Admitting International Students

An I-20 is the document that a prospective international student needs to present at the United States embassy or consulate in the student’s country in order to obtain an F-1 student visa

The TCU International Services (IS) office prepares and issues I-20 documents with the approval of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to a student that has been admitted to an academic program and that fulfills all the immigration requirements for international students.

For staff members from academic departments that recruit international students to TCU the procedures that they must follow in order to complete the admission process and request an I-20 document from the ISS office can be overwhelming. This document intends to clarify and simplify this process.

It is the IS office policy not to make contact with a student while the admission process is taking place. The different admission offices on campus have different admission requirements and the ISS office may not be aware of the specific requirements to your program.

Besides the specific departmental academic requirements for admission to a graduate program, an international student must provide evidence of having sufficient funding to meet his/her tuition obligations and to live in basic comfort in order for the student to achieve academic success during his/her tenure at TCU. International students that are already studying in the US and desire to transfer to TCU must also provide proof of their immigration status.

The International Services office does not consider a prospective graduate student's file active (requiring us to issue an I-20) until we have in our office the following documents that MUST arrive to us in a single packet:

  1. I20 Request Form filled out by your department
  2. Copy of International Student and Scholar Form (filled out by student)
  3. Copy of TCU Application for Admission
  4. Copy of the student’s admission letter
  5. Copy of the student’s scholarship, assistantship or award letter(s) if any.
  6. Transfer verification form if student is presently studying in the United States.
  7. Student Financial Statement (completed and sign by student and sponsor if any)
  8. Copy of the sponsor's bank statements for the past 6 months specifying monthly averages sufficient to cover the student's total annual program cost, less scholarship, grants or awards if any, or original letter from bank in letterhead, specifying the sponsor's monthly average balance for the past 6 months specifying currency. These documents require an official English translation. If no currency is specified we will assume the amount shown is in the student's country currency and we will make the conversion to US dollars.
  9. Proof of the sponsor's employment and monthly salary. (requires English translation)

Note for self-sponsored students and students with assistantship or scholarship that cover the full tuition and ALL living expenses.

  1. Students receiving scholarships or assistantships that cover all the student’s expenses (tuition and living expenses) are not required to present further evidence of funding.
  2. Because international students are only allowed to work off-campus under very immigration specific and strict rules, students that claim to be self-sponsored MUST present evidence of funding in the bank for the total amount of the length of the program. (e.g. two years of funding for programs that require two years for completion)

It is the departments' responsibility to gather these documents and send them to us in a single packet. Once we receive ALL the above-mentioned documentation we will process the prospective student's file, at which point we will consider the student's I-20. This process can take two weeks. If approved, we will send an I-20 packet to the respective department to be mailed to the student, or if the department provides us with mailing codes, we will mail the packet directly to the student on the department's behalf. This packet will include: the original I-20 document, copies of the financial documentation, ISS office orientation letter, SEVIS fee letter, guidelines for visa applicants (including SEVIS information) and Report of Medical History form from the Health Center.

Please select and use the appropriate forms that can be printed and mail or e-mail them to the prospective students with instructions for them to print, fill out and return to you. Make sure you do not send them the I-20 request form, which should be sent to our office from your office upon completion of all of the above requirements. Students should NOT make direct requests for I-20s from our office. We will only process I-20s based on the forms submitted by TCU departments.

Financial Evidence Requirements for International Students

Besides signing the Financial Statement form, the sponsor needs to provide evidence of sufficient funding, in the form of an employment verification letter including annual or monthly salary and bank statements for the past 6 months. If the bank is willing, we will accept a letter from the bank reflecting the average amount in the account for the past 6 months in US dollars or stating that the account has an amount that at least covers the estimated annual expenses amount subtracting the University scholarships, assistantships or grants. If the sponsor is self-employed or has a business, bank statements from the business account and/or tax revenue forms will also be sufficient.

If the currency is not specified in the documents our office will always assume that the amount shown is in the prospective student’s country’s currency and will convert to American dollars. The letters from the bank and/or bank statements, as well as, any document that the student sends should be accompanied by an official English translation.

The I-20 process often requires additional requests for information about the students or their application. You may also be required to ask the student for additional information at any time in the process.

Program Costs by Department (For the detailed information sheet click here)

 

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