Welcome International Students

PrattMWP warmly welcomes all new international students and welcomes back students returning from a leave of absence. This document contains detailed instructions for applying for your SEVIS Form I-20, required for F-1 Visa to study at PrattMWP. 



There are many things you need to do before coming to PrattMWP as an international student. Most students will need to submit an application to OIA for a SEVIS Form I-20 to get an F-1 Student Visa. The first step in this process is completing the online International Student Form (ISF) at the link below. After ISF submission, you will receive an email about uploading the required supplemental documents. 

This page provides a general outline of the process and complements the other instructions you will receive by email. After paying the enrollment deposit, you will be sent this email and given a Pratt OneKey so you can log in and start the form below.



Transfer students are students who are transferring from one  U.S. school to PratMWP, such as from a U.S. high school, language school, or other academic institution. Your SEVIS I-20 record must be transferred from your old school to the new school. You will request your school complete the Pratt Transfer Form and transfer your SEVIS record out to PrattMWP. You will have the same SEVIS number and not need to pay a new SEVIS fee ($350). You will maintain continuous F-1 status

Please review the Transfer Process Guide to understand the extra steps involved, especially the completion of the Transfer Certification Form.


PLEASE NOTE: If you are currently in the U.S. in a visa status other than F-1 (example: F-2, H-4, E, etc.) you must also complete the International Student Form (ISF) below.



Fall Semester: Apply between April 1–June 1


Currently, PrattMWP is issuing electronic I-20s, sent by email. The current processing time for a SEVIS I-20 is estimated at four weeks from the date you submitted all required and complete documentation. The application includes the International Student Form (Step 1) and Supporting Documents (Step 2). Please know that when you submit your supporting documents, you will not get a confirmation email but the dashboard is only updated manually and may take up to three business days for reflex the updates. Do not re-upload documents or ask for confirmation in those 3 business days. You may send a status check inquiry to bgaffney@mwpai.edu. 

Things to Prepare:



Step 1: International Student Form (ISF) 

**All students, including students returning after a leave of absence, have to upload a new ISF

For step 1, you will need your acceptance letter and valid passport. You will need to upload a scan of your passport biographical page on the last section of the ISF. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months into the future. If it is not, please let us know you are in the process of renewing it in the comments section.

  • After submitting the ISF, go to your Pratt Email (open your Gmail at One.Pratt.edu)

  • Find the no-reply email with subject: [Pratt OIA]: URGENT Next Action Steps 

    The Dashboard will have a list of all required supporting documents that you need to upload for a complete application as well as detailed instructions for these documents. Your Dashboard is customized for you, based on how you answered the questions on the ISF. Please review this information carefully. 


Step 2: Upload Supporting Documents 

The Dashboard will be available here - note: do not access the dashboard until you have submitted your ISF (Step 1). Students returning from a leave of absence have to submit the ISF again, which should create a new checklist on the Dashboard. 

Supporting documents depends on your circumstance. The specific situations for different students are listed below and on your Dashboard. If you see that your dashboard is not prompting you to upload the correct documents based on these categories, please contact the Pratt Institute Office of International Affairs at oia@pratt.edu

Document 1: Financial statement

Refer to the estimated expense page on our website.

It is a federal requirement for international students to show there is enough money for the first year, including tuition, fees, and local living expenses. The total amount of your financial statement(s) must contain the minimum US dollar amount estimated for your program.  Students with a scholarship, or living with a sponsor in the US at no charge while studying can deduct this amount from what needs to be shown in the financial statements. You must demonstrate you have an available liquid funding source with the Estimated Expense amount in liquid funds in order to receive your I-20. You only have to show funds for the first academic year, which is the Fall and Spring semesters (9 months) for issuance of the I-20. Your actual expenses will vary.


Document 2: Sources of Funding

The Sources of Funding form tells us where your funding is coming from because we have to indicate this on your I-20. For example, funds may come from your own funds, called “personal funds,  your family’s funds, a scholarship, a loan, or a combination of these. 

The Sources of Funding form is available from your dashboard. If your bank statement is in a family member’s name, your personal source of funds is “0” (not your name if they are sponsoring you 100%). “Personal funds” means that your bank statement is in your name, even if your sponsor gave you the money in your account. 


