top of page
Image by Leo_Visions




Apply to CITS and receive acceptance into a visa-eligible degree program.


Form I-20 is a government form that allows you to obtain a student visa (F-1) from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy and enter the U.S. as an F-1 student. It has been produced by Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and is an acknowledgement that your record is in the SEVIS system. The form includes your SEVIS ID number, which is the number in the upper corner above the bar code, (usually starts with an N).

To be eligible to receive a Form I-20, submit a complete I-20 Request no later than three months prior to the start date of your program (we recommend filling out the form using Adobe Reader). Upon proper completion of the application, CITS will send you an I-20 (please allow two weeks for processing) in the mail.

A complete I-20 Request will include the following:

  • Application Form

  • Copy of passport biographic page (applicant and all accompanying dependents)

  • Proof of Funds

  • Transfer Release Form (for F-1 students wishing to transfer to CITS from a SEVP approved school ONLY)

​Upon receiving your I-20, thoroughly review to make sure all of the information is correct. Sign the form at the bottom of page 1. If you have any questions, please contact us. 


The SEVIS fee ($350.00) is required of all foreign nationals who come to the United States for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study. The fee is paid one time for each continuous, uninterrupted period of F-1 or J-1 status. SEVIS fee payments will be used by the United States Department of Homeland Security to fund the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information system).​

You will need to pay the SEVIS fee if you have been issued an I-20 AND one of the following conditions applies:

  • You are seeking an F-1 or J-1 student visa from a United States Embassy or Consulate to begin a new program of study. In this case, the SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE visa issuance. 

  • You hold a valid F-1 or J-1 visa, but have been absent from the US for a period of more than 5 months (not working on your studies during this time with the prior approval of your school or returning from a leave of absence), and will re-enter the US with a new “Initial Attendance” or “Begin a new program” document. In this case, the SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE re- entry to the US. 

  •  As a citizen of Canada, or certain adjacent islands, you are exempt from the visa requirement and will apply for admission at a port of entry to begin your studies at a US school. In this case, the SEVIS fee must be paid BEFORE application for entry at the US border. 

  • You are a non-immigrant holding another status in the US, and you will apply for a change of status or reinstatement through the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). In this case, you will need to pay the fee before submitting the change of status application to the USCIS.

You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee if you are: 

  • Most current, continuing F-1 students including those transferring from another school in the US (unless the student has failed to maintain F-1 status) 

  • F-2 dependents (spouse and/or children) of the F-1 student 


Schedule a visa interview with the U.S. Consulate or embassy. Bring your I-20, passport, financial documents, CITS acceptance letter and SEVIS Fee payment receipt to the interview. Also be sure to check with your local embassy to verify whether they require any other documents for the visa interview.


When coming to the U.S. to begin a program at CITS for the first time, you may be asked to present the following documents at the Port of Entry:

  • Form I-20

  • Valid student visa and applicable dependent visa(s)

  • Valid passport for each member of your family traveling with you

  • Proof of Funds

** You must pay particular attention to the starting date noted on your I-20, as you must enter the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to this date. If you try to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before this starting date, you may not be permitted to enter the U.S. **

Upon being admitted to the U.S., Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will create an electronic I-94 admission record that will be available immediately only at We recommend that students print out a copy of the I-94, which will be necessary in the case of employment and to apply for benefits such as a Social Security Number (SSN) or driver's license. Arrange housing ahead of time.


Report to the Administration Office within 7 days of your arrival. To complete your check-in, please bring the following for yourself and any dependents:

  • Form I-20

  • Passport and U.S. Visa

  • U.S. Address

  • I-94 Admission Record

bottom of page