Obtain an Initial I-20/DS-2019​

What is an I-20/DS-2019?

Form I-20/DS-2019 i​s a United States Department of Homeland Security document issued by colleges and universities that provides supporting information for the issuance of a student visa (F, J and M non-immigrant statuses). The form also includes a student tracking number through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

How to obtain an Initial I-20/DS2019  
All admitted international students must submit detailed financial statements before a Form I-20/DS-2019 can be processed. Admitted students for F-1 status must submit certified bank statements in English verifying they have sufficient funds available to finance their first year’s tuition and living expenses. For J-1 students, you must show financial support for the entire length of your program. Please see the information below to determine the minimum proof of funding you will need to provide.  

Because some embassy officials verify students’ financial documents, students should obtain original copies of all financial documents. 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 of your city is not included. 

**Note - Students admitted to the United States on student visas have working restrictions. Therefore, employment while in the U.S. can not be anticipated as a means of  financial support. It is very important that international students who wish to study at The Chicago School 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 

Submit the following documents electronically to your Campus DSO:​

  1. International Student Information Form​​​

  2. Financial docu​ments showing a total balance equal to or greater than the estimated expenses for your first year ​of study. Please review our Financial Requirements for F-1/J-1 Students​​​​​ and note the additional financial requirements for a spouse or child dependent.​​​​​

  3. Copy of passport (If applicable, your dependent's passport is also required)

    If you are going to transfer from another school in the U.S. to The Chicago School, please make sure​ that your SEVIS record is in Active status. Your DSO at the current school will be able to let you know. The Chicago School only accepts Active record.

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 considered, 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​

The following is a summary of account types IPS 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.

When should evidence of financial support be submitted? 
You may wish to submit your financial documentation with your application and other materials. If 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.  

How can I request an I-20/DS-2019 for my dependent?
If you wish to bring your spouse or child to live with you in the United States while you study, you must budget for additional living expenses, and provide proof of financial coverage in order for your campus DSO to issue you an I-20/DS-2019 for your dependent (F-2/J-2). Allow for an additional $5500 for spouse and $45​00 for child. These estimates do not include the insurance plan. A dependent can be a spouse or child under the age of 21.  

How do I defer my admission to a later semester?  
If you wish to defer your admission to a later semester, you must contact your Admissions Counselor. Informing your campus DSO of deferral does not officially defer your acceptance to TSCPP.​

How do I obtain an Initial I-20/DS-2019 if I am in a program that requires a low-residency in the United States?  

International students accepted to a program that requires a residency in the United States must confirm with their Global Enrollment Specialist in International Admissions if documentation to support an F-1 student visa to enter the United States to participate in the on-site sessions can be issued.  The structure of the program is low residency and nontraditional, which means important visa and immigration implications exist for international students who enroll in the​ program.  Please consult the The Chicago School Low-Residency​ Details for International Students.​

Contact Us

Office of Global Engagement
​(800) 595-6938​​, Option 6