How to Receive a BMCC I-20

What is an I-20?

The I-20 is a federal immigration document issued by Borough of Manhattan Community College’s International Student Services Office (ISSO). It is required for an F-1 visa or maintaining F-1 immigration status.

To earn your BMCC I-20, we need more information about you and your situation. The following sections of this page outline the information we need from you, and how to provide the information. Everyone’s situation is different, so please read carefully!

When all required documents are submitted and all criteria met, we will process your I-20.

What is purpose of the I-20?

The I-20 is a school-issued document that certifies to the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 student status. The I-20 is needed for the F-1 visa and maintaining F-1 immigration status.

By issuing you an I-20, BMCC confirms that:

  • you have met our admissions requirements,
  • you will pursue a full course of study (earn a degree),
  • you have provided proof that you have enough money to pay for the cost of study, and
  • you will live in the U.S. without seeking employment.

The I-20 is sometimes referred to on U.S. government websites as the “Certificate of Eligibility.”

How to Submit Information for Your I-20

As you complete the forms below, email them as PDF attachments to your Designated School Official (DSO). You should have received an email from BMCC introducing you to this person. If you are unsure who your DSO is, please email internationalstudents@bmcc.cuny.edu.

Some steps listed below will require you to attach another document, such as a lease, bank statement, or letter of employment. Please submit these by email as PDF email attachments.

Deadlines for I-20 Submission

First-time F-1 visa applicants:

  To begin in a Fall semester: To begin in a Spring semester:
Deadline for I-20 Application and Supporting Documents: June 30 November 15
Reporting Date (enter the U.S. no later than this date): August 1 January 1

SEVIS transfer F-1 student:

(a student who is currently in the U.S. with F-1 status and has a valid I-20 from another school)

  To begin in a Fall semester: To begin in a Spring semester:
Deadline for I-20 Application and Supporting Documents: July 15 November 30
SEVIS Record Release/ SEVIS F-1 Transfer Form: The first day of Fall classes.* The first day of Spring classes.*
Reporting Date: The first day of Fall classes.* The first day of Spring classes.*
* Please refer to the BMCC Academic Calendar for the exact date for the most current semester.



Step 1: Required Documents

To get started, gather the following documents:

  • A photocopy of the biographical page of your passport (the page with your photo, name, date of birth, and expiration date.)
  • Copies of all previous U.S. visas

And download and complete these forms:

GDPR Acknowledgement

Acknowledgement Regarding Protection of Personal Data
(Required for all students from EU Countries)

Application for BMCC I-20


Step 2: Living in the United States

Option 1: I will obtain and pay for my own housing.

No additional steps for your BMCC I-20 Application.

Option 2: I will live with a friend or relative for free in the U.S.

To officially document your free housing, you and the person you will live with must complete Section 2, “Room and Board Affidavit,” on the BMCC I-20 Application.

In Step 6, your finances total will be reduced because you do not need to pay for housing. More details below.


Step 3: Paying for Tuition

Option 1: I will pay for tuition and educational expenses on my own.

Complete Section 1, “Finances,” of the BMCC I-20 Application with your own name and the name of your financial institution and account number.

Option 2: Someone else will pay for my tuition and educational expenses.

A person who pays for school for you is call a “Sponsor.” To officially document your sponsor(s), please complete Section 1, “Finances,” of the Application for a BMCC I-20 with the name(s) of your sponsors and their signatures.

Step 6 gives instructions for how this person or people will demonstrate their ability to support you financially.


Step 4: Family

Option 1: I am traveling to the U.S. (or am already in the U.S.) on my own.

No additional steps for your BMCC I-20 Application.

Option 2: I am traveling to the U.S. (or am already in the U.S.) with a spouse and/or children.

For each family member who will accompany you, you must complete an application for an F-2 Dependent I-20:

F-2 Dependent Form

For each accompanying family member, you must also demonstrate an additional $10,000 of financial support in Step 6 for their housing and living costs.


Step 5A: SEVIS Transfer

This step applies ONLY to students who are currently attending another school in the U.S. — such as a language school or another college. To transfer your SEVIS student record to BMCC,  please submit the following items:

  • A Transfer Form signed by a DSO at your most recently attended school. This Transfer Form and your BMCC acceptance email must be submitted to your previous school in order for your SEVIS record to be released to BMCC.
    SEVIS Transfer Form
  • Photocopy of your current F-1 visa (or copy of the status approval notification for other visa types)
  • Photocopy of most recent I-94 electronic record or card (You can print this from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home#section)
  • Photocopy of all previously-issued I-20 Forms

Step 5B: Change of Immigration Status

This step applies ONLY to students who are currently in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and wish to change immigration status to F-1. Please review more information regarding Change of Immigration Status process.

