Obtain a UNC Charlotte I-20

The first step on your journey as an F-1/J-1 international student at UNC Charlotte is to obtain an F-1 Form I-20 (also simply called an “I-20”) or J-1 DS-2019 Form from the ISSO. This page will detail the steps needed to submit a completed Financial Certification Form (FCF), which is itself a prerequisite for the I-20/DS-2019.

The purpose of the Financial Certification Form is to help UNC Charlotte obtain complete and accurate information about the funds available to international applicants who want to study in the United States. Strict government regulations, rising educational costs and economic conditions have made verification of financial resources of international applicants essential. Institutions do not have the option of deciding whether or not to verify the financial resources of their international applicants; financial verification must be made prior to institutional issuance of form I-20 or DS-2019. Additionally, most U.S. consulates or embassies require original copies of all financial documents when students apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa.

Click the following link or click on “Cost of Attendance” the lefthand sidebar to view the estimated academic year cost of tuition, housing, food, health insurance and personal expenses at UNC Charlotte. Then, use the drop down menus below to learn about the process.

Prepare to receive a link to the Financial Certification Form

Check your email within 4-5 business days after you have accepted your official offer of admission. You will receive an email with a hyperlink to the Financial Certification Form (FCF) when it is time for you to complete it. You do not need to contact the ISSO office regarding the link invitation. Begin securing your financial documents, as you will need these to complete the FCF. As an FYI: you’ll also need to set up/activate your NinerNet account and install Duo verification before you can access your charlotte.edu email.

Gather proof(s) of financial support

Submitted financial documents must show funds for one full academic year. Financial support documents that can be used for the FCF could include any of the documents listed below as long as they are:

  1. Dated within the past 12 months;
  2. In English;
  3. Converted into $U.S. (online currency conversions submitted by the student are acceptable); and
  4. Clear and readable

You may use multiple financial documents as long as the total funding matches or exceeds the estimated cost of attendance listed on the FCF. Additionally, you may use financial docum

ents from your home country as long as they are in English, and reflect th

e funds available. For more info on common types of documents, see below:

  • Copy of bank statement or letter
    The bank statement or bank letter must meet all of the requirements listed above as well as the financial requirements listed below. If any of the following elements are missing from your bank statement or bank letter, the I-20 or DS-2019 will not be issued.
  1. The bank statement or bank letter must be on the financial institution letterhead.
  2. The bank account types that most commonly indicate liquid assets are checking, savings, or deposit accounts.

If a family member or relative is supporting your education as a sponsor, a copy of the relative’s bank statement (that meets the requirements above), along with a short letter describing that person’s relationship to you and stating that they will make X amount of money available to you for your studies is also acceptable.

  • UNC Charlotte Awards and Graduate Assistantships
    International students as non-U.S. citizens are not eligible for U.S. Financial Aid and most scholarships and awards. However, some graduate assistantships are available directly through the academic department or Graduate School. If a graduate assistantship, scholarship or award is granted, the granting department must submit this decision electronically, which will reflect automatically on the international student’s Financial Certificate Form. It may take some time for these updates to be reflected in the University’s database.

    If a graduate assistantship includes health insurance coverage, it is assumed to be only for the student. Separate health insurance should be provided for any accompanying spouse and/or child(ren).

  • Government funding support letter
    If your education is being sponsored by an organization, government or a business, not an individual, you must provide a letter from the organization, company or government on the organization’s letterhead. This letter must state that business funds can be used towards the student’s estimated academic year cost of tuition, housing, food, health insurance and personal expenses.
  • Educational Loan Letters
    Must show an exact amount of funds available OR clarify that the sponsorship covers student’s tuition, tuition, housing, food, health insurance and personal expenses

It is preferred for the financial documents to reflect the funds in U.S. dollars, however if the financial documents reflect currencies other than U.S. dollars you may convert the currency to U.S. dollars at www.xe.com, print out the conversion page, scan and upload the document to your FCF along with your supporting bank statement(s).

Access and submit the FCF

Once you have received the link to access the FCF, and have all of your financial documents ready, access the FCF. Once you click on the link to open the Financial Certification Form, it will remain available/open for a maximum of 60 minutes so please have the required financial information available to you. Please Note: The form will ‘time-out’ and cause you to restart the FCF from the beginning if not completed within 60 minutes.

Next steps after submitting the FCF

The ISSO will review your completed Financial Certification Form and if approved, an I-20/DS-2019 will be issued approximately 5 business days after the successful submission of your FCF. Weekends and holidays are not considered business days. If something in your submission is incomplete or difficult to understand, a member of the ISSO staff will send you an email asking for clarification. For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, an e-signed electronic I-20 will be uploaded to your ISSOconnect account. You will print this I-20, sign it, and use it for your visa interview.

Can changes be made to the FCF/I-20?

Please see the change-related FAQs below: Q: I have two majors but I can only see my primary major listed, how can I make my secondary major show also?
A: If you have two majors, the student data base (Banner) will reflect a primary and secondary major. Thereafter, your SEVIS I-20 / DS-2019 form will only display the primary major as indicated in Banner. Q: My address is listed incorrectly on the Financial Certification Form, how do I change my address in order to receive my I-20 / DS-2019?
A: You need to login to the Banner Self Service via the My UNC Charlotte portal to correct your address, e-mail and phone number. Please make sure to avoid entering an expiration date for the validity of the address. (DO NOT enter a date in the ‘Until This Date’ section (leave it blank).
Click “Submit” and simply log out. The information will be saved. Q: My academic department told me that I am receiving a Graduate Assistantship but it is not reflecting on the FCF?
A: It is always competitive to get an assistantship and there is no one centralized location on campus that handles all of the applications. To learn more about the available assistantships you may visit the following websites:
The Graduate School (only for graduate students)
The University Scholarship Office (open to undergraduate and graduate students)
If you have been promised an assistantship, please ask the awarding department/office to update the Student Educational Awards (SEA) Report to allow the ISSO to issue you a new I-20/DS-2019 that reflects the new financial assistance. Q: The source of my financial support has changed, how do I get a new I-20/DS-2019?
A: The ISSO serves thousands of students and therefore is unable to issue multiple documents for one student. However, ISSO will issue a new I-20/DS-2019 to students who have received new assistantships from UNC Charlotte upon the information being available in the Student Education Awards Report within Banner. Q: The form is asking me my current status and my intended status, what does this mean?
A: If you are currently in the United States, you MUST have a visa/status which is referred to as your “current status.” If you are outside of the United States, do not select ‘current’ and you MUST select ‘Intended’. Once you select the ‘intended’ option, you will choose F-1 or J-1 (most of the students in the United States are in F-1 status, with a small number arriving as exchange students in J-1 status).

Upcoming FCF Deadlines
Upcoming FCF deadlines
TermYearStart of ClassesInitial students outside the U.S.Transfer students in the U.S.
Spring202401/10/2024*11/26/2023 Updated date based increasing visa appointment wait times. 01/03/2024
Summer I First half of term202405/20/202404/23/202405/15/2024
Summer II Second half of term202407/01/202406/06/202406/27/2024
Fall202408/19/202407/21/2024 *05/01/2024 Priority deadline for students who are admitted by April 1st.08/14/2024