Guideline for Issuance of I-20

How to request an I-20?

All new international students are required to complete the International Student Visa Documentation process in order to receive I-20/Visa documentation (I-20/DS-2019). The following is an outline of this process (supplementary details are provided to the student as they progress through the steps):

  • Apply to Tenn State & submit Applicable test scores
    • A completed application and a non-refundable $35.00 application fee
    • Please note:We do not require any visa or immigration related documentation at the time of application.
    • Applicable test scores, such as GMAT, GRE, FE, MAT, etc.
    • Certificates of proficiency in English or minimum score of:
      TOEFL Scores      
               - 500 (Paper Test) 
               - 173 (Computer Test) 
               - 61   (iBT)
      IELTS Score
              - 5.0

After you have applied to TSU, following steps are taken (these decisions can vary from 60 - 90 days)



  • Submit Official Transcripts from previous school
    • Official transcripts or authorized school records with a course-by-course listing of courses and grades received; such transcripts must have been evaluated by a foreign educational credential agency, at the student’s expense.  Recommended agencies:
      - World Education Services:
      - Global Services Associates, Inc.:
      - Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.:
      - A complete listing of acceptable agencies can be found on the NACES Website
  • Complete the Immunization Form
    • Certificate of Immunization   verifying:
      - Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) - 2 doses
      - Varicella/Chicken Pox - 2 doses

Failure to submit such certificate shall result in denial of further enrollment or admission

  • Provide Financial Guarantee
    • Evidence of financial resources sufficient to provide tuition and fees for the academic year (minimum of $28,500 USD) and an affidavit of support
    • Scholarship By Department: If a student has received scholarship through their department, please submit a copy of the scholarship document stating the amount provided for the academic year
    • Scholarship By Country of Origin: If a student has received scholarship through their country of origin, please submit a copy of the scholarship document stating the amount provided for the academic year
  • File Review & Decision
    • Once all required documentation has been submitted, admissions department will review your file. If all documentation is in order, the review process can take approximately 2-3 weeks (depending on the current volume of files)

Please note:You may be required to provide additional information and/or documentation as a part of this review process, which may further delay issuance of an I-20/DS-2019. Please keep this in mind as you plan to schedule your visa interview

    • If you requested an I-20/DS-2019, you will receive an email notification when your file has been approved.
    • If you did not request an I-20/DS-2019, you will receive an email notification when you have been cleared by our office to register for classes.
    • If you are coming to Tenn State from another U. S. Institution, you will receive an email notification and SEVIS release form when you have been pre -approved to receive an I-20/DS-2019.

Please note:Our office will be unable to prepare a new I-20 or DS-2019 document for you until after you have completed study at your current school or have completed any period of academic training (CPT/OPT) and your record has been released to The Tennessee State University within SEVIS.

  • Submit Passport copies, Before I-20
    • Copy of current, valid passport 
      • Photo page
  • Shipment of I-20
    • Unless you specifically choose “ Priority mail” as your mailing option, all documents will be mailed through the regular postal system. Regular first-class mail takes about 3-8 days within the U.S. and first-class, air mail takes about 2-5 weeks to addresses outside the United States. Priority mail, however is usually delivered within 1 week after the document has been prepared for shipping
  • Submit Passport copies, After I-20
    • Copy of current, valid passport
      • Photo page
      • VISA page
      • I-94 Page or Alien Registration number
  • Accept your offer of admission


For more information please contact DIA

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