Submit a Visa Request

Complete the I-20/DS-2019 Request Form

The information below pertains to any student request of an I-20 or DS-2019 from Northwestern University (including SEVIS Transfer and Change of Status).

Unless otherwise noted below, you will need a valid Northwestern issued NetID and password in order to access the NUPortal to submit your I-20 or DS-2019 Request.

NOTE: If you do not yet have an active NetID, please contact your admitting department to inquire when you will receive NetID activation information.

Acquire supplemental documentation

Provide all of the required information on the form. Specifics of the required documents are listed below.

Proof of admission

All admitting departments issue admitted students a letter either virtual (e-mailed) or a hardcopy. Please include an electronic copy of this letter with your I-20 Request or DS-2019 Request.

Financial documentation (or Sponsor Statement of Support)

All new F-1 international students are required to show proof that funds are guaranteed for the first year of study. All new J-1 international students are required to show proof that funds are guaranteed for the full length of his/her program.

Please ensure that adequate funding will continue to be available from the same or equally dependable sources for subsequent years. You may be asked to show proof of this at your visa interview. This proof can come from several different sources (personal, family, university, business, etc.); however, you must be sure to have supporting documents for each of the sources of funding. 

Below are the requirements for each type of documentation. Keep in mind that although you are not required to submit original documents to Northwestern, you may be required to show ORIGINAL financial documents at your visa appointment, at the port of entry, or to USCIS if you are submitting a COS application.

Required Documentation

Any combination of Funds is acceptable, as long as you demonstrate you can cover the full cost of the program. All funds must be liquid assets. Stock/Mutual/Retirement accounts are not considered liquid assets.

Personal Funds:

  • Bank statement, bank letter, or loan letter (see bank statement and letter guidelines below). An original is not required for I-20.DS-2019 issuance purposes but is strongly encouraged for the visa application.
  • Note: Student loans are considered to be Student Personal Funds. Proof of Student Loan funds (if applicable) should be included with the request.

Family or Friend Funds: (both bank statement(s) and Sponsor Statement of Support(s) are REQUIRED for proof of Family/Friend Funds)

  • Bank statement or bank letter dated within the last six months (see bank statement requirements below). An original is not required for I-20 or DS-2019 issuance purposes but is strongly encouraged for the visa application.
  • Sponsor Statement of Support: All sponsor names must be included on the I-20 or DS-2019 Request Form.

Northwestern University Funds:  

  • Copy of the letter from department/University detailing your financial aid award. If the award does not cover the total expense listed in the Financial & Program Information, you must show proof of funding that covers the remaining expenses.
  • NU Loans are considered a source of Personal Funds.

Other Institutional Support (Employer, Government, etc.):

  • Support letter detailing the financial support (see institutional letter of support requirements below).

Required documentation guidelines

Bank statement guidelines:

  • Must be dated within the last six months;
  • Name of account holder must be present;
  • Amount of money in the account must be listed;
  • Must be in English, or include a certified English translation;
  • Type of account (eg. savings, checking, time deposit) must be included;
  • Type of currency must be included.

Institutional Letter of Support guidelines

  • Must be an original;
  • Must be dated within the last six months;
  • Name of award recipient must be present;
  • Must state the period of time covered by the award;
  • Must indicate Northwestern as the student's institution;
  • Must state the total amount of support for the given time period.

Bank letter guidelines:

  • Name of account holder must be present;
  • Amount of money in the account must be listed -OR- letter must state that the holder has enough money in the account to cover the estimated costs;
  • Must be in English, or include a certified English translation;
  • Type of account (eg. savings, checking, time deposit) must be included;
  • Type of currency must be included;
  • Must be dated within the last six months.

Dependent, transfer, or change of status information

If necessary, based on your personal situation, include the following documents:

  • Dependents: An F-1 or J-1 student may bring their spouse and children to the U.S. as F-2 or J-2 dependents, respectively. Please indicate the additional dependent expenses on the I-20 or DS-2019 Request Form (at least $6,300 for a spouse, and $4,350 per child) and include the F-1/J-1 Dependent Request Form when you submit the I-20/DS-2019 Request Form.
  • Change of Status: An individual who is in the U.S. in another visa category and wishes to change their status to either F-1 or J-1 should review our Change of Status page.
  • Transfer Students: An F-1 or J-1 student who is in the U.S. at another institution and wishes to transfer their SEVIS status to Northwestern should review information about transferring a SEVIS record.

Submit the request

Once your I-20/DS-2019 Request package is complete (Request Form, Passport, Admissions Letter, Financial Documentation, any any related documents (e.g. Transfer In, Dependent Request, etc.), please save it as one .pdf file using your last/sur and first name as the file name. Example: WILDCATwillie.pdf

To submit your request, you will need to log in to the NUPortalhttps://nuportal.northwestern.edu/ 
(Note: you will need a valid NetID and Password to log in to the NUPortal.)

Once you are in the NUPortal, take the following steps:

  1. Click Student Services from the menu on the left of the screen.
  2. Then click on International Student Document Upload.
  3. Once there, you will need to select the program to which you have been admitted from the drop-down menu.
  4. Once selected, you will need to check the box related to the document you are requesting (either I-20 or DS-2019)
  5. Then select browse to locate your completed .pdf file for upload to the system and press submit.

Upon submission, you will receive confirmation via email. After your request has been reviewed by an advisor, you will be sent a second email indicating if your I-20/DS-2019 Request is complete and in process, or if the request is incomplete and needs to be resubmitted. 

Questions? Email: intadmit@northwestern.edu

Incomplete applications will be sent back for correction. Processing of application will only begin when the application is COMPLETE.

Northwestern Law

NU Law students will not submit the I-20 or DS-2019 Request via the NUPortal. Students submitting an I-20 or DS-2019 Request should do so directly to NU Law via email to Amanda Albert (amanda.albert@law.northwestern.edu). Please refer to instructions on the NU Law Admissions website additional information.

Processing

Once a complete application has been submitted, it will take approximately 10 business days for the advisor to process the I-20 or DS-2019.

You and your admitting department will receive an email from the IO once your document has been issued. Your admitting department will pick it up from the IO and mail it to you directly. Please provide your admitting office with an address where this document can safely reach you.