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International Applicant FAQs: SEVIS/Visa-Related Questions

i do not have a passport right now; can i still submit my application?

Yes. Once you have a passport (or after you have been admitted), please revisit your application status page to upload a copy of your passport.

My passport only lists one name; how should i list my name in the application?

List this name as your “Last Name” and list a dash (“-”) as your “First Name.” Note that your I-20/DS-2019 will leave your first name blank due to SEVIS system requirements.

am i required to provide proof of funding documentation before i submit my application?

No. Once you have this documentation available (or after you have been admitted), please revisit your application status page to upload your proof of funding documentation.

where can i find the declaration and certification of finances form?

This form can be found on our website.

what are the english proficiency requirements (toefl/ielts minimums) for admission?

Please visit our English Proficiency section in our application instructions.

Where can I find more information about the SEVIS I-901 fee?

Please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

I want an F-1 visa; when will I receive my I-20?

The Graduate College will issue your I-20 as soon as possible after we finalize your official admission to Illinois, and after we have received your passport and proof of funding. You will receive an email confirmation once the I-20 has been issued. Your graduate program will mail your I-20 to you. Please make sure your program has your most up-to-date address.

I want a J-1 visa; when will I receive my DS-2019?

The Graduate College will issue your DS-2019 as soon as possible after we finalize your official admission to Illinois, and after we have received your passport and proof of funding. You will receive an email confirmation once the DS-2019 has been issued. Please note that only applicants sponsored by their governments, international foundations or agencies, who receive at least 50% of their funding from any source other than personal or family funds, or who are part of a university exchange will receive this form. Your graduate program will mail your DS-2019 to you. Please make sure your program has your most up-to-date address.

Will I be able to work while I am a student?

Students with F-1 visas may hold graduate assistantships and other forms on-campus employment; however, they may not work off-campus. Students with J-1 visas may work both on- and off-campus (with proper work authorization).

I am transferring from another U.S. institution; do I need to complete a SEVIS transfer form?

No. Please take your admission letter to your current university’s office of international student services and request the transfer. Our SEVIS school codes are CHI214F01070000 for F-1 visa holders and P-1-00209 for J-1 visa holders. If your current university requires any further documentation to approve the transfer, please have the advisor contact our office at 217-244-4637.

My SEVIS record has been transferred to Illinois; when can I get my I-20/DS-2019?

The Graduate College will issue your I-20/DS-2019 as soon as possible after your SEVIS release date. You will receive an email confirmation once the I-20/DS-2019 has been issued. Your graduate program will mail your I-20/DS-2019 to you. Please make sure your program has your most up-to-date address.

I have a J-2 visa; can I study?

Yes, those holding J-2 visas may pursue a course of study.

I have a B-1/B-2 visa; can I study?

No, those holding B-1/B-2 visas may not pursue a course of study.

I have an H visa; can I study?

Yes, those holding H visas may pursue a course of study.