BIA - Bridgeport International Academy

Understanding Your I-20

On December 29, 2001, Bridgeport International Academy received approval from the U.S. government to issue I-20 forms, which enable international students to obtain F-1 student visas. This process is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The I-20 certifies that you have been admitted to enroll at an American high school to study full-time and that your family has demonstrated sufficient financial resources to support you while you are studying. BIA issues this document to international applicants who have been accepted to study at our Academy.*

Officially, the I-20 is a "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status." By obtaining an I-20, you are "eligible" to apply for an F-1 student visa. It is necessary to have a student visa to gain entry into the United States to study.

The F-1 visa is only issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate. Once you have obtained an I-20, you need to make an appointment at an American embassy or consulate in your nation to apply for the F-1 visa. The F-1 non-immigrant, student visa is for full-time students. It is  understood that the student is coming to the United States for the express purpose of studying in an American educational institution.

You must present the I-20 and also the F-1 student visa that is stamped in your passport upon arrival at a port-of-entry in the Unites States. Once you are in America, you should use the I-20 for identification purposes and proof of your legal and academic status.

Through a government database that is called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (i.e., SEVIS), an I-20 form is issued by a designated school official. A BIA school official who is authorized to have access to the SEVIS system prints, signs, and delivers the I-20 to the student. If the student needs either to update or to change information on the I-20, the designated school official must make requests through the SEVIS system to produce a new I-20 document.

Contact us

  • Phone: (203) 334-3434
  • Fax: (203) 334-8651