Information for International Students

Form I-20 and F-1 Visa

Newly admitted students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. seeking F-1 (Student) Visa status must obtain a USC Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1 Student Status) and apply for an F-1 Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before traveling to the U.S. to begin their degree program.

Step 1

To obtain a Form I-20, you must first submit the Enrollment Commitment Deposit and Form by May 1.

Step 2

If you have not submitted the Financial Statement of Personal or Family Support or passport copy during the application process, send it with your full name and USC ID via askUSC to avoid delays issuing your I-20.

Step 3

USC will generate and send you (via courier service) the Form I-20 starting mid-May.

  • If you attended a U.S. school in the Spring semester but did not attend a U.S. school in the Fall and left the United States, you will need a new I-20 from USC and are not eligible for a SEVIS transfer.

Step 4

After you receive the Form I-20, you must pay a one-time SEVIS I-901 Fee online. Further instructions on applying for your F-1 visa will be included in your Form I-20.

  • If you are currently attending a U.S. institution in the Fall Semester (e.g. international transfer students at a community college or international high school students at a boarding school) and will be transferring your SEVIS I-20 record to USC, please visit here for more information. Instructions regarding the SEVIS transfer process will be provided to you. You will not be required to re-pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee for your transfer I-20.

  • If you received a USC merit-based scholarship, please check to make sure the scholarship amount is on the Form I-20.

All questions regarding your USC Form I-20 should be directed to askUSC.

For questions related to immigration regulations please contact the Office of International Services (OIS) at


International students may participate in any of the summer Orientation sessions. Alternatively, you can attend the two-day International Student Orientation in August. For more information please visit

English Language Proficiency and Testing

International students who do not meet the English proficiency requirements may be required to take the International Student English (ISE) exam. This placement exam will help determine your English proficiency and any need for further English instruction. For more information please visit