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Admitted Students

International Students

Immigration Process

How to Obtain Your I-20 Documents

In order to obtain a Form I-20 from Concordia University Irvine, the student must first be admitted into the university. After you are admitted, you will need an immigration document (I-20) to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country

Here are the steps you need to follow to receive an I-20 from Concordia University Irvine:

Step 1: Submit Your Deposit

After you are admitted to Concordia University, you must submit your deposit

Step 2: Submit the I-20 Request Form (NEW/Admitted Student) and Supporting Financial Proof to Your Immigration Specialist

Financial Documents For F-1 (Student) Visa: If you intend to apply for an F-1 (student) visa, you will be required by a U.S. consular officer to present a Form I-20 and supporting financial documents to demonstrate your ability to meet financial obligations for the first year of your academic program.

All students are required to demonstrate financial ability to pay for at least one year of tuition, fees, and living expenses before Concordia University can issue an immigration document (I-20).

Please submit the below documents to [email protected]

  1. An Affidavit of Financial Document Form
  2. Current Official Bank Statement (less than 6 months old)
  3. Please, check the Affidavit of Financial Document form for the estimated costs per program of study

Note: The financial documents cannot be older than six months at the time of submission to Concordia University Irvine in order to be considered valid. Financial support may be from your own resources or from a sponsor. If your sponsor is a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident, the affidavit of support (PDF) must be completed and submitted with your application. These supporting financial documents will also be required at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate when you apply for your visa.

Acceptable evidence of financial support:

  • Official Bank statements
  • Letter on Bank letterhead with required signature/stamp
  • Scholarship letters
  • Lines of credit Governmental funding

Unacceptable financial documents:

  • Chartered accountant statements
  • Payroll reports/expected income
  • Tax statements and W-2’s
  • Property assessments
  • Credit cards
  • Bank statements lacking currency amounts
  • Other statements of non-liquid assets

If you are transferring to Concordia University from another U.S. institution, please also provide the following additional items:

For questions on the Immigration process, please contact [email protected] or (949) 214-3468.

Step 3: Receiving Your Form I-20

Once the Step 1 and Step 2 are completed, an electronic I-20 will be sent to your Eagles email account* shortly**. Please check your CUI Eagles email account and print your I-20 for your reference.

Make sure to print an electronic Form I-20 and carry it with you when you apply for an F1 visa as well as when you travel to the US.

*If you have trouble logging in to your eagles email account, please contact IT directly at [email protected].

**Any issues that arise during the review process may delay the issuance of your immigration documents. If issues do arise during the review process, Moon International Center will contact you through the email you provided at the time of your application to Concordia University.

Step 4: Pay the SEVIS Fee

Before applying for an F-1 visa, all first time F-1 visa applicants (as well as some others) are required to pay the SEVIS FEE in addition to the visa application fee. For more information, please click here: SEVIS Fee for F1 Students.

Step 5: Apply for a Visa

After you receive your immigration documents, you will need to apply at the US Embassy or Consulate in your country for your F-1 visa.

Special Notes: F1 students who attended another U.S. school before coming to CUI, you MUST request your previous school to transfer your SEVIS record to CUI. You do not need to apply for a new visa if not traveling abroad during the transition, or if your current F1 visa in your passport is still valid upon returning from travel abroad.

Canadian citizens: Canadian citizens are NOT required to obtain a U.S. visa to enter the United States. However, when you come to attend school, you must present the following documents for inspection either at a pre-inspection site in Canada or upon entry to the United States:

  • Canadian passport
  • Admission letter to Concordia University
  • Original I-20
  • SEVIS Fee Payment Receipt
  • Financial documentation upon inspection.

Step 6: Enter the US

Entering the United States / Arrival Information

Enter the U.S. within 30 days before the program starting date on I-20
DO NOT attempt to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the program starting date on your I-20! Although you may apply for an F-1 visa up to 120 days prior to the I-20 start date, F-1 visa holders are NOT permitted to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the start date on your I-20. Also, entry to the U.S. after the first day of classes requires permission from University officials and may require the issuance of a new I-20 form.

Enter U.S. on an F1 visa only
DO NOT enter the United States on a B-1/B-2 visitor visa or F-2 dependent visa even if you have one in your passport. You will not be allowed to attend school on a B-1/B-2 or F-2 visa in the U.S. U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) would deny your application to change status from B-1/B-2 to F1 if you have evidence of intending to go school prior to your arrival, such as having applied for school or having requested a Form I-20.

Use CUI I-20 when entering the U.S.
DO NOT enter the United States with an I-20 issued by another school! If it is the first time you have attended school in the U.S., your F1 visa stamp should bear the CUI name. If you have already obtained a visa with another school's name listed on it, please contact [email protected] or by phone at (949) 214-3471.

Procedures at the Port of Entry

Upon arrival to the U.S., a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer will review your immigration documents; I-20, valid passport, and F1 or J1 visa. The International Center highly recommends you also hand carry financial documents, admission letter, and I-901 receipt of the SEVIS fee.

Documents Needed at the Port of Entry

    1. I-20
    2. Valid Passport
    3. Financial documents (Proof of sufficient funds to pay for tuition and fees)
    4. Admissions Letter from Concordia University Irvine
    5. I-901 receipt of SEVIS fee
    6. Proof of ties to Canada-Canadian citizens only

Traveling without all immigration documents needed to enter the U.S. might be sufficient reason to be denied entry. Entry to the U.S. is up to the discretion of the immigration officer at the P.O.E.

I-20 Request Form

Important Note: An electric I-20 will be sent to your CUI Eagles email account after receiving all the required documents. The original paper copy of the form will not be mailed, instead, an electronic copy of your form I-20 will be sent to your Eagles email account. Please print and sign the electric I-20 when you receive it. Carry it with you when you travel to the US. ( If you have trouble to login to your CUI Eagles email account, please contact [email protected] directly for an assistance.)

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