Document 3: Affidavit of Support

The Affidavit of Support form is a signed promise from your sponsor(s) to financially support you. 

The Affidavit of Support form is available from your dashboard and is signed by a person named on the Sources of funding form- a digital signature is accepted. This form is not applicable if you are self-funded. No affidavit of support will be generated for you if selected “bank statement is in your name” on the ISF. If the sponsor is a company, make sure the affidavit of support is on letterhead from the company signed by an authorized signatory from the company with a specific amount of money. If the sponsor is a government, make sure your support letter indicates a specific amount of money and the letter is signed.

Room and Board sponsor: If you will be living with someone in the US free of charge, the Room and Board sponsor will sign an affidavit of support and you must ask that person for proof of residence, like a lease, to upload to your dashboard. Room and Board sponsor is only someone you will be living with in the US while attending school. If your family is giving you money for room and board, but you are not living with them, they are not considered a room and board sponsors, but just financial sponsors. 

All Affidavit of Support must include the signature of the name listed on the Source of Funding. Digital Signatures and real signatures (not typed) are accepted. 


Document 4: I-94 Record 

The I-94 is required for students who currently hold or recently held an immigration status within the United States, like a transfer student. You may access your I-94 record here: http://i94.cbp.dhs.gov (select “GET MOST RECENT I-94”. We want to see your immigration status, not your travel history.


Document 5: Copy of U.S. entry visa in the passport

A scan of your U.S. visa is required for students who currently hold or recently held an immigration status within the United States . Upload a clear scan or photo of your current or previous U.S. visa(s). If you are from Canada or Bermuda, upload your most recent entry stamp instead. 


Document 6: Transfer Form

The Transfer form is required for students who have been attending a U.S. high school, language school, or college. Even if you left the U.S. after your recent program finished, and are outside of the US right now, you will need to submit a transfer form.

The Transfer form is available  from your dashboard or directly here: https://www.pratt.edu/uploads/f-1_transfer_certification_form.pdf 


Document 7: Previous I-20s 

Students who have previously studied in the U.S. in F-1 status should upload copies of all previous I-20 from all schools attended in the U.S.  Page 1 and 2 of each I-20 should be uploaded for I-20s created after 2015 and pages 1 and 3 of each I-20 should be uploaded for I-20s created before 2015. If you are missing an I-20 attach a short memo of explanation and information about where and when you studied.


Step 3: PrattMWP issues and emails your I-20 

Your Dashboard is the best way to check the status of your supporting documents and I-20 application.


Dashboard  Statuses Descriptions


This means you still need to submit a document. If you have recently uploaded/submitted the document, it means that a document you have uploaded has not yet been manually checked (wait at least 10 business days). 


This means that your application appears to have all the required documents and it has been assigned to an OIA advisor for review. The advisor will carefully review the content of your documents. You may need to revise and resubmit documents if anything is incorrect, so monitor your email messages carefully as we will contact you there.


This means that your application has been approved by the OIA advisor and your SEVIS I-20 is currently in production or has been issued by an advisor. You should receive the I-20 via email within (3) to four (4) weeks if the uploaded documents are in “COMPLETE” status.

F-1 transfer students: I-20s can only be issued after the SEVIS transfer release date from your current school in the US.


Step 4: Visa Application and Interview at US Consulate

Please see our F-1 visa guide at the bottom of our New Students Webpage. 

NOTE: If you already have an F-1 Visa from another school and it will be valid on your U.S. arrival date, you do not need to apply for a new F-1 Visa. You do still need your new PrattMWP I-20 and to pay the SEVIS Fee if the SEVIS number is different from your previous one.


Pay SEVIS I-901 Fee

The SEVIS Fee must be paid online at www.fmjfee.com. Make sure to print your receipt and keep it with your immigration documents. To confirm whether your SEVIS fee has been paid, or to view or print the payment confirmation/receipt, you can do so on the website. What is this fee? The I-901 SEVIS Fee (SEVIS Fee) is a required fee used to support the automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and ensures that they maintain their status while in the U.S. Each student issued an initial Form I-20 is responsible for paying this fee. In other words, this fee is for your student record in the government database (SEVIS), which is a requirement of being an international student in the U.S.


