Helping Students Engage with the World

The program is an experiential, academic program that expands students’ Northeastern education into worldwide locations. Because the first semester of the program is spent outside the U.S., international students must read all the information to understand how this will impact their arrival to the U.S. when coming to the Boston campus in the spring term after the program.

I-20 Form for Spring Semester

The I-20 form is a visa eligibility document issued by Northeastern University to certify that an eligible international student has met admission requirements for a full-time program of study and has demonstrated sufficient financial support for his/her studies in the U.S. This visa eligibility document is needed to apply for a nonimmigrant student visa at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate in order to obtain F-1 status within the U.S.

NOTE: For students who are participating in outside the United States, the I-20 lists your January program start date. You can enter the U.S. as an F-1 student up to 30 days before this date.

Canadian and Bermudian citizens typically do not need visas to study in the U.S. However, you do need to request an I-20 and also pay the SEVIS fee.

What Type of I-20 to Request Outside the U.S.

New international students who will be attending the program for Fall semester outside of the U.S., should request a new initial I-20 for the upcoming spring term. They will start the U.S. portion of their degree program in January. The I-20 form will be issued for a January start.

How to Prepare and Submit an Online Request

1 Required documents for the I-20 request e-form. They must be in digital format of PDF or JPEG:

  • Copy of the identity page of your valid passport
  • Financial documents meeting your program’s expenses:
    • To access the estimated expenses for the Northeastern college of your program, please see the Requesting Your I-20 page of the OGS website.
  • Currency conversion:
    • If you are submitting financial documents that are not in U.S. Dollars, please provide a currency conversion from a currency conversion calculator and upload it to the e-form.
  • Sponsor letter or affidavit of support (only required when your sponsor is a non-blood relative)

2 Accessing the I-20 request e-form

  • Please see the Requesting Your I-20 page of the OGS website.
  • You will be prompted to enter your myNortheastern username and password login. The myOGS I-20 request e-form will respond to your individual situation and guide you through the process. Please ensure that you check “Yes” when asked if you have been admitted to the program for the Fall Semester. (Contact the Office of Global Services with any questions)

What Do I Need to Know About My I-20?

  • You will be issued a new form I-20 for Spring 2025 when you will be matriculated into your degree program.
  • International students participating in the program outside of the U.S. are not eligible for SEVIS transfer from previous institutions because the difference between the end of their high school program and the beginning of their U.S. portion of the Program is more than five months.
  • Please do not ask your high school to transfer your SEVIS record to Northeastern if you are participating in outside of the U.S. Your I-20 from Northeastern will be a new “initial” I-20 with a new SEVIS number, which means that you will need to pay another SEVIS fee and apply for a new F-1 visa.

Applying for the I-20

You can submit an initial I-20 request only after you have been admitted to a program at Northeastern University. For many students, this means that you will be able to submit your request prior to your departure to your N.Uin program location in the Fall. You will also need to be sure to confirm other requirements needed by the admissions office before your I-20 request submission. At that time, you will then be able to submit an electronic I-20 request through myOGS. OGS encourages you to submit your initial I-20 request as soon as possible, ideally no later than November, to provide ample time for the issuance of the I-20 and your F-1 visa application process prior to your enrollment.

Applying for the F-1 Visa

We recommend that international students apply for an F-1 visa and attend a visa interview in their home country before beginning the program. However, if you are not able to do so, and there is not time to return home prior to the spring semester in the U.S., contact the U.S. embassy in the country of the N.U. in program to check for the possibility of applying for an F-1 visa in the specific location.

Scheduling the F-1 visa appointment is a responsibility of the student. OGS can issue you an I-20 form, but you will need to reach out to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate and schedule your visa appointment. For any questions or concerns we suggest that you contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate directly. If an appointment in your N.U. in location is not possible, you need to look into the option of returning home and obtaining your F-1 visa prior to your departure to the U.S.

Note: For the “U.S. Point of Contact Information,” you can state the name of the Designated School Official (DSO) who signed your I-20 and if you don’t know your U.S. address, you can state the following address: (Northeastern University 360 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115).

For “Present Employer or school name” please write the name of your current school.

If you have further questions for your F-1 visa application (DS-160) please reach out to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

You can also visit the OGS website for more information on the F-1 visa process.

Additional Helpful Resources:

  • DS-160 FAQs from the Department of State you can find here.
  • 10 Points to remember When Applying for a Student Visa from.

Applying for an F-1 visa Video »

For additional inquiries please contact the Office of Global Services (OGS) by calling +1.617.373.2310 or through the OGS Service Portal.

Entering the U.S.

When preparing for your arrival to the U.S., you should plan your travel according to the information provided by your college. According to immigration regulations, F-1 student visa holders can enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program report date on the I-20.

When you travel, please have the following documents in your carry-on bag:

  • Valid passport with an official F-1 visa stamp
  • Your original I-20 issued by Northeastern University
  • I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System fee receipt
  • Financial documents
  • Admissions letter

At the U.S. port of entry, you will be required to present your passport and I-20 to the immigration officer who will stamp your passport. In most cases, the officer notes “D/S” (Duration of Status) on your passport pages. This means you are allowed to stay in the U.S. for the length of time indicated on your I-20, provided that you maintain full-time enrollment and a valid F-1 visa status. Ensure your passport is properly stamped before exiting the immigration inspection area. Do not enter the U.S.A in visitor status (B-1/B-2, WT, or WB). This status does not permit full-time study in the U.S. After your arrival, print your Admission (I-94) number at and keep a copy of all travel documents (I-94 information, F-1 visa, and I-20) for your personal records. Ensure your I-94 print out contains the correct information, including F-1 visa status and “Duration of Status.”

After arriving in the U.S., you will receive an email from OGS with instructions to complete your Immigration Clearance and Orientation. You should check your HuskyMail frequently and follow the directions by the deadlines provided. You can find more information about maintaining your F-1 status on the OGS website.