Yes. U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that they will allow the electronic issuance and signing of I-20 Forms for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. Both the U.S. Department of State, which oversees U.S. Embassies/Consulates, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which oversees admission of non-immigrants to the U.S. at ports of entry, have also confirmed that they will accept electronic I-20s and signatures for visa processing and entry to the U.S. for the same duration. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who oversees processing of benefits petitions, such as OPT, STEM OPT Extension, Change of Status, etc., has also announced flexibility in their ‘wet signature’ requirement. It is not clear if state and federal agencies such as Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Social Security Administration will accept electronically issued I-20s.
The Dashew Center will provide the option of electronically issued I-20 Forms for the following requests:
Change of major/name/citizenship
Change of funding
Change of education level
Return from leave of absence
STEM OPT Extension
Newly admitted I-20 (initial attendance and transfer)
Students who are issued electronic I-20s may only download, print, and sign the student attestation section. Tampering with the Form I-20 is a federal crime (18 U.S. Code § 1546. Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents).
Students can continue to request paper-format I-20s from the Dashew Center for the reasons listed above, but must submit a completed F-1 Document Shipping Request Form with their request and are responsible to cover I-20 shipping fees.
As global conditions evolve, U.S. Embassies and Consulates are beginning a phased resumption of routine visa services. The resumption of routine visa services will occur on a post-by-post basis. See the U.S. Department of State's website for more information.
UCLA will continue offering remote-only instruction with the exception of a limited number of in-person or hybrid courses necessary to train students for essential workforce positions.
An in-person class is when course instruction is delivered in-person, with students and instructors physically present in a learning environment. The meeting location is displayed as a building and room in the UCLA Schedule of Classes.
To count toward the in-person enrollment requirement for F-1 status requirements, all class sessions for the course must be delivered in-person. If a class changes from in-person instruction to remote instruction before the start of the term, enrollment in that class will not fulfill the in-person course enrollment requirement to maintain valid F-1 status in the U.S.
No, UCLA F-1 students must enroll in an approved, in-person course at UCLA to fulfill the in-person course enrollment requirement to maintain valid F-1 status in the U.S.
No. Incoming F-1 students with initial attendance SEVIS records will not be able to enter the U.S. and maintain their F-1 status with an entirely online class load.
To maintain valid F-1 status, F-1 students with initial attendance SEVIS records are required to enroll in a minimum of one in-person class. To see a list of official approved in-person classes, please see this list of approved spring on-site classes from the Registrar's Office.
You must contact your UCLA academic department to find out if they can provide you with a letter verifying your in-person course enrollment, as the Dashew Center is unable to verify such information.
Yes, students can take online classes from abroad without having F-1 status. Students will establish F-1 status once they enter the U.S. in valid F-1 status.
Undergraduate students, please contact UCLA Undergraduate Admissions for more information. Graduate students, please contact your academic department for more information.
Please contact the Dashew Center at UCLAi20@saonet.ucla.edu if you are unable to enter U.S. due to enrollment in only online courses, COVID-19 travel restrictions, delays in F-1 visa issuance, and/or flight cancellations. If you have signed a housing contract for spring quarter, please contact Housing directly.
Students should first check with their academic departments to find out if a late arrival will affect their in-person course enrollment.
Please contact the Dashew Center to see if you will be eligible for a late arrival to the U.S. To request an updated I-20 with late arrival date, please email UCLAi20@saonet.ucla.edu with the following information:
Please allow us 15 business days from date of submission to issue the updated I-20.
Currently, F-1 students become eligible for CPT and OPT after completing one full academic year in valid, active F-1 status. The one year requirement for CPT is waived for academic programs that have practical training as a required part of their established degree curriculum. For a complete list of programs that have practical training requirements, please see our CPT Guidelines. In order to establish F-1 status for spring 2021 you must enter the U.S. in F-1 status by your I-20 start date. Please note: It is not possible for students to establish their F-1 status from abroad.
Our current processing time is 15 business days from the submission date. While there is no strict deadline for submitting your I-20 request, keep in mind that you will need your I-20 to schedule an F-1 visa interview (Canadian citizens exempt) and enter the U.S. before your I-20 start date.
This means that your submitted documents are sufficient and your I-20 request is being processed.
If there is no update on your request after 15 business days from your date of submission, email UCLAi20@saonet.ucla.edu the following information:
Students can provide one or multiple sources of funding. Acceptable documents for proof of funding are:
Family/personal bank statement (must be no older than 6 months from the issuance date, and in the form of liquid funds, such as a checking or savings account)
Loans for education purposes and/or
If you are submitting a bank statement in a foreign currency, you must provide the converted funding amount in U.S. dollars on the Confidential Financial Statement. Students are only required to provide proof of funding for one academic year when requesting an I-20.
We will email you an electronic I-20 once your request has been processed. Graduate students who are in self-supporting programs (MBA, MSBA, MAE, MFE, LLM, MS AUD, MAS, and MSS) will obtain their I-20 from their department.
This is a fluid situation and other countries could be added to the list of travel restrictions as more COVID-19 cases are detected.