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Updated: February 27, 2023

For newly-admitted Tufts international students who plan to apply for an F-1 student visa (Form I-20) or J-1 exchange visitor visa (Form DS-2019). You must request a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 visa certificate from Tufts before you can apply for a student visa. Please read through the checklists and steps below to initiate the I-20 / DS-2019 process.

1 - Items to Review & Prepare

To request a Form I-20 or DS-2019 from Tufts, you will be submitting several documents to the International Center through our online International Center Portal. Please review the following items to make sure that you are ready to submit your request:

  • Submit the required admissions deposit confirming your intent to enroll at Tufts. Information about how to pay the enrollment deposit will be provided to you by your school's admissions office. After your deposit is confirmed, you will receive an invitation email  with instructions about how to access the International Center Portal. Please note that the invitation email may be delayed by a few days or weeks, especially early in the process, depending on various factors.
  • Activate your Tufts email and user ID (also known as your UTLN). After you have paid your deposit, you should receive an email with information about activating your Tufts email account and UTLN, which you will need when submitting your request. Wait at least 24 hours before attempting to access the International Center Portal. You may also need to install two-factor authentication on your device in order to access the Portal.
  • Prepare a clear scanned copy (PDF or JPEG) of your passport identity page. Your I-20 or DS-2019 biographical will be based on the information reflected in your current passport. If you do not have a valid passport, contact the International Center.
  • Read our I-20 / DS-2019 Financial Requirements page and prepare clear scanned copies (PDF or JPEG) of financial documents. To qualify for the I-20 / DS-2019, you must provide documents showing that you have adequate financial resources to meet your educational expenses.
  • Read through the Special Instructions for F-1 / J-1 Transfer Students. This information, provided at the bottom of this page, applies ONLY to students who are already in the US in valid F-1 or J-1 student status. Special steps must be taken in order to transfer your visa records from your current school to Tufts. You will need to provide the name and email of an international student advisor at your current school.
  • Read through the Special Instructions for Students in the US in Another Status. This information, provided at the bottom of this page, applies ONLY to students who are already in the US using a different visa other than F-1 or J-1 status.

2 - Submit Your I-20 / DS-2019 Request

Once you have paid your enrollment deposit you will receive an invitation email from the International Center. Please note that it may take several days before the email is generated and sent to you. The email will include instructions for logging into the International Center Portal using your your Tufts email and UTLN in order request your I-20 or DS-2019. You will not be able to do this until you receive the invitation email from the International Center. Once you have access, complete any required questionnaires and upload the following:

  • Passport identification page (including any dependents accompanying you)
  • Financial documents that meets your required estimate of expenses for yourself and dependents, if any

Please note: If you are located in one of the countries that is a member of the European Economic Area or in the UK when you provide us personal information, please review our EEA Privacy and UK Privacy Statements.

3 - Receive and Sign Your Form

Once you submit your Visa Certificate Request, you will receive an automated confirmation email and your request will be sent to an International Center advisor for processing. Processing is done in order of receipt and usually takes about 7 to 10 business days once a completed request is received.

Once processed, F-1 students will receive their Form I-20 as an electronic PDF that must be printed and signed. J-1 students will be given instructions to arrange for express mail delivery of a paper copy of Form DS-2019. Read more about your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 and contact the International Center if you have any questions about the information on your form.

> Return to Checklist for New Students

Special Instructions