I-20/F-1 Student Visa Process

The F-1 Student Visa Process for Students Who Are Not American Citizens

All students who are not American citizens and who plan to attend Heritage Academy must obtain the F-1 Student Visa. Prospective students must first submit and complete the Heritage Academy admissions requirements, be accepted, and officially enroll by signing the enrollment agreement and paying the required tuition. Heritage Academy will then create and send the I-20 form which is requirement before making the embassy appointment.

Heritage Academy is registered and approved by the U.S. Government Homeland Security SEVIS/ICE to issue the I-20 form to students wishing to obtain an F-1 Student Visa. The I-20 shows you are enrolled at Heritage Academy and have met the school requirements to be eligible as international student to receive an F-1 Student Visa to study in the USA. All students attending school and working to complete coursework toward completion of an academic program must enter the United States on the F-1 Student Visa. Visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website https://www.uscis.gov/ for more information. When the I-20 is created by the school, the student’s SEVIS ID number is assigned and will appear on the I-20 form. This SEVIS ID# is required and must be used when making the embassy appointment.

Securing the I-20 form:

  1. Your first step to studying in the States is to be admitted and enrolled into Heritage Academy. Our admissions director will work with you through the admissions and enrollment process. The admissions and enrollment requirements are as follows:
    • Complete in full and submit the Heritage Academy application
    • Return the completed Statement of Good Standing form completed and signed by an official at your current school
    • Send all student academic records from age 13 through the current date of application submission to attend Heritage Academy
    • Complete and submit the two-page Heritage Academy consent/release form
    • Send a copy of student’s passport
    • Supply the address to where the I-20 package should be sent and delivered by Federal Express International Priority and include the best contact telephone number
  2. Receive the acceptance letter and the enrollment agreement from Heritage Academy
  3. Return the Heritage Academy signed enrollment agreement to Heritage with the tuition payment. Tuition payment can be made by credit card or by a wire transfer.
  4. The required room and board fees must be paid and confirmed in accordance with the training academy’s policies.
  5. Heritage Academy will create and issue the I-20 via the Student and Exchange Visitors Information System (SEVIS) and the official I-20 form will be sent by Federal Express International Priority to the address confirmed in writing by you during the admissions process.
  6. The I-20 document will be created to show your entire Course of Study. The term Course of Study means from the first day you begin at Heritage Academy through the estimated period of time needed to meet graduation requirements and complete your academic program.

Traveling to the USA with an F-1 Student Visa:

  1. Passport, official I-20 form, and F-1 Student Visa must be kept with the student at all times while traveling into and out of the United States.
  2. Student will be required to show their passport, their official I-20, and their F-1 Student Visa to an Immigration Officer at the airport.
  3. Make sure the Officer stamps the student’s F-1 Student Visa. There are consequences for not having a F-1 Student Visa stamped when entering the United States.

Arriving at Heritage Academy:

  1. Students bring their passport, official I-20, and F-1 Student Visa to school and give them to the Admissions Director who also assumes the Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) role.
  2. The PDSO will confirm the student’s legal entry into the USA and will register them with SEVIS via information provided from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  3. The PDSO will make copies of the student’s legal documents: the I-20, F-1 Student Visa, and passport to keep in their permanent file at school.
  4. Once registered in SEVIS, a new official continued I-20 form will replace the initial I-20 document. This continued I-20 will be signed by the PDSO and will be given to the student or their guardian. This I-20 document along with the F-1 Student Visa and the passport will allow travel in and out of the United States during that term. Term is considered one semester.
  5. Heritage Academy recommends students keep all official documents to include your F-1 Student Visa, continued I-20, and passport in a secure place at your residential housing.
  6. At the beginning of each semester (term), the PDSO will need to re-register the student in SEVIS and a new official I-20 form will be given to them.

Leaving the USA for Travel or Holiday:

  1. When leaving the USA, student must notify the PDSO at the school.
  2. The PDSO will confirm the student is possession of the official continued I-20.
  3. Student must take responsibility to travel with of their all legal documents to include the F-1 Student Visa, the continued official I-20 that has been signed by the PDSO, and passport.