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Applying for the I-20 and F-1 Student Visa

Students who plan to attend Montclair State University on an F-1 visa must provide the necessary financial documentation as soon as possible so we can issue the appropriate immigration forms for them.

For fall 2024 students looking to apply for the form I-20, the application process will open in mid-March. You will receive an email with instructions once the I-20 application becomes available.

Important Documents:
Application for I-20 and Affidavit of Support
– the link to the new application will be added in mid-March, please check back then
Affidavit of Free Room and Board – only for students who will be living for free off campus with a family member/friend

For any questions pertaining to the I-20 application process, please contact I-20@montclair.edu.

 

Deadline for I-20 Application Submission

Students outside the U.S. should submit the I-20 application and financial documentation as soon as possible. The deadline for submission of the application and all supporting documents is:

Fall semester: June 15
Spring semester: November 15

Note: SEVIS transfer students inside the U.S. may submit this documentation later than the published deadlines.

Next Steps

Required Documents and Where to Submit Them

You must complete and submit the ENTIRE Application for Form I-20 and the Affidavit of Support. We cannot issue any official documents until we have received the entire signed I-20 application and affidavit. The affidavit must be signed by BOTH the sponsor and the student.

  • DO NOT HANDWRITE – Only the signatures can be handwritten (note: an electronic signature can be used in lieu of a “wet” signature). All other fields must be typed. 
  • Access your Undergraduate Student Admissions Portal or Graduate Student Admissions Portal and upload documents to the corresponding checklist items: 
    • Passport: Upload a copy of the face-page of your passport. 
    • Visa: If you already have a valid visa (F-1 or otherwise) please upload a copy of it with your passport to the portal.
    • Application for I-20 and Affidavit of Support: Download the fillable application form.
    • Financial Documents: See sources of funding instructions below.
    • If living off-campus for free with a friend or family member, you must also upload the Affidavit of Free Room and Board form and supporting documentation. 

IMPORTANT: Ensure that you are uploading these documents to the checklist items with the corresponding names. If uploaded correctly, a green check-mark will appear next to each item within 24 hours. If any red “x’s” remain, there is a problem and you must re-submit the missing item(s).

Step by Step: How to Fill Out the Application for Form I-20

The entire application must be completed, signed, and submitted in order for Montclair State University to issue an I-20. Please see the Estimated I-20 Expenses page for more cost information.

  • Page 1 – Montclair State University I-20 Application
    • Complete the personal information, visa information, and SEVIS transfer (only if applicable) sections.
  • Page 2 – Estimated Expenses for ONE Academic Year
    • This page is informational and does not need to be filled out. Please locate your program of study to find your estimated tuition cost for one year.
  • Page 3 – Sources of Funding Policies
    • Please carefully read our funding policy.
  • Page 4 – Student Certification
    • First section: Student expenses (tuition, room & board, miscellaneous expenses, health insurance, dependents [if applicable]). Use the information from page 2 to complete this section.
    • Second section: Funding information – list all of your sources of funding, including personal funding, sponsor information, and Montclair State University funding (only if you have been offered a scholarship of Graduate Assistant position).
    • Third section: Dependents – complete only if applicable.
    • The total from section one MUST equal the total in section two.
  • Page 5 – Sponsor Certification Form (Affidavit)
    • Each sponsor must complete this form and must provide proof of available funds for the amount they will sponsor you for per year.
    • See below for acceptable funding documents.
Sources of Funding Policy

Your funding will always match the cost of attendance. For example, if your yearly cost of attendance is $43,311 USD, your funding will also be listed as $43,311 USD, even if your sponsor is promising more than that. The Department of Homeland Security regulations state that a student only has to show proof of funding for the length of a single academic year.

Student’s must secure their funding before they can apply for the Form I-20. Once issued, we will not make changes to the funding section of the I-20. This includes but is not limited to, adding personal funds, increasing the amount of funding a current sponsor is promising, or adding an additional sponsor when the current sponsor’s funding is sufficient.

We will only issue updated I-20s for one of the following reasons:
● Errors in the personal information section (incorrect spelling, mistakes in date of birth, etc.)
● Scholarship or Graduate Assistantships approved after initial I-20 has been issued

We will not update the funding section because of visa denial.

