Visas and I-20

Step 2: Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)

You will be notified by email when your decision is ready to view. Decision letters are viewed by logging back into the application and clicking the View Your Admission Decision link (please make sure pop-up windows are allowed). If admitted, your letter will contain instructions on accessing the Statement of Intent to Register form and the Tuition Deposit payment site.
Both the Statement of Intent to Register and Deposit need to be turned in to reserve your space. 

Statement of Intent to Register Due Dates
Graduate Students: 4/15
Undergraduate Students: 5/1

Step 3: Declaration of Finances and Visa Form

This form will be available in the application after you submit SIR. This is to apply for the certificate of eligibility (I-20).

All students who are not U.S. Citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. must complete the online Declaration of Finances form after they have been accepted and submitted their Statement of Intention to Register (SIR) form. This form is to verify that you have sufficient financial resources to pay all educational and living expenses while attending the California Institute of the Arts.

We encourage international students to be fully prepared to fund their education and living expenses for the entire length of their time at CalArts. International students coming to the U.S. on a student visa are expected to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds available to them to support their living costs as well as their educational expenses while in the U.S. 

2-4 Weeks

Finances and Visa Form FAQ

  • Yes, we could. Please email us the date you can complete the DOF.

  • Please upload one document first, then "Save for later". Then, when you go back to the form you will see the upload button for more documents as well as the option to delete the already uploaded documents.

Please email us. We can reset your form so you can upload what you forgot.

You need to submit additional documentation. Please contact us as soon as possible at

  • Liquid accounts such as checking, saving, and certificate of deposit accounts.
  • Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, life insurance, and retirement accounts are not acceptable accounts.
  • ATM receipts are not accepted.

The amount should be well above the estimated expenses for the academic year. The total estimated expenses for the academic year 2020-2021 is: $65,895 for MA in Aesthetics and Politics program and $76,425 for all other degree programs (without dependents).  You may need additional financial documents when you apply for F-1 visa at the US Embassy/Consulate. 

You will have to translate the whole statement into English and attach it to the bank statement. We will calculate the equivalent US dollar amount based on the exchange rate on the day we review your documents.

Yes, you do. In addition, you and your relative need to complete the Affidavit of Sponsor form and get it notarized to verify the identification of your relative.

Email confirmation of CalArts scholarship is OK. You will need an official letter of scholarship confirmation from other organization. A pdf letter is OK.

CalArts doesn’t have J-1 student program. Please contact us at

Please upload the passport you will be using to apply for F-1 visa. 

If you are in the US you can download it.

Step 4: I-20 Issuance


After Office of International Students & Programs issues I-20, you will have access to your I-20 through your application portal. Due to COVID-19, as of March 25, 2020 you are allowed to receive an I-20 electronically.  Please read the instruction page carefully when you receive your I-20.

2-3 Days

I-20 Issuance FAQ

Once we approve your DOF with supplemental documents we will issue your I-20 in 2-4 weeks. CalArts will email you when it's ready. You can access it from your application portal. 

  • Yes, please print all 3 pages of your I-20.
  • Sign and date on page 1 with a pen.
  • Staple all pages together.
  • You can keep it with your passport.
  • You will need your I-20 and other documents such as bank statements to apply for F-1 visa.

Yes. You will need the information on your I-20 including SEVIS number and school code etc. to make a payment /appointment.

U.S. Department of State and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are in agreement with SEVP in developing the policy to accept the use of electronic I-20s during the current COVID-19 period.

If and when a paper I-20 with a wet signature is needed for visa issuance or entry to the U.S. we will email you the shipping instructions.

Step 5: SEVIS Fee and F-1 Visa

After receiving the I-20, you will pay the SEVIS fee and make an appointment for F-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. 

  1. Make sure all I-20 information is correct.
  2. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. You will need your SEVIS ID number on your I-20.
  3. Apply for F-1 Visa 

F-1 Visa FAQ

  • Please monitor the U.S. Embassy/Consulates' website in your country carefully for their services and operations.
  • As they resume issuance of student visas you will be able to proceed with your application.

  • Currently there is no plan for a late start. If you think you can't get to CalArts by the session start date please let us know.
  • The Fall 2020 session starts on September 14, 2020.

  • We don't know if you can study remotely for Fall 2020 or not yet.
  • We recommend that you speak with your admissions counselor to disucuss the possibility of deferring your admission to a future semester.

No. You can use your old F-1 visa if it’s still not expired when you enter the US. The earliest date you can enter with your I-20 Is 30 days before the session start date on your I-20. Make sure your F-1 visa is valid when you travel.

If your CalArts I-20 has a new SEVIS ID number you have to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. If your new I-20 has the same SEVIS ID number as your last one you don’t pay the I-901 SEVIS fee.

Please match your I-20 with your passport.

Not necessarily, however, it is the most common way. Sometimes it takes a long time to apply for a visa in another country other than your home country. Please contact the American Embassy/Consulate for your particular situation.

Step 6: International Student Orientation

Fall 2020: tentatively scheduled for September 4, 2020. On-campus residence hall check in date for international students is September 3, 2020 and after.  Pre-orientation online modules will be available sometime in July. We will update you via email.