bonds, property, salary, etc.
  • Stock Market Funds, including mutual funds, equity funds/accounts, and yield funds.

How long does it take to process my I-20/DS-2019?

Once the Office of International Services receives your complete I-20/DS-2019 request and your admission has been confirmed, please allow up to 5 business days for processing. When your I-20/DS-2019 is ready you will receive an email from OIS outlining your shipping options for your immigration document.

Options include:

  • Regular Post - 4 to 6 weeks for delivery, no package tracking number, free of charge.
  • Express Shipping - 5 to 10 days for delivery, package tracking number, charges apply.

How can I check the status of my I-20 or DS-2019?

Upon admission, you can check if your I-20 or DS-2019 has been mailed to you by logging into: your Undergraduate or Graduate Application Summary Page.

If you have questions about the information in your student portal, please email

Obtaining your F-1 or J-1 Visa Stamp

Once you have received your I-20/DS-2019 from UIC you can take the next step which is to apply for an F-1/J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For an outline of this process, please visit our Travel & Visas page.

How can I request an I-20/DS-2019 for my dependent?

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 Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF) 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 $6,300 for one academic year. For each additional dependent, you must show $4,500.
  • Passport copy of each dependent.

What if I intend to study at UIC on a visa type other than F-1 or J-1?

If you already hold valid visa status other than F-1/J-1 that allows for study in the U.S., and wish to remain in that status while studying at UIC, please upload the following to your Undergraduate or Graduate Application Summary Page:

  1. Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF)
    • Complete page one and student signature on page two.
  2. Copy of passport
    • Photocopy your passport’s biographical page showing your name and personal information.
  3. Evidence of current visa status
    • Photocopy of your current visa stamp or I-797 Change of Status Approval Notice.

Upon receipt of your OIS Documents, OIS will update your Application Summary Page accordingly. International students holding visas other than F-1/J-1 are still required to complete the Immigration Check-in process with OIS and are strongly encouraged to attend New International Student Orientation.

How do I defer my admission to a later semester?

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 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 if you have any questions about deferring your admission.