I-20 Form Details

To issue an I-20 form, Seattle Central will enter all of the student’s relevant information in SEVIS. SEVIS is an online database created by the Department of Homeland Security to track students and exchange visitors while they are in the United States. As a SEVIS-approved institution, Seattle Central will regularly update SEVIS with the student’s enrollment information after the student is admitted to Seattle Central.

NOTE: Per a new SEVP policy effective June 2019, I-20 forms can only be sent or given to the student, his/her dependents, or, if a minor, his/her parents or legal guardian.

Following is some helpful information on the different sections of the I-20 form:

Issue Reason

The I-20 form will list an issue reason, which could be one of the following:
- Initial Attendance (students who are not already in the United States)
- Initial Attendance, Change of Status Requested (for students in the United States changing to F-1 status from another non-immigrant status)
- Transfer pending (students transferring from another U.S. institution)

Level of Study

The level of study on the I-20 form will vary depending on the student’s intended program and information submitted to Admissions regarding the student’s English proficiency.

Applicant's Program Level of Study
Intensive English, Advanced English, or College Bridge
(ESL only, no intent to study in a college-level program)
Language Training
College-level program* - No English proficiency provided   Associate**
College-level program* - English proficiency provided
sufficient for a guaranteed placement in College Bridge
 Other: Pathway Program
College-level program* - English proficiency provided
sufficient for a guaranteed placement in college-level classes

* University Transfer, High School Completion Plus, Career Training, or IP Short-Term Certificate.
** A note will indicate that the student will test on arrival prior to registration.

Start / End Dates and Normal Length of Study

The start date will fall on the first day of the quarter of admission or, in the case of students beginning in the Intensive English Program, on the first day of orientation (one week  before). For students who must take the college English placement test, the start date will be the Wednesday before the first day of the quarter (approximately 4 days before the first day). The end date will depend on the normal length of study, which is determined by a student’s program:

ESL only: 21 months
College program*: 24 months
IP Short-Term Certificate: 12 months
ESL + college program*: 45 months
ESL + IP Short-Term Certificate: 24 months
College Bridge + college program*: 36 months
College Bridge + IP Short-Term Certificate: 18 months
* University transfer, High School Completion Plus or Career Training program


The major on the I-20 form is chosen by Seattle Central based on the kind of courses a student will take while enrolled here. It may or may not match exactly a student’s intended major for the following reasons:
- When issuing an I-20 form, schools must select the subject from a list of majors in SEVIS. Although there are hundreds of choices, the SEVIS major does not always match exactly the major offered at a particular school.
- College transfer students may have a specific major in mind for a Bachelor’s degree, but courses taken for this major in the first two years are preparatory, and often in a different subject area. If the first two years of study for a particular major are very general without many specific classes required, the major may say “Liberal Arts and Sciences, General”. Seattle Central will choose the subject area that most accurately describes the courses taken during the student’s first two years, not necessarily the major. If students list “Undecided” as a major on the application form, or leave the major blank, the I-20 major will be “Liberal Arts and Sciences, General”.

Example of Intended Majors I-20 Major as listed on I-20 form
Business (all fields: Accounting, Marketing, Management, etc.) Business / Commerce, General
Graphic Design Art / Art Studies, General
Health Sciences (Medicine, Nursing, etc.) Biology / Biological Sciences, General
Environmental Science Biology / Biological Sciences, General
Pharmacy Chemistry, General
Engineering (all fields: Chemical, Civil, etc.) Engineering, General
ESL Second Language Learning
Architecture Liberal Arts and Sciences, General

Major for Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) programs

The major indicated for the Bachelor of Applied Science programs will vary depending on the admissions process for the program.

Applied Behavioral Sciences: Freshman applicants to this program will begin their studies in the Social and Human Services program. The I-20 form will indicate a major of “Human Services”, with comments indicating the long-term goal of completing a BAS in Applied Behavioral Sciences. Once students are ready to transition to the final two years of the program, the major will be adjusted to indicate “Behavioral Sciences".

Transfer applicants to these programs eligible to start directly into year 3 of the BAS degree program will receive an I-20 form with the major “Behavioral Sciences”.

Allied Health: Because students must first complete pre-requisites prior to applying the BAS in Allied Health, the I-20 form will indicate a major of “Liberal Arts and Sciences”, with comments indicating the long-term goal of completing a BAS in Allied Health. Once students complete pre-requisites and are officially accepted to the Allied Health program, the major will be adjusted to indicate “Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General”.

When students begin the final 6 quarters of the program, the major will be updated to reflect the chosen track for the BAS degree.

Transfer applicants who have already completed pre-requisites and who are accepted to begin the degree will receive an I-20 form that indicates a major of “Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General”.

Financial Information

The I-20 form estimates tuition and fees, living expenses, and other expenses for one academic year (9 months) in the student’s program. Students who have applied for both the Intensive English Program and for college study will receive an I-20 form with a college program estimate.