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 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: 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. 

Download Instructions

2-4 Weeks

Finances and Visa Form FAQ

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.

The amount should be well above the estimated expenses for the academic year.  You may need additional financial documents when you apply for F-1 visa at the US Embassy/Consulate.

  • Monthly statements and official bank letters
  • 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 Support 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 (pdf is fine) of scholarship confirmation from other organization.

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 and Shipping

After Office of International Students & Programs issues I-20, you should follow the shipping instruction.  Please do not pay for your shipping until we issue your I-20.  If you pay for the shipping too early the shipping label will expire.

We use eshipglobal (UEMS) to ship I-20s.

  1. Create a student account at
  2. Log in and choose “I-20” under Receive Documents
  3. Select “California Institute of the Arts” and then “International Student Affairs”
  4. Follow the instructions and make payments.
  5. You will receive an email with a tracking number when we ship your I-20.

2-4 Weeks

I-20 Issuance and Shipping FAQ

Please contact eshipglobal. They have FAQ and chat functions.

Once you pay for the shipping, it takes our office just a few days to prepare your package.  You will be able to tell the estimated arrival date with a tracking number.

We don’t recommend it, but we could mail it by regular US mail.Shipping will take significantly longer than using eshipglobal carrier services.Please email us at

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 American 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 Tips and Videos for Visa Interview

F-1 Visa FAQ

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

Spring 2020: scheduled for January 8, 2020 (9am -10:30am followed by New Student Orientation.

Fall 2020: tentatively scheduled for September 4, 2020