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International AdmissionsCertificate of Eligibility

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F-1 & J-1 Documentation Requirements


Forms I-20 and DS-2019

Financial certification documents are required for the issuance of Certificate of Eligibility forms I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1), an essential requirement among the checklist of items required for the student visa application process. This legal form, issued by Old Dominion University, serves as satisfactory proof that a student has met the requirements for university admission and the financial ability to pay for their intended program of study's first-year (F-1) or total program (J-1) expenses.

Do not be concerned if page 3 of form I-20 becomes separated, as this is standard instruction, and not required for either a visa interview or as documentation at a U.S. Port of Entry.

Required Documents:

  1. Old Dominion University Affidavit of Support
  2. Original bank statement or sponsorship guarantee
  3. Passport identity page

Acceptable Documentation of Financial Ability: Bank statements must include a summary of account, passbook or transaction activity. Financial documentation is valid for one calendar year from the desired date of enrollment.

  • Personal/Family/Friend Funds- Original, dated, bank issued statement demonstrating an equivalent numerical balance in U.S. dollars of on-demand or liquid funds equal to the total first-year estimated costs.
  • Government or Employer Sponsorship- Original letter must be addressed to Old Dominion University, and include all terms and provisions, specifying the exact amount of support, duration of funds, program of study and inclusion of any dependent or additional allowances.
  • Educational Loans- Official loan guarantee verifying the terms and amount of secured funding.
  • ODU Assistantships- Award letter from the graduate department indicating total funds, any tuition reduction, duration and origin of the financial assistance. It is the recipient's responsibility to ensure International Admissions receives timely notification.
  • Dependents- Spouses and children in F-2 & J-2 status require additional funding for living and personal expenses. These added costs must be factored into the total amount of guaranteed support and included on ODU's Financial Affidavit of Support. A copy of each dependents' passport identification page or birth certificate is required.

Unacceptable Documentation of Financial Ability: Documents issued prior to one calendar year by the date of enrollment, documents not limited to: property, employment or pension income, educational loan applications.

Health Insurance

Year round (12 month) health insurance is required for the entire duration of study in F-1 status. Costs covering the University insurance plan are added to your tuition bill, and can be paid in one payment or through installments via enrollment in a payment plan. Students in J-1 status must maintain health insurance coverage meeting Exchange Visitor Program requirements.

Dependent Health Insurance

Purchase of the University insurance plan is not mandatory for dependents in F-2 status, though ODU strongly encourages coverage for all family members while residing in the United States. Dependents in J-2 status must maintain health insurance coverage meeting Exchange Visitor Program requirements

F-1 vs J-1

Form I-20 serves as a student's Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 student status, and demonstrates that an individual has satisfied the institution's admission and financial requirements to begin degree seeking or language studies. Funding is primarily through personal or family funds. Though your program of study may end earlier or later than the standard full-time enrollment timeline, the initial form I-20 is issued for 48 months (Bachelors), 24 months (Masters) or 72 months (Ph.D.).

Form DS-2019 serves as a student's or scholar's Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 student status, and demonstrates that an individual has satisfied the institution's admission and financial requirements to begin degree seeking study or participation in an approved educational exchange program. A substantial portion of J-1 funding sources includes home country or U.S. government scholarships. Though your program of study may end earlier or later than the standard full-time enrollment timeline, the initial form DS-2019 is issued for 48 months (Bachelors), 24 months (Master's) or 72 months (Ph.D.) unless otherwise specified by your sponsor or exchange agreement. Depending on the nature or your program of study or exchange, J-1 status may carry a two-year home residency requirement.

SEVIS Transfers

F-1 or J-1 students currently in attendance at a U.S. institution who wish to continue their studies uninterrupted must have their SEVIS record released, or transferred to ODU before beginning a new program of study.

Steps to transfer your SEVIS record:

  1. Wait until you have received offical notificaiton of university admission.
  2. Both Undergraduate and Graduate students must confirm their intent to enroll and follow all pre-arrival steps, including the submission of acceptable financial documentation of first year expenses.
  3. Determine a release date from your current institution to ODU. A release date occurs as your current academic term ends, but before the new ODU term begins.
  4. Report and check-in on campus by the program start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019.

*If traveling outside the U.S. prior to your program state date, your re-entry Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) must be issued by ODU. Please notate any specific travel or document mailing instructions on the SEVIS Transfer-in form. You may also opt to pick up your new I-20 or DS 2019 in person upon campus check-in.

ODU SEVIS & Program Codes

F-1 code for I-20 issuance WAS214F10145000
J-1 code for DS-2019 issuance P-1-03464