Initial Student FAQ

How do I submit my financial documents so that I can receive my I-20?

The ISSO has a dedicated page to answer questions related to submitting financial documents for I-20 issuance. Click Here to access our Financial Certificate Form.

I am a transfer student to UNC Charlotte, how do I complete the SEVIS record transfer in process?

Click Here to learn about our office’s transfer in page and procedures. 

I have received a stipend/assistantship but it is not showing on my FCF. Can I upload the award letter showing those funds?

No, you can not upload the award letter. Instead, please reach out to your department to have them enter your contract in eGA, then make sure you accept your contract in eGA, and any tuition support in Banner. Once that step is completed your funds should all show up on the FCF after 24 hours of being uploaded by the department and accepted by you. We do not need to see additional documentations for those funds.

Exception to the rule:

  • Students may submit proof of their Summer 2022 funding on a department letterhead IF they are submitting their FCFs before November 2021. FCFs submitted in November and onward must list the Summer 2022 funding, if offered.
  • Students receiving awards from professors using project grant funding or funds that can only be entered/logged by the department in the SEA Award system (Example: Faculty member is using his/her startup funds to help fund the student) must also submit a written statement listing the department’s commitment and the amount of funds.
    • What to upload with your Financial Certificate form in this situation:
      • The Student Educational Award Submission Confirmation. This is an automated email the department will receive after they have submitted the funds to Financial Aid/SEA system. You may submit a pdf copy of the email with the Financial Certificate From.
      • A statement from the department listing the department’s commitment and the amount of funds. Must be signed and on letterhead.
I made a request for I-20 on [insert date], when will I receive my I-20?

Our processing time is 5 business days from the day a student submits their Financial Certificate Form (FCF). Note that weekends and holidays are not considered business days. Your electronic I-20 will be uploaded to your ISSOconnect account when it is ready, and you will receive an automatic email informing you of this at your email inbox.

I’m not having luck getting a visa appointment. Can I get an urgent visa appointment support letter?

Generally, no. 

The U.S. Department of State will not honor such a letter if your program start date is more than 30 days away–they will simply ignore it. As such, the ISSO and other university staff will not write an emergency or expedited visa appointment support letter for anyone with more than 30 days before their program begins (as noted on the I-20). 

The only exception to this is if your program start date is less than 30 days away and you still have not secured a visa appointment. In that case, you can ask your academic advisor to write a letter stating why your timely presence is necessary to the functioning of the university and provide that to you (for example, if you are needed as a TA for a class, and your absence would harm the learning of the entire class). This letter can sometimes help a student with less than 30 days before their program begins request an expedited visa interview. The ISSO, which the Department of State must see as a neutral party mediating relations between the government and the university, cannot write that letter. 

We do not have a template for that letter, but it should explain why your absence harms UNC Charlotte as a whole, and not simply why you would be better off having your visa prioritized over the requests of other possibly equally qualified and worthy co-nationals and prospective students. 

My Summer 2023 award is not listed on the FCF. Can you use the award letter showing my summer funding as a supporting document?

Students receiving TA and/or GA contracts for the Summer 2023 term should be able to see those funds on the FCF if the department uploaded these funds into banner. Awards for Summer 2023 will not be entered in the eGA system until after November 2022, thus award letters showing Summer 2023 funds can be uploaded with the FCF. This option will not be available after Jan 1st, 2023.

What if I am deferring my admission?

If you are unable to begin classes for the term in which you applied for admission, reach out to the admission office ( for graduate students, and  for undergraduate students) to discuss Summer or Fall 2021 readmission options.  Please note the ISSO cannot make admission decisions; however, we will work on updating your SEVIS record and reissue you a new I-20 once you have been readmitted. Thus, take a minute to answer our Spring 2021 New international student survey  – requires your UNC Charlotte login – to help us plan for next semester.

What is I am starting my program online?

For Undergraduate students: At this time UNC Charlotte does not have any programs (majors) that are 100% online. This means that students should expect to enroll in some in-person classes each semester. We recommend that you register for Undergraduate Orientation (all sessions are online). Before attending Undergraduate Orientation, you may view courses offered for Fall 2023 and filter the options based on instructional type in Banner Self-Service.  During Undergraduate Orientation, you may share you proposed list of online courses with your academic advisor to determine if you are able to obtain those courses. 

For Graduate Students: For students who are unable to enroll in classes on campus in the Fall 2023 semester, some programs may have the option to begin 100% online in the Fall and then transition to in-person classes for the Spring 2024 semester. Note that this opportunity may not be available to all new students, so contact your Graduate Program Director.

For all Students: Note that studying online does not require an F-1 visa.  We cannot activate your SEVIS record until you arrive in the U.S.  Semesters spent studying outside the U.S. before we activate your SEVIS record do not count towards the CPT or OPT two semester requirement.