Berkeley Steps

What is a Form I-20

A Form I-20 is the certificate of eligibility issued by a Designated School Official (DSO) at the school where you wish to enroll. It shows that you have been admitted to an F-1 approved school and provides information about your program and dates of study.


Do I need an I-20?

You will need an I-20 from UC Berkeley if you plan to be enrolled full-time through Berkeley Summer Sessions and if during the semester prior to the summer you are ANY of the following:

  • Outside the United States;
  • Attending another U.S. school as an F-1 or J-1 student, and you do not plan to resume your studies at that school or another U.S. school after Summer Sessions. (See our transfer page for more information);
  • In the United States in a nonimmigrant status (e.g., J-1, F-2) and you want to change to F-1. (Contact immediately for instructions. This process will require travel outside the United States and re-entry with an appropriate visa.)

You will not need an I-20 from UC Berkeley if you are ANY of the following:

  • Attending another U.S. school in F-1 or J-1 status and you plan to resume your studies at that school immediately after Summer Sessions. Your I-20/DS-2019 must have an end date after the end of Summer Sessions (August). If so, you are allowed to take classes part-time or full-time at UC Berkeley during Summer Sessions only;
  • In the United States in a nonimmigrant status other than F-1 or J-1 and that status allows you to be a full-time or part-time student;
  • A continuing F-1 or J-1 UC Berkeley degree-seeking student who was enrolled in the spring semester prior to Summer Sessions. You should already have an I-20 or DS-2019; check the expiration date to make sure it will remain valid for the summer. If you have any questions, please contact the Berkeley International Office (BIO).
  • UCEAP Spring semester students who want to extend their studies into summer. Please contact the Berkeley International Office (BIO) for instructions on extending your DS-2019 end date.

Required documents to obtain an I-20


After you have completed your Summer Sessions application and full-time enrollment, you will need to obtain your I-20. A few days after you set up your CalNet and CalCentral account, you will get an invitation by email to apply for your I-20 through our ISS Portal. You will see a task in CalCentral that indicates that you should apply for your Form I-20 via the ISS Portal. Be prepared to upload the following required documents to your ISS Portal:

  • Financial documents, such as a bank statement or bank letter, showing proof of funds in the amount of $6,750 USD to support your stay in the United States Additional funding for F-2 dependents if also needed ($2,550 USD for a spouse; $2,250 USD for each child)
  • The signed Statement of Financial Responsibility
  • Passport photo and biographic page showing your full name and date of birth
  • All documents must be legible. If a document is deemed illegible or corrupted, you will be asked to upload it again. Insufficient documentation or enrollment that is less than full-time will lead to delays in the issuance of your I-20.

Once you have uploaded all required documents to the ISS Portal, we will review your documents. Your I-20 will be issued within 15 business days (3 weeks) of receiving your complete submission.

Please also review our Summer Visiting International Student Tutorials to prepare for your arrival.