The passport is the first document you should obtain from your country. It determines your nationality. Your passport must be valid for 6 months prior to expiration at all times during your stay in the U.S. Do not ever let your passport expire; renew it well before the last six months of validity. It is usually possible to renew your passport while in the U.S. through your respective consulate.
The I-20 is the document that certifies that you are entering the United States as a student. It carries the name and address of the university you are to attend. The I-20 allows you to enter back into the country after each trip home or to a third country. You need to request it to be signed by a Designated School Officer when you intend to leave the country. Every time you enter back into the country, you need to present it to the immigration officer at the border. You will not be able to enter the U.S. without it, and if you don’t have it at the border you may be sent back home or detained.
Once you are admitted to University of the West, your I-20 will be mailed to you together with your other admissions documents. You will then need to present the U.S. Consulate in your country with the I-20 form and any additional documents they request. For current information about the requirements for the consulate in your area, go to http://usembassy.state.gov and find visa services for students. (Due to the increased level of security clearances, it is advisable to begin the visa application process as soon as possible.)
Once you receive your F-1 visa, immigration law does not allow you to enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the program start date on the I-20.
After arriving in the U.S. you will need to download and print your I-94 number. The link is www.cbp/i94, follow the prompts and print out your i-94 number. Please keep it with your I-20, F-1 visa and passport. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any trouble with this procedure.