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ah233

I-20 .... when to press the panic button ??

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well ... I had accepted the offer around march 15th .....the departmental grad. admissions officer replied promptly that she will be starting the admissions process .... well its been almost 35 days since, neither have I received my I-20 yet, nor been contacted by either of dept. admission officer or International admission office ..... and hence I am starting to panic now

it takes around 2-3 months to get visa, so I must receive the I-20 no later than mid- May ...... is there a way I can expedite the process ?? or is it that the universities take fairly long to process and send the I-20 form ??

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did you try contacting the international students office? i guess that would help?

i did that couple of weeks, asking that do I need to send any documents or else regarding admissions process ..... they replied that they will ask for the stuff required ...... well since then havent heard from them ....

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it takes around 2-3 months to get visa,

Now, you're scaring me.. I haven't gotten my I20 as well.. Infact, I don't think the processing has started even..

Does it really take that long? May I ask which country, if you don't mind?

Edited by hope4fall2012

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^^^^^^^^^^

well the diffcult part is to get the interview appointment (for countries where lot of students apply for visa - India nd China) ..... after the interview its only matter of a week ......

btw I am frm India (written in profile) ....

Edited by ah233

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I think you should check in with the department (they might have been really busy with the recent April 15 deadline) and also the International Students office. For my school, they told me that I can't even apply for a visa until 4 months before the start date (Sept 14 for me). Here is the process at Caltech, which could be similar to other schools:

1. Student confirms acceptance with Department

2. Department passes this onto Graduate Studies

3. Grad Studies passes this on to International Student office

4. International Student office contacts Student for visa details (name, proof of support, are you bringing dependents that need visas, etc.)

5. International Student office uses information to issue the I-20 or DS-2019

6. Student uses I-20 or DS-2019 to apply for the appropriate visa

I also accepted the offer in mid-March and I am currently on Step 4 (got asked for this information about a week ago). I think step 4 has to happen before they issue you the I-20 especially because of the proof of funds part (even though all the information they asked for was pretty much in my application package, oh well).

I don't think it's time to panic yet since Steps 2 and 3 could actually take a month. Also, maybe the international admissions office is waiting for all the people that accept just before the april 15 deadline in order to do Step 4 for everyone at the same time, since you can only begin the visa process about now (if August start date) or next month (for Sept start). That's just a guess though...I would say now is a good time to check in with the department and international office!

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@TakeruK dat was an extensive reply ...... thnks a lot .....

I was mostly concerned by the fact step 4 is yet to happen in my case .....=> i.e contact by International office with the questionnaire .....

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According to NYU, they take about 2/3 weeks to process an i-20. But they don't start until one submits proof of finances etc.

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yup, same here! no word yet about the I-20. I keep on asking them and they always say it's too early. I'm actually leaving by first week of August because I still have English classes for International TAs. I'll just trust that they know what their doing; I've been too stressed panicking about this for days!

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If you're stressed out about the embassy process, you can use this tool and check how long does it take to get the visa: http://immigration.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=immigration&cdn=newsissues&tm=3&f=00&tt=12&bt=1&bts=1&st=38&zu=http%3A//travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4638.html

For example for my city it's only 1 day! Also, I believe there's something called fast visa processing for urgent matters. But I'd trust your university that they know what they're dealing with and relax :)

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It may depend on country, but for me (1 year ago) it was ~ 1 week to wait for an interview (can be done faster if you want) and 1 day to get visa after the interview. 2-3 month is either exaggeration or it was for some other kind of visa: I assume immigration visas may take longer but even in that case it seems too long. Also from what I remember, I also had to wait for more than a month for I20 so it's not that uncommon.

Don't worry guys, admission offices go through this procedure every year for hundreds/thousand students, so they know what they are doing. If you are bored or just want to be in contact - feel free to email them from time to time (it's actually a good thing), but seriously they know what to do and are aware of all the deadlines. Relax and congrats to eveyone on their admissions.

If I were you I would start looking for airline tickets - If you book them several months in advance you can often save a lot

Edited by awwdeerp

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It does depend on the country. European countries have it very easy but other places not so much. You also have to take into account that if you are in a STEM field then you might be subjected to more screening which can take a very long time (Technology Alert List).

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Im worried because I already live in the US and have to transfer status from H1-B to F1. It wont be as easy as going to the consulate in my home country. Does anyone else have a similar situation?

Ive been contacted by International Student Services for my information and I have provided it to them, now lets wait and see how long it takes to get all documents.

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Same problem here, I've been manically sending emails about the i20 and things seem to be going nowhere. I'm suppose to request the i20 from my grad dept but I need financial documents about the Unis funding me to support the request and I won't get the financial documents until June. I went online and looked at the info the consulate has provided and they recommend applying 120 days before departure. I've got only 90 days and don't know how to move this forward.

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Same problem here - I accepted UNC Chapel Hill's offer for MS CS around April 10th, and haven't received any information about the Visa or I-20 process. I've contacted the Graduate School, the International Students Office and the CS Department, and last week they said they have either processed or received my file, and that I should be getting an email about the I-20 within a week or so. Well... it's been a week, and I'm getting anxious.

Furthermore, since I have been employed for 2 years after graduation, I am out of touch with my other friends who have gone through this process, and I don't know anyone else who has been admitted this year. So I'm not exactly sure what I should be doing now. Right now, I'm doing nothing but twiddling my thumbs until I get the I-20 or any notification from the university.

Any suggestions? Should I make some other preparations while I wait?

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LightTreasure, you can't start the visa process until you get your I-20 because you need the number on it to pay the SEVIS fee and then to fill out the DS-160 so nothing you can do I think unless you want to start preparing the documents you need to take with you to the embassy. If they don't reply soon maybe you should shoot them another email and make sure you stress with them the fact that you're from India which means you might face delays while scheduling appointments at the embassy etc so you want to star the process asap.

Good luck.

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I am starting research first week of July, and I've also made housing arrangements. They only started processing my I-20 last week! *panic mode on*

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Christa,

Thanks for the reply! I guess I'll have to wait it out. Calling the university doesn't seem to be helping, as they give me the same response. They must be busy. Though that doesn't make me less anxious. :D

Is there a website which specifies which documents I need to have for the visa process?

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Well the US embassy's website should be more than enough. In general though, you need to bring your translated transcripts, GRE, TOEFL, bank statement and any other documents that prove ties to your home country (like property of a house)

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I just got my I-20 form today, after accepting my offer and returning the forms back in March.

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I think I've ended up pressing the panic button too.. We (my advisor and me) decided that I would attend a workshop in the US during July and to do that I would need an earlier-than-conventional starting date. Unfortunately, this has a whole set of formalities with the graduate school with the dept having to submit an official early start form and it's delaying the entire thing. The dept has to submit the form, the grad school has to accept it, the International Students has to then process it and then mail me the I20. And I need to fly out by the first week of July, in 7 weeks time.. FML

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