If you intend to change your status to F-1 through an application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), download and complete the BMCC Change of Status Declaration and Waiver of Liability Form and submit it along with your other I-20 information.

BMCC Change of Status Form

Important: When filing a change of status application with USCIS, change of status applicants must understand that the ISSO does not assume any responsibility or liability in proper filing and does not guarantee or promise any successful outcome. 


Step 6: Finances

United States immigration law requires that students seeking an F-1 visa must be able to pay for their studies for the entire duration of their program without seeking paid employment.

You must submit financial documents that show you (or your sponsors, if any) have enough savings or annual income to afford your educational and living expenses.

How much money do you need?

Based on default estimates:

  • Paying For Yourself:  $57,056
  • Sponsored by Someone Else:  $114,112

How is this number calculated?

 
TWO-YEAR TOTAL $57,056
Educational Expenses (one academic year)
Full Time Tuition $7,680
Fees $370
Books and Supplies $1,364
Living Expenses (one academic year)
Room and Board $12,123
Transportation $1,122
Food $3,454
Clothing and Personal Necessities $2,415
ONE YEAR TOTAL
$28,528


Why do Sponsors need to prove more funds?

Tuition charged is the same no matter who pays for your school costs.

Sponsors must demonstrate a higher amount of total funding because they must support themselves, you, and often additional family members. When a sponsor shows their financial proof, we consider only 25% of their annual income or savings as “available” to support you. Sponsors must show that they earn annually four times the cost of your year of study:

$57,056 (funds for two years of study)
÷ 2


= $28,528 (funds for one year of study)
* 4

= $114,112 new total**

**If your sponsor has more than four dependents they support financially, they must provide proof of additional funds.

 

NOTE: If your estimated school cost is a value other than the default ($57,056) because of the impact of free room and board or F-2 dependents, first calculate your unique total cost for two years of study. Then divide your unique cost by two and multiply the result by four to arrive at the total financial support a sponsor needs to afford for your study.

How to adjust the finance total for your situation

A few factors determine the real total of finances you need to study at BMCC.

Free Room and Board: Adjusted total = $32,810.
If you will live with a relative or friend in the Unites States for free, the value of that gift to you is $12,123 per year. Here is the calculation:

  $57,056
– $12,123 (housing for year one)
– $12,123 (housing for year two)


= $32,810 new total

 

Support for Dependent Spouse and/or children: +$10,000 each. 
If members of your immediate family will join you in the U.S. during your studies, you must show additional funds available to support them. For each person dependent on you for living expenses, add $10,000 to your total funds required.

For example, Mary will bring her daughter Anya with her to the U.S. Mary must show she has $57,056 for her own school and living expenses and $10,000 more for Anya. Mary is responsible for a total of $67,056.

Documents to Submit: 

  • Self-Sponsored Students:
    • A Bank Statement showing the total required funds. The account must be in your name only, and no one else should have access to the money.
  • Sponsors:
    • A) Proof of Income:
      • The Sponsor’s complete signed U.S. annual tax return showing annual income amount. (Page 1&2 from the previous year’s Form 1040 or Form 1040A
        — OR —
      •  Annual income verification from Sponsor’s employer (on company letterhead, stating full name of employee and their salary) AND paystubs from the last three months.
    • B) Proof of Current Finances
      • Sponsor’s bank statements from the past three months with the account holder’s name and account number

All financial document must be dated within the last three months. Scanned or emailed copies are acceptable for the BMCC I-20. However, original documents must be presented to the U.S. Embassy when applying for the F-1 visa.


Step 7: Submit Application for an I-20

Forms:

Download, save, and then edit each form that applies to your situation. (If you click the form link and attempt to fill in your browser window, your changes will not save. Please click the link, save the document, and then open your saved copy to supply your information.)

Submitting Information:

As you complete the forms above, email them as PDF attachments to your Designated School Official (DSO). You should have received an email from BMCC introducing you to this person. If you are unsure who your DSO is, please email internationalstudents@bmcc.cuny.edu.

Some steps listed below will require you to attach another document, such as a lease, bank statement, or letter of employment. Scans, high-quality photographs, or PDFs of these items are acceptable. Please submit these as attachments by email.