A Simple Guide to the Student Visa Process

Many of our international applicants have questions regarding the student visa process. Please note that all documents are processed by and must be submitted directly to the Office of International Services (OIS). This post will help answer basic questions about how to submit the proper documents. 

When do I submit the International Student Declaration and Certification of Finances Form and supporting financial documents?

UIC Liautaud does not require students to submit evidence of financial support at the time of application. If you have received a letter of admission from the UIC Office of Admissions or an official notification asking for financial documents from OIS, you will need to provide a bank statement or letter and a signed UIC Declaration and Certification of Finances form.

What documents do I need to submit?

All international students whose immigration status will be sponsored by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), including those who will transfer their immigration record to UIC, must submit the UIC Declaration and Certification of Finance form and complete financial documentation before the issuance of a UIC I-20/DS-2019. If any of your documents are incomplete or insufficient, including assistantship funding, you will receive an email notification. 

Please click here if you have questions about the documents required to obtain the Initial I-20/DS-2019.

You will need to submit documents that demonstrate that you can cover the estimated costs of attendance.

Where do I submit my financial documents?

Once properly completed, the documents can be mailed to OIS at the following address: 

The Office of International Services (MC 326) 
ATTN: Initial Document Processing Suite 2160
Student Services Building 
1200 W Harrison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607-7164 

Please do not send these documents to the UIC Liautaud Graduate School of Business.

How long will it take to process my I-20?

OIS recommends you allow 4 months for visa preparation. Once you submit the correct financial documentation and International Student Declaration and Certification of Finances Form, please allow up to 2 weeks for processing and for the items to be posted to your account. After we receive your admission letter from the Office of Admissions and your completed documents, OIS will issue the I-20. Allow 2-6 weeks for delivery. OIS sends all documents by U.S. mail, so no tracking number is available. OIS will review your immigration documents in the order in which they are received. Please refrain from requests for an expedited I-20/DS-2019.

What should I do after I receive my I-20?

Once you have received your official letter of admission and your Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or DS-2019), you may make an appointment at a U.S. embassy for a visa interview. From there, the process of issuing your actual visa is in the hands of the consulate officials. More information about the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20/DS-2019) and applying for a visa may be found on the OIS web site.