International Student Visa Information

Steps for Applying for Student Visas

  • Submit the Certificate of Financial Responsibility form. The Certificate of Financial Responsibility (PDF) provides important information needed to prepare the I-20 document for your student visa. The form must be filled out completely and signed by both you and your sponsor(s). Applicants need to indicate on the Certificate of Financial Responsibility (PDF) the source(s) of the funds and the location where they would like their I-20 document mailed.


  • Submit the appropriate bank or financial support documents. Individuals (parents, brothers, uncles, etc.) listed on the Certificate of Financial Responsibility, as the source of funding for the student, should provide original bank statements. Bank statements should be dated within the past twelve months, be from an individual account and show funds that are immediately accessible and transferable. Credit card statements, business accounts, property value documents, solvency statements, statements of income, and insurance policies may not be submitted as sources of financial verification. Photocopies, faxes and scanned documents are accepted.
  • Provide a copy of the identification page of your passport. Students are required to provide a photocopy of their identification page in their passport. This ensures the accuracy of the name and date of birth listed on your I-20. The name and birth date on your application for admission must match those that are listed on the identification page of your passport. Please do not use nicknames or Western names that are not your formal given name. If the names on your admission letters, I-20 form, and passport do not match you may have difficulty during your student visa interview or when you try to enter the U.S.
  • Provide your permanent home address when you apply. Applicants requesting an I-20 must provide their permanent address in their home country even if they are currently living in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security requires that we maintain that information in our files for all students receiving an I-20 from George Mason University.
  • Students who are currently in the U.S. should submit a copy of your current I-20 form, a photocopy of your U.S. student visa and I-94 card, and a completed Transfer Form signed by you and the International Student Advisor at the school from which you are transferring.

If you are an international student who requires a F1 or J1 Visa to study in the United States, we have specific deadlines for the processing of the I-20. Please plan on applying at your earliest convenience and submit application materials at least 60 days in advance of these to give enough time to process and review applications for a decision.

International Undergraduate and Graduate Applicants:

Final day to issue I-20 Spring Semester: December 17*
Final day to issue I-20 Fall Semester: July 30*

*Deadlines are for applicants who require a new F-1 or J-1 Visa. International applicants who already hold an F1 or J1 Visa applying to transfer may be admitted after these dates and issued I-20s after these dates.