Residency Information

The Residency Information page allows you to indicate your visa eligibility document request and provide information regarding your citizenship and visa status.

If Requesting an i-20 or ds-2019

You will need to indicate if you need an intial, change of level, transfer, or change of status visa eligibility document.

  • Initial documents are appropriate for students arriving in the US from outside the country for purposes of attending Illinois.
  • Change of Level documents are appropriate for current Illinois students changing from an undergraduate program to a graduate program.
  • Transfer documents are for students currently attending or are on practical training at another institution in the US and will not have had longer than a 5 month break between enrollment/training. You will be prompted to provide your current SEVIS number and the name of the institution that issued your current I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Change of Status documents are appropriate for students currently in the US on a non-student visa wishing to change status to an F-1 student visa. You will be prompted to provide your current visa type and asked whether or not you will be leaving the country before your program begins and enter with an initial I-20, or if you plan to stay in the US and file your change of status within the US.

You will be asked if you need any dependent I-20s/DS-2019s.

  • If yes, you will be prompted to upload a copy of each dependent's passport. Please note this can be provided at a later time if it is not available at the time of application.
  • For each dependent, you will need to provide their full legal name, gender, relationship to you (spouse or child), birth city and country, as well as country of citizenship and country of legal permanent residence.

You will be asked to upload a copy of your passport and proof of funding documentation.

  • Passports and proof of funding documentation are required for all students requesting an I-20 or DS-2019. Please review our Evidence of Financial Resources page for more detailed instructions on proof of funding requirements. 
  • If you do not have a passport or proof of funding documentation available, you may provide this at a later time. However, these documents will be required before we can issue an I-20 or DS-2019. 

online program applicants

  • If you are applying to an online program and will not enter the US, you can indicate this and we need no further visa status information. However, if you will be in the US for your program, you will need to show proof of non-student visa status. Please see the information for current visa holders below.

remaining on a non-student visa

  • If you are currently in the US on a non-student visa (such as an H-1 work visa) and are planning to remain on this visa for the duration of your studies at Illinois, you will need to indicate your current visa type.
  • In addition, you will need to upload a copy of your current visa.

Sponsored J-1 students

  • If another organization, such as IIE Fulbright or LASPAU, will be issuing your DS-2019, you will need to provide us with the name of this organization and upload a copy of your award letter.

asylee, paroled in public interest, refugee status

  • If you have been granted one of these statuses, you will need to upload documentation of this status. You will then be classified as a domestic student and be prompted to answer questions regarding your legal state of residence in the US in the Residency Information section of this page.

residency information

  • You will need to provide your birth city and birth country, and country of legal permanent residence. 

Evidence of Financial Resources

funding requirements:

All international applicants requesting visa eligibility documents (I-20 or DS-2019) are required to demonstrate that they have adequate financial resources to cover the cost of their education while in the United States. Financial documentation is required as part of the application process in order for visa eligibility documents (I-20 or DS-2019) to the U.S. to be issued. International applicants should upload the following documentation directly to the online application.

funding sources:

FUNDING documentation - bank statements:

  • You must obtain a bank statement from your bank (web printouts are acceptable for online banking) showing the bank's letterhead or logo, and bank stamp or bank signature.
  • The statement must show sufficient funding for one year’s costs* (or amount of sponsorship for one year), must be dated within one year of submission, and must show funding in liquid accounts, such as savings, checking, money market accounts, or CDs.
  • Non-liquid funding such as stocks, bonds, auto/land deeds are not acceptable forms of financial support.
  • Solvency and opinion statements are not acceptable forms of financial support.

FUNDING DOCUMENTATION - declaration and certification of finance forms:

  • The sponsor must sign and print his/her name and relationship to the student, and the form must be dated within one year of submission.
  • Signing this document verifies sponsorship for the full length and cost of the program.
  • The form is available in PDF format here.

FUNDING DOCUMENTATION - letters of sponsorship:

  • You must obtain an official letter of sponsorship from the sponsor that includes a signature or stamp showing the authenticity of the letter.
  • The letter must detail amounts and length of sponsorship and be dated within one year of submission.

uploading funding documentation:

  • You are required to upload a copy of your all proof of funding documentation if requesting an I-20 or DS-2019. English translations should be included if the documentation is not in English.
  • Non-legible scans will not be accepted. 
  • Please do not mail or fax in a copy of this documentation which you have uploaded to your online application. Instead, use only the upload feature of our online application at this point. This saves you the time, effort, and expense of mailing financial documents to us during the initial processing and review of your application. It also avoids any delays resulting from the non-receipt of financial documents and assures you that your documents have been successfully submitted, since you can view them yourself online.
  • Please obtain an electronic version of your proof of financial documentation (bank statements, declaration forms, letters of sponsorship) or scan a copy of the document you may already have and that is current, at the lowest resolution that results in a legible document (we recommend to use under 200 dpi whenever possible.
  • You may upload an institutional web based bank statement as long as the financial institution has put your name on the statement.
  • You must ensure that your name, the financial institution name and other identifying marks are not missed during the scanning process and that your scanned copy is clearly legible and can print on letter size paper - 8.5 by 11 in (21.5 by 30 cm).
  • Please be certain that your document is saved as a PDF file or Word document. Scanning in “gray scale” or black and white may produce the best results.
  • If the scanned file is too large you may want to make a photocopy first (experiment with different settings until you find one that results in the smallest file size) then scan the photocopy. 

The University of Illinois reserves the right to require official proof of funding documentation at any time during the admissions process.

*Note that J-1 students will be required to show proof of funding (via bank statement) for the entire cost of the program (or the portion for which funds are being covered by personal or other individual sponsor funding).

Visa Information

The Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20 will be issued to admitted applicants who request and are eligible for an F-1 visa. F-1 students may not hold appointments that total more than 20 hours per week when school is in session, and full-time during vacation period provided the student intends to register in the following semester. Twelve months of optional practical training in a study program may be authorized. Dependents of F-1 students cannot be employed.

A DS-2019 Form will be issued to admitted applicants who request and are eligible for a J-1 visa. Applicants sponsored by their governments, international foundations, or agencies, who receive at least 50 percent of their funding from any source other than personal or family funds, or who are part of a university exchange are eligible to receive this form. Entry into the U.S. is only for the total period of the study program as specified on the DS-2019. J-1 students may work on or off-campus only with written approval from their sponsor. Students may participate in up to 18 months of academic training and up to 36 months of post-doctoral training. Changing visa category is very difficult and may not be allowed. J-1 visa holders may be subject to a 2-year home country residence requirement. Dependents on J-2 visas may seek employment.

A student may not enroll or pursue studies while on a B1/B2 or F-2 visa.

A student may choose to enroll and pursue studies while on an H-1 visa or they may choose to change status to a student visa. However, please note that an H-1 visa holder cannot hold a graduate assistantship appointment. If you choose to remain on a non-student visa during your studies at Illinois, you will need to upload a copy of your U.S. visa in your online application.

Information regarding the SEVIS I-901 Fee may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.