If you are receiving a student loan, we will list the amount under “other funding” as “Education Loan.” We do not list student loans as personal funds. If you are planning to use your own funds or familial/sponsor funds in addition to your student loan, you must submit all of this documentation when you initially apply for the I-20. Again, we will not update the funding section of the I-20 once it has been issued.

Incoming students CANNOT be sponsored by a current F-1 student from Montclair. We also do not accept affidavits of free room and board that are completed by other F-1 students.

If you are planning to bring a dependent, you must include their information on your I-20 application, along with their passport information and any necessary funding information. We will not add dependents once the initial I-20 has been issued so please plan for your dependents accordingly.

Sources of Funding
 

Any combination of funds is acceptable as long as you demonstrate that you can cover the full cost for one year. Please note that all costs are estimated for immigration purposes and subject to change. Your accurate cost of attendance will be reflected on your tuition bill. Only submit financial documentation once your source of funding has been finalized. Documents should only be submitted for sponsors that you want to appear on your I-20. 

Please note: For personal or family/sponsor funds – we require 3 months of bank statements, with the closing amount equaling or exceeding the amount promised on the affidavit. We no longer accept one page letters from the bank. (Note that one page loan sanction letters are accepted either from the bank or a company).

Any questions about funding can be directed to I-20@montclair.edu.

Support Documentation Guidelines

  • Must be dated within the last three months 
  • Must have the name of account owner clearly listed 
  • Must be in English (or translated into English)
  • Must state the account type (i.e. savings, checking, etc.)
  • Must state the type of currency

Unacceptable Documents 

  • We do not accept investments, real estate, insurance policies, or pension funds 
  • Income tax forms, pay stubs, W2 forms
  • Letters/solvency certificates saying ‘enough’ or ‘sufficient’ funds are available, or that ‘the holder is capable of supporting the student’

Acceptable Documents: 

Personal Funds

If you are self-sponsoring, you must provide financial support documentation in the form of 3 months of bank account statements. The closing amount in the bank account must equal or exceed the amount promised on the affidavit. 

Family/Friends (Sponsor)

An Affidavit of Support must be completed by each sponsor. Each sponsor who completes an affidavit must provide financial support documentation in the form of 3 months of bank account statements. The closing amount in the bank account must equal or exceed the amount promised on the affidavit. 

Please note: If you are receiving funds from a business account (the bank account is listed under the business name, not an individual), you must provide the business registration, which states the name(s) of the business owner(s).The person who owns the business must complete and sign the Affidavit of Support.

Montclair State University Funds

Please note the amount of confirmed scholarship or graduate assistantship funding on the affidavit. If the assistantship or scholarship does not cover the total cost listed in cost estimate, you must show proof of funding that covers the remaining expenses.

Graduate/Doctoral Assistantship 

Graduate assistantships count toward financial support. Assistantships are offered for one year and are renewable later for another year (assistantships for doctoral  students are renewable for a maximum of three years). You must indicate the amount of CONFIRMED assistantship funding in the affidavit and must upload other financial documentation that shows your ability to cover any remaining balance after deducting the award amount.

PLEASE NOTE: On-campus employment CANNOT count towards proof of funding.

Other Sources of Support (Employer, Government, etc.)

Employer:

  • If you are receiving funding from an employer, please provide a letter (on official company letterhead) which states the amount awarded to you and the duration of support.
  • If you are receiving funds from a business account (the bank account is listed under the business name, not an individual), you must provide the business registration, which states the name(s) of the business owner(s).

  • The person who owns the business must complete and sign the Affidavit of Support.

Government: 

  • If you are receiving funding from a government or employer, please provide a letter from that source stating the amount awarded to you and the duration of support.

Education Loans

You must provide an official letter from credit institution indicating approval of loan and amount approved. This letter must include the following information:

  • Period of time covered by the award 
  • Indicate Montclair State University as the student’s institution 
  • The total amount of support for the given time period

Free Room and Board Support

A person who is giving you free room and board may also be considered a sponsor. This sponsor must submit a the Affidavit of Free Room and Board. Free room and board reduces room and board expenses from the total amount indicated above for each program. The affidavit of Free Room and Board will not be accepted if the place to live is too far from Montclair State University.

The sponsor must provide proof of residence in the form of a lease, utility bill, etc. – submitted to your admissions portal along with the signed affidavit.