Requesting an I-20 and applying for an F-1 visa can be difficult and confusing. OIPS has created a web page that will serve as your guide throughout this process. It is important that you carefully review each step so that you do not miss any important deadlines or requirements.
- Fall 2020 deadline for I-20 requests: Friday, June 26, 2020
- Spring 2021 deadline for I-20 requests: Friday, November 20, 2020
If you have questions about requesting your I-20, contact:
Director for Immigration Compliance and Advising
Office of International Programs and Services
SUB I, room 4300
Email: Request Form
Phone: (703) 993-2970
Step 1: Request an I-20
- Mason Korea students must gather their immigration documents and submit them to the Office of Student Affairs (MKSA):
- MKSA will submit the I-20 request packet to OIPS
- The Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) will create the form I-20 in the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and mail it to MKSA. The I-20 cannot be scanned and emailed to the student. MKSA should inform OIPS about the students' preferred method of shipment: first class or courier
- Upon receipt, MKSA will give the I-20s to the students
Step 2: Pay the SEVIS Fee
- Go to the SEVIS Fee webpage at fmjfee.com
- Enter your name, date of birth, and SEVIS ID number
- Pay the $350 fee with your credit card
- Print your receipt and keep it with your I-20. You will need to show your receipt when you check in with OIPS upon arrival at Mason.
Step 3: Apply for an F-1 Student Visa
- Gather your documents: your passport, a passport photo and your credit card to pay the $160 application fee. Click here to view photo requirements and click here to view photo test.
- Go to the U.S. Embassy in South Korea website and click on "Visas" and "Nonimmigrant Visas"
- Click on "How to Apply for a Visa" and select "yes" and "nonimmigrant"
- Apply for an F-1 student visa
- Complete the form DS-160 and pay the $160 application fee. Under "Get Started," select "South Korea, Seoul" and click on "Start Application"
- Schedule an appointment for visa interview
- Visit the U.S. Embassy for visa interview
- Receive your F-1 student visa
The Visa Interview
Most visa interviews last about 5 minutes. It is important to demonstrate to the visa officer your plans of study, ties to your home country and your plans to return home after the completion of your program. He or she may ask you questions like:
- Why did you choose George Mason University?
- What interests you about your program of study?
- What do you plan to do after you obtain your degree or certificate?
- What kind of work will you do when you return home?
Remember to be honest and yourself. First impressions are important!
Usually a decision to grant or deny a visa is made during the interview. However, some students might be subject to administrative processing or a security clearance.
Please contact email@example.com if you are subject to administrative processing, a security clearance, or if your visa has been denied under 214b (non-immigrant intent).
Travel to the US
You may arrive in the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the program start date on your I-20 (you can find your program state date on page 1 of your I-20).
Important Spring 2021 dates:
- Spring 2021 program start date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
- Spring virtual orientation launch date: Monday, January 4, 2021 (Available on Blackboard)
- Earliest arrival date in the US (Spring 20121): Sunday, December 13, 2020
Always hand-carry your important documents when traveling to and from the U.S. including your passport, I-20 or DS-2019, financial documents, Mason admission letter, International Student Check-in Sheet, and SEVIS fee receipt.
We strongly encourage you to explore the Study in the U.S. website to learn how to prepare for your trip to the US: