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I-20 Application Process

Learn more about the steps needed for international students to complete the I-20 application, what to do after you receive your I-20, and how to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee.

Application Process for I-20

If you are planning on coming to BYU-Idaho as an F-1 International Student, you must obtain an I-20 from International Services to be eligible to apply for a student visa and legally enter the U.S. to study. If you are already in the U.S. on an F-1 visa or are seeking a Change of Status to an F-1 visa, you will apply for an I-20 from BYU-Idaho the same way.

Here are the steps you need to complete to apply for your I-20:

  • Fill out the “Application for Form I-20” in Sunapsis.
  • Provide the following documents:
    • Copy of Passport
    • Proof of Funds
      • Prospective international students must provide proof of credible sources of funding. This is required to show that the student has enough resources to study and live in the U.S. for the entirety of their study program. The estimated yearly cost for international students is:
        • $17,000 for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
        • $21,300 for non-members
      • There are multiple acceptable forms of proof of funds, including, but not limited to:
        • Personal bank statements
        • Documentation from a sponsor 
        • Family bank statements 
        • Financial aid such as loans or scholarships
      • If you are being sponsored, you should provide your sponsor’s information and International Services will send them a form to fill out.
      • All bank statements should be in English if possible, whether it be provided by the bank or translated by a professional. 
      • Proof of funds must be liquidated money – money can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Pay the International Student deposit.
    • $4,000 for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    • $6,000 for non-members
  • Complete the mandatory online financial orientation course through Sunapsis.
    • You will be added to Canvas and the course soon after accepting your offer of admission.
    • This module is to help you understand the costs of attending school in the U.S. 
      • You must pass the course with 100% and upload a financial budget that must be approved by International Services before being issued an I-20.

Everything must be submitted to International Services before the deadline indicated in the application. Failure to do so will lead to your I-20 Application being denied.

If you receive an I-20 from International Services, you agree to the regulations and requirements of your F-1 student visa when you sign the document. The back page of your I-20 has some of the regulations you must abide by. To read through the rest of the regulations, please review the NAFSA Adviser's Manual.

If you are transferring to BYU-Idaho from another U.S. university, you must apply for a Form I-20 through Sunapsis. In the I-20 application, you should indicate that you are currently in the U.S. with a student visa. You should also contact your current international student advisor to transfer your SEVIS record to BYU-Idaho.

If you have a dependent (a spouse or child) who will be coming to the U.S. with you, you will need to provide additional documentation. This includes:

  • Passport of each dependent
  • Proof of relationship (birth certificate, marriage certificate)
  • Additional proof of funding: $4,500 per dependent, per year

After Receiving Your I-20

After you receive an I-20 from International Services, you are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee before you can make an embassy appointment. The I-901 SEVIS fee can be paid online. Once the I-901 SEVIS fee has been paid, set up an appointment with a U.S. embassy to receive an F-1 student visa. If you are a Canadian citizen, you must pay the I-901 SEVIS fee before entering the U.S.

Even if you receive an I-20 from International Services, it is not guaranteed that you will receive a visa from an embassy. Please keep this in mind when arranging travel plans. It is recommended to buy plane tickets, housing contracts, etc. only after receiving your visa.

If you receive a visa, please be aware of the following information:

  • You can enter the U.S. on your F-1 visa no more than 30 days before your first semester starts,
  • You should receive a visa stamp from customs when entering the country,
  • You should attend New Student Orientation with International Services, and
  • You are required by law to check in with International Services within the first 2 weeks of school. This can only be done after entering the U.S. and filling out the New Student Check-In form through Sunapsis.

Financial Requirements

Find out more about financial requirements.

I-901 Sevis Fee

International students who have been issued an Initial Form I-20 are required to pay the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee before being issued a visa. Canadian students are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee before entering the U.S. The I-901 SEVIS fee is currently $350 for F-1 students and is non-refundable.

The I-901 SEVIS Fee is mandated by the U.S. Congress. Each student issued an initial Form I-20 is responsible for paying this fee to SEVP.

This can be paid at the SEVIS Fee website:

If your country of birth or citizenship is Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, or Nigeria you must pay by money order, Western Union Quick Pay, or certified check drawn from a U.S. bank. All other prospective F-1 students have the option to make a credit card payment.

  • SEVP will accept third-party payments, meaning someone else can pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. For students who cannot pay the fee by credit card, third-party payers are also restricted from paying the fee by credit card.
  • Visit SEVP's website for instructions on how to complete the Western Union Quick Pay/Quick Collect form.
  • Here you can access the PDF version of the SEVIS Form I-901. Print and mail in your paper SEVIS Form I-901 with your check or money order, according to the instructions on the form.

Once the I-901 SEVIS Fee is paid, you should print a copy of the receipt to take to your visa interview and when you cross into the U.S.