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International Student Information

Process to Apply for I-20 or DS-2019 Document

If you are an International student required to attain a J-1 or F-1 student visa, you will need to submit additional documentation to the Office of Admissions.

Many laws regarding International Students studying in the U.S. have changed. It is very important that you are aware of the particular immigration laws that affect your country. Please allow sufficient time (a minimum of six to eight weeks) for the University to process your paperwork and issue the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) document.

Forms and information needed to process the I-20 document

Documentation should be sent AFTER the student has *paid the enrollment deposit and *has accepted the offer of admission online.

International students must submit all required documents (Listed 1 - 4 below):

  1. International Student Information Form (download below)
  2. Affidavit of Support for Financial Sponsor Form(s) (download below)
  3. sufficient supporting financial documents (MUST be originals/ NO Photocopies)
  4. photocopy of your passport identification page(s)
  • We will begin processing documents in March, first for those who will begin classes in May, then for those who will begin classes in August.
  • The Heinz College Office of Admissions will send an email notification when we have completed initial review of your documents.
  • We then send your documents to the Office of International Education for processing.
  • The Office of International Education will process the forms and send you an email when your I-20 is ready.
  • Heinz College cannot provide updates regarding the processing of your documents. Your VISA is generally available within 6 to 8 weeks of receipt of all necessary documents. Forgetting to include needed documents, or sending photocopies (instead of originals) of financial documents will create delays in processing.
  • You will be connected with an outside shipping company in order to ship the I-20 to your location.
  • AVOID DELAYS: Please ensure ALL REQUIRED documents are included in your package before mailing to the admissions office

You should expect to wait at least 6 to 8 weeks from the date you send this information until your I-20 is available.

For assistance in completing these forms, you may find the Office of International Education's Frequently Asked Questions page to be helpful.

Required Forms

Please note that all of the required forms and documents must be received and verified by the Office of Admissions before the I-20 can be processed.

Please mail your completed forms to:

Heinz College Office of Admissions
Carnegie Mellon University
Room 1101 Hamburg Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Please refer to the Office of International Education’s website for further details on whether or not you are required to attain a J-1 or F-1 student visa for studying at Carnegie Mellon.

Receiving the I-20 document

The I-20 document will be sent to you after all forms and financial information have been received and verified. Again, you should allow sufficient time for the processing of all required information. After you receive the I-20 document, you will need to pay your SEVIS Fee (more instructions will be included with your I-20 document) and then you must make an appointment with the U.S. consulate for an interview to receive your VISA. VISA processing in some countries may require an additional 3 weeks. Consider your country's immigration regulations and allow sufficient time for processing your VISA well in advance of your expected arrival date.

The name of your degree program on your I-20 may be different from the name of your CMU degree program

The name of your degree at CMU will not, in most cases, match the name on your I-20. Program codes on the I-20 are linked to U.S. Department of Education codes that are in turn linked to CMU program names in the immigration database. That the major name does not exactly match is not a cause for concern.

Improving your English prior to arriving in Pittsburgh

Newly admitted international students often ask for advice on how to best improve academic English before beginning their programs at CMU. CMU's Intercultural Communication Center (ICC) has developed a webpage to share some useful materials and techniques. You can access their page here.

Language Bootcamp

August 6-10, 2018

Language Bootcamp is intended to help incoming graduate students who are nonnative English speakers be better prepared for the demanding programs at Carnegie Mellon University by focusing on skills that will help improve both advanced academic fluency and their understanding of the U.S. academic culture. The program is aimed at students who have gaps in their academic fluency and yet have a sufficient foundation in English to benefit from a week-long intensive program.

For more information about the Language Bootcamp program (e.g., class descriptions, suggested TOEFL / IELTS scores, registration information), visit the Language Bootcamp website.

Important Information

Global Pittsburgh, a regional collaborative initiative, hosts a website intended to introduce you to the international character of the Pittsburgh region.

The Carnegie Mellon Office of International Education has extensive information on their website to help you complete the enrollment process at Carnegie Mellon, such as:

  • How to receive the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) document
  • Health Insurance
  • International Student Orientation
  • Getting to Carnegie Mellon
  • Tax Obligations for International Students
  • Housing Resources

The OIE's Settling in Guide contains information about:

  • International Communities in Pittsburgh
  • Events Calendar
  • News of interest to people moving to Pittsburgh
  • Sending Packages to CMU to be held for your arrival

For responses to additional questions, please email the Office of International Education: