International Student Admissions
What is an I-20?
An I-20 is a document issued by Lake Superior State University for international, admitted students as evidence of their eligibility to study in the United States – specifically at LSSU. Eligible students for this F-1 status must obtain the I-20 form before applying for an F-1 entry visa or a change of status if you are already in the United States. Canadian nationals must have their I-20 and pay the SEVIS Fee before appearing at immigration inspection at a port of entry.
Who needs an I-20?
Students Required to Have an I-20
- Non-U.S. citizens who have never studied in the United States
- Non-U.S. citizens who are transferring from a secondary school, college or university in the United States
- Non-U.S. citizens who are transferring their current visa to the F-1 visa
Exceptions to Needing an I-20
- Permanent Residents – LSSU will need a copy of this information
- Any person able to be in the U.S. with another form of documentation – LSSU will need copies of any/all information
- Canadian Aboriginal or Native American (excluding METIS) with at least 50% blood quantum and has J-treaty privileges – carries a tribal ID – LSSU will need copies of this information
Checklist for International Students (Excluding Ontario Students)
- Apply to LSSU
- Students will need to provide official transcript(s) evaluated by World Evaluation Service (WES) or Education Credential Evaluators (ECE) or SpanTran on a comprehensive course-by-course basis. Websites for WES and ECE are www.wes.org and www.ece.org. If you use SpanTran, please use the custom application they made for LSSU students to ensure you get the discount they offer. To apply with SpanTran, click here. This applies to first time in college students and transfer students.
- Proof of English proficiency is required for admission to LSSU as an international student. English proficiency can be proven in several ways:
- Score 500 or above on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 61 on the internet-based TOEFL. Please use institutional code 1421 to report scores directly to LSSU.
- Score of 72 on the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB). Write: English Language Institute, MELAB Testing, 3020 North University Building, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1057, U.S.A.
- Completion of Level 112 at any ELS Language Center located in the U.S. More information can be found at: www.studyusa.com or at www.els.com, 1-609-750-3500 or .
- APIEL – Advanced Placement English Language Test with a score of 3 or higher.
- SAT critical reading score of 480 or higher for tests taken before March 1, 2016, minimum overall score of 965 or higher, ACT equivalent is 20. For SAT tests taken after May 2016 an evidence based reading and writing score of 510.
- Completion of two (2) years of study at a school, college or university located in an English-speaking country.
- IELTS – International English Language Testing System with a score of 6.0 or higher.
- PTE Academic test score of 44 or higher.
- Students are required to purchase health and accident insurance through the university sponsored program – GEOBlue.
- Students must verify the ability to pay for tuition, books, fees and living expenses for one academic year prior to the I-20 form being received.
Checklist for Ontario Students
- Apply to LSSU
- Students will need to provide official transcript(s). This applies to first time in college students and transfer students.
- Students must provide a copy of a valid Provincial Health Card (both sides) verifying coverage under a provincial health care program. LSSU highly recommends that students purchase adequate health insurance coverage while in the U.S. Students, however, may request to waive the purchase of additional health and accident insurance.
- Students intending on full-time study must verify the ability to pay for tuition, books, fees and living expenses for one academic year prior to the I-20 form being received. Students planning to attend part-time (fewer than 12 credits) and commute to the university will be issued a new I-20 form each semester upon the verification of the payment of tuition and fees, or after submission of financial information as outlined to be a full-time student.
Financial Verification Forms
Declaration of Finances – for the academic year 2021-2022 (Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Summer 2022)
- Cannot be more than 90 days old prior to I-20 creation
- Verification may be documented by the following: personal savings or verification of loans or scholarships received, a parent or sponsor, government or sponsoring agency, or by LSSU anticipated support.
- If the funds are coming from another person(s) other than the student – each sponsor will need to complete a Declaration of Finances with an accompanying Bank Statement as proof of U.S. funds. Multiple sponsors are permitted.
Bank Statement – for the academic year 2021-2022 (Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Summer 2022)
- Cannot be more than 90 days old prior to I-20 creation
- A sponsor may use multiple Bank Statements as needed for different banking establishments.
- Each Bank Statement must be notarized by a designated bank official
Health Insurance Requirements
International Students (Excluding Ontario Students)
International students are required to purchase health and accident insurance through the university sponsored program – GEOBlue. This charge is automatically applied to the student’s account.
Ontario students are required to provide a copy of a valid Provincial Health Card (both sides) verifying coverage under a provincial health care program. LSSU highly recommends that students purchase adequate health insurance coverage while in the U.S. Students, however, may request to waive the purchase of additional health and accident insurance by completing the Health Insurance Waiver.
Processing Fee Information After I-20 is Received
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented a rule requiring F-1 visa applicants to pay a one-time fee of $350 to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). All students receiving an initial SEVIS I-20 form will be required to pay this I-901 processing fee.
This I-901 processing fee is required of all international students who come to the US for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study in institutions such as colleges, universities and language training programs. It is payable one time for each single educational program in which an F-1 student participates, extending from the time the student is granted F-1 status to the time the student falls out of status, changes status, or departs the US for an extended period of time.
Once the financial information requested has been received and verified, your initial SEVIS I-20 form will be completed. We will email/mail/give you the completed SEVIS I-20 form.
To pay the I-901 Fee or to receive information regarding the I-901 fee, please go to: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html
You will need to show proof of payment (copy of receipt) of the I-901 fee when you enter the US and have your initial SEVIS I-20 form processed.
If you have previously paid the $350 I-901 processing fee and need to process a new SEVIS I-20 form, bring your new SEVIS I-20 form, the I-901 payment receipt, as well as your original SEVIS I-20 form to the port of entry. The original SEVIS I-20 form may be required for verification that the SEVIS fee has been paid.
The $350 I-901 processing fee is separate from and in addition to the visa application fee.
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Accessibility Services Coordinator
Lake Superior State University is committed to making reasonable accommodations related to its facilities, programs, or services for qualifying students, staff, faculty, and campus guests with disabilities as required by applicable laws. If any programming or activity is scheduled in an inaccessible space, requests for relocation shall be made to the Human Resources office at 906-635-2213, if possible, 48 hrs prior to the event. View Accessibility Statement Details