Apply for F-1 Visa  ***Citizens of Canada and Bermuda, please see special note below.

Complete Form DS-160

Complete the visa application online, called the DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application.

The DS-160 is a fully integrated online application form that is used to collect the necessary application information from a person seeking a nonimmigrant visa for temporary travel to the U.S. Form DS-160 is submitted electronically to the U.S. Department of State and Consular Officers use the information entered on the DS-160 to process the visa application and, combined with a personal interview, determine an applicant’s eligibility for a nonimmigrant visa.

After you have completed the DS-160, you should print and save the DS-160 barcode page. Then you will schedule your visa interview appointment and pay the visa application processing fee. (This is an additional fee. It is different from the SEVIS I-901 Fee.)

➔ Review the DS-160 Frequently Asked Questions

Schedule Your Visa Appointment Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply for additional country-specific instructions on booking your appointment. When possible, you should try to schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside of the country where you live or take much longer.

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. The earliest you can interview for your visa is 120 days before your I-20 start date.

➔ Student visa section on the U.S. Department of State website

➔ Check visa appointment wait times

Every U.S. Embassy or Consulate works from the same set of regulations and laws but will have different procedures for its particular country or location. This is why it is very important to check the individual embassy or consulate website at which you plan to apply for accurate information, particularly which documents to bring to your appointment!

You will likely need to bring, at a minimum, the following documents with you to your visa interview:

1. Valid passport (expiration date must be at least 6 months into the future)

2. I-20 from PrattMWP (original)

3. SEVIS Fee Payment receipt (I-901)

4. DS-160 confirmation (barcode page)

5. Your PrattMWP acceptance letter or email (printed out)

6. Recent financial statements/evidence of liquid funds that will be used to support your study and living expenses in the U.S.

7. Any other documents listed on embassy/consulate website

★ Did you successfully schedule your visa appointment? Please let me know! Email bgaffney@mwpai.edu with your Pratt ID, date of visa appointment, and location of the appointment. (For example: Booked Visa App’t., Name, Pratt ID 1234567, 07/01/2021, Shanghai)

***Special Note for Citizens of Canada and Bermuda: Canadians and citizens of Bermuda do not need visas to enter the U.S. You should show the SEVIS I-20, passport, and SEVIS Fee receipt at the Port of Entry. Residents (Permanent Residents) of Canada are required to have an F-1 visa to enter the U.S. from Canada. You should consult the local U.S. Consulate or Embassy for current requirements.


Attend Visa Interview

When you apply for a visa at an American Embassy or Consulate, a Consular Officer will interview you. The interview usually lasts only two or three minutes and is conducted in English. It’s important to be familiar with the nonimmigrant visa type for which you are applying (F-1 student) and to be able to explain honestly, directly, and concisely your intentions for study in the U.S., at PrattMWP, and in your particular degree program.

➔ Please review these visa interview tips in preparation for your interview.


Receive Visa and Travel to the U.S.

Congratulations! Now that you have received your F-1 Visa in your passport, you are able to travel to the U.S. We recommend not making any nonrefundable travel plans (airfare, hotels, etc.) until you have received your F-1 Visa. You will arrive at the Port of Entry and go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Similar to the visa interview, you will want to be prepared to answer in English why you are entering the U.S. You will present your immigration documents (passport with F-1 visa inside, Form I-20, and SEVIS fee receipt). You may also want to have a copy of your acceptance letter and/or printed class schedule handy to show, only if asked by the officer. It is extremely important that your entry to the U.S. is recorded properly by the officer (F-1) and not as a tourist or another visa type, especially if it is your first time arriving as an F-1 student. Before you leave the desk, make sure your documents are returned to you. Welcome to the U.S.!

Verify your I-94 record online after your arrival. As an F-1 student, it is your responsibility to check that your U.S. entry was recorded properly by the customs officer, each time you enter the U.S. If it does not have “F-1” and “D/S,” you must contact bgaffney@mwpai.edu.

Information on Student Visas: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/student-visa.html


If you have any questions about requesting your Form I-20 or preparing for your visa appointment, please email bgaffney@mwpai.edu