F-1 Document Created
By now, you have received notification that your I-20 has been created by ISP at Caltech. Information on this page is designed to assist you with the next steps in the process for you to begin your academic program at Caltech. Maintaining lawful F-1 status is your responsibility, but ISP is available to assist you in understanding your responsibilities. Consult with us if you have any questions.
SEVIS I-901 Fee
You are required to pay an online SEVIS Fee ($350) prior to applying for a visa and prior to entering the United States in F-1 status. Do not pay any additional fees to expedite SEVIS Fee processing. Simply print your receipt after completing the online payment. Carry the SEVIS Fee Receipt with your passport in order to present it during your visa interview and when entering the United States.
F-1 Visa Application Process
Review the U.S. government site, called Study in the States, to learn more about the international student and visa process: International Student Life Cycle and Applying for a Visa to Travel to the United States.
Frequently Asked Questions about the I-20
Why is my middle name included in the GIVEN NAME field?
U.S. immigration requests that we enter any name that is not a surname into the GIVEN NAME field. This includes the first name(s) and any middle name(s).
Can you edit my NAME to include a hyphen, accent, apostrophe, or other special character?
U.S. immigration does not permit any special characters in the SURNAME or FIRST NAME fields. We must enter your name as it is spelled in the Machine Readable Zone in your passport, at the bottom of the biographical page.
Should the PREFERRED NAME field include my nickname?
U.S. immigration auto-populates the PREFERRED NAME field. We do not need to edit this section.
Why is PASSPORT NAME field blank?
U.S. immigration does not require this field to be completed.
As you plan your arrival, please review some campus, community, and immigration resources available on the International Offices website:
- Before You Leave Home
- Arrival at the Airport in the United States
- Immigration Check-In at Caltech’s ISP
- Getting Settled at Caltech and in the United States
Mandatory Check-In at ISP
ISP is available for check-ins during Walk-In Advising Hours, Monday – Friday, 1:00 – 4:00 PM. We are located in Room 250 of the Center for Student Services (Building 86, on the campus map). Bring your passport and I-20.
Students located at the Caltech LIGO-Hanford and LIGO-Livingston sites must contact ISP upon U.S. arrival to complete a “Remote Check-In.”
Have a safe and pleasant journey. We look forward to meeting you!