A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Friday, November 5, 2021

E-Signatures Allowed for Form I-20

Starting November 1st, 2021, the Form I-20 can be signed and sent electronically.  The Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) is a document that proves that an F-1 foreign student is authorized to enroll in an academic program in the United States. 

For many years, the I-20 must be signed in wet ink and originals are generally required for international students to prove eligibility to study in the U.S.  The government has decided that it is time to change this practice now. COVID has changed the way we do many things.  The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), the system that keeps the database of foreign students, issued a new policy guidance which allows the I-20 to be signed and transmitted electronically.  

The change in policy has made it easier for foreign students to obtain their I-20s from the School Desigated Officer (DSO).  SEVP requires the students to request and report any major changes to the school DSO through revisions of the I-20.  With this change, students do not have to wait for the original I-20s to be signed and delivered anymore. 

(Immigration laws and policies change regularly.  If you have any questions regarding this article, please visit www.1visa1.com to schedule legal consultation.)  

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