Cal Poly


I-20 (for F-1 visa holders)

This is the most commonly used immigration admission document issued by Cal Poly. Once you are admitted to Cal Poly by Admissions, complete the I-20 Request and Financial Certification Form to the Cal Poly International Center. This form is found on the Requesting an I-20 page. The I-20 is submitted to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country with evidence of financial support. This allows you to receive a Visa stamp in your passport. Once you arrive in the United States, you will present your I-20 to the U.S. Customs/Immigration official. The official will endorse page 1 and return it to you. If you plan to travel outside of the U. S. and re-enter, the School Official endorsement date on page 3 must not be older than six (6) months. Please keep your I-20 throughout your stay in the United States and take it with you for re-entry into the U.S.

DS-2019 (for J-1 visa holders)

This is an immigration admission document for exchange students issued by Cal Poly. See instructions on how to apply for a Cal Poly International Exchange Program or CSU International Programs Exchange. The DS-2019 is submitted in your home country to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The DS-2019 allows you to obtain a J-1 student visa. Submit a DS-2019 as well as evidence of financial support for your stay in the United States to the US Consulate or Embassy. Upon arrival in the U.S., the DS-2019 should be presented to the U.S. custom officer. If you plan to travel outside of the U. S. and re-enter, the Responsible Officer endorsement date in the lower right hand box must not be older than one year. Please keep the DS-2019 throughout your entire stay in the United States and take it with you for re-entry into the U.S.


While in the U.S. and while traveling, carry a passport that is valid for at least six months into the future.


The visa, a border crossing permit, is obtained outside the U.S. and is required to enter into the U.S. and is stamped in your passport. It is for single or multiple entries into the United States. The expiration date is indicated on the visa and is the date by which you must enter the U.S. However, you are allowed to remain in the U.S. (even if the visa stamp has expired) as long as you maintain legal status and your I-94 is valid. If your I-94 has “D/S,” Duration of Status written on it, you will be allowed to stay in the U.S. as long as you maintain full-time student status, until the completion of your studies, or until the expiration date on your I-20. See the Applying for a Visa page.


Effective April 26, 2013, DHS began automating the admission process. You are no longer required to be in possession of a printed I-94. 

The I-94 record of admission printed from the CBP website constitutes a lawful record of admission. See 8 CFR § 1.4(d).

If an employer, local, state agency such as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or a federal agency such as the Social Security Administration (SSA) requests admission information, present your printed I-94 along with any additional required documents requested by that employer or agency. You may retrieve your I-94 online.

If the I-94 is marked with a “D/S,” Duration of Status, you may remain in the U.S. as long as you maintain legal student status and the I-20 or DS-2019 has not expired.

Form I-901

This is the form to fill out to pay the SEVIS Fee. It can be paid online prior to applying for your visa. Accompanying spouses and dependents do not have to pay the fee. See Applying for a Visa to find out how to pay the fee.

Form I-797

This is the receipt you will be sent to show proof of payment for the SEVIS Fee. You must have proof of payment with you at your visa interview and at the port of entry when you arrive in the United States.

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