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International Student Information

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

Full-Time, degree-seeking international students who are required to obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa must submit their “New Student Initial Document Request” E-form through the online MyOIE portal.

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 E-Form and issue the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) document.

Please plan to begin the I-20 process after completing steps 1-3 below.

  1. Accept the offer of admission online
  2. Pay enrollment deposit
  3. Activate Andrew ID
  4. Wait for email from the Office of International Education (OIE) sent to your CMU Andrew Email address to access MyOIE portal.
    PLEASE NOTE: Receipt of email may take up to 2-weeks after activating Andrew ID
  5. Follow instructions provided in email from OIE
    • Subject Line: Action Required: Submit New Student Initial Document Request
    • Email Sender:
  6. Complete ASAP – delay of E-Form submission will impact VISA appointment scheduling. When filling out the funding information section of the E-Form, please reference this document for the first 12 months of estimated tuition expenses.

Heinz College cannot provide updates regarding the processing of your E-Form. Your immigration document is generally available within 4 to 6 weeks of submitting a complete E-Form. Please Note: International students cannot apply for their visa until 365 days before the start of their program (first day of classes). We aim to provide you the DS-2019 or I-20 ahead of the 120 day time period.

Students who have questions on how to use the portal should utilize the MyOIE Instructions for Initial Students along with the MyOIE FAQs.

Questions that cannot be answered by the MyOIE Instructions for Initial Students or the MyOIE FAQs should be directed towards OIE at

We also recommend referencing OIE’s “Coming to Carnegie Mellon” and FAQ webpages when completing the E-Form.

Receiving the I-20 document

The I-20 document will be sent to you after all forms and financial information submitted through the E-Form have been received and verified. Again, you should allow sufficient time for the processing of all required information. OIE will connect you with an outside shipping company in order to ship the I-20 to a location of your choosing. After you receive the I-20 or DS-2019 document, you will need to pay your SEVIS Fee (more instructions will be included with your OIE documents) 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.

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: