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This section is for the use of departments at UNC-Chapel Hill that plan to admit international students or in which international students are currently enrolled. We have included information to help staff and faculty of UNC-Chapel Hill departments understand U.S. immigration regulations and how they affect international students who are studying and working at the University. The information provided here relates primarily to individuals who will enter or have entered the U.S. with an F-1 or J-1 student visa, or who have changed to student status. Foreign nationals studying at the University in an immigration status other than F-1 or J-1 may be assisted by ISSS on a limited basis but generally need to seek guidance from an attorney if they are in need of detailed immigration advising.

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) relies on partnerships with admissions offices to support our incoming international students. In order for ISSS to issue a Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20 or DS-2019 a student must be admitted into a full-time, on-campus academic program based on their academic merit. The Certificate of Eligibility is an immigration document which allows a student to apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy and request entry into the U.S. The Form I-20 is issued to students requesting F-1 immigration status and the Form DS-2019 is issued to students requesting J-1 immigration status.

The Financial Certificate is an ISSS form which provides the necessary biographical, immigration and financial information to create a Certificate of Eligibility. Financial Certificates are typically updated by ISSS in late Fall for the upcoming academic year. Admission coordinators should follow the Admission Processing Checklist when requesting a Form I-20 or DS-2019 on behalf of the student and should submit the completed Financial Certificate to our office via campus mail (CB#5240) or in person.

For a detailed guide to admissions processing, see Admission Processing Checklist.