Information for International Students

Form I-20 and F-1 Visa

Newly admitted students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. seeking F-1 (Student) Visa status must obtain a USC Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant F-1 Student Status) and apply for an F-1 Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before traveling to the U.S. to begin their degree program.

Step 1

To obtain a Form I-20, you must first submit the Enrollment Commitment Deposit and Form by May 1.

Step 2

Email a copy of your passport along with your full name and USCID to If you have not submitted the Financial Statement of Personal or Family Support during the application process, please email it to as well.

Step 3

USC will generate and send you (via courier service) the Form I-20 starting mid-May.

Step 4

After you receive the Form I-20, you must pay a one-time SEVIS I-901 Fee online at Further instructions on applying for your F-1 visa will be included in your Form I-20.

  • If you are currently attending a U.S. institution (e.g. international transfer students at a community college or international high school students at a boarding school) and will be transferring your SEVIS I-20 record to USC, please email Instructions regarding the SEVIS transfer process will be providedto you.

  • If you received a USC merit-based scholarship, please check to make sure the scholarship amount is on the Form I-20.

All questions regarding your USC Form I-20 should be directed to

For questions related to immigration regulations please contact the Office of International Services (OIS) at


International students may participate in any of the summer Orientation sessions. Alternatively, you can attend the two-day International Student Orientation in August. For more information please visit

English Language Proficiency and Testing

International students who do not meet the English proficiency requirements may be required to take the International Student English (ISE) exam. This placement exam will help determine your English proficiency and any need for further English instruction. For more information please visit