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Documents for International Students and Scholar

Passport

Keep your passport valid at least six months into the future at all times.  Your country will have an Embassy or Consulate in the United States that will be able to assist you in renewing your passport if it expires while you are in the U.S.

Visa

Your visa is your "ticket" to apply for entry into the United States. Visa validity dates vary from country to country.  Do not panic if your visa expires while  you are studying.  You will only need a new visa to apply for entry into the U.S. if you leave the country. 

If you return home and need to apply for a new visa please visit http://usembassy.state.gov/ for information on applying for a new visa to re-enter the U.S.

I-20 (F-1)

Your I-20 is one of the documents you used to apply for your F-1 visa.  It indicates the school you are attending, level of education, area of study, expected graduation date and information on how you will finance your education.  The I-20 is a U.S. government document generated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Student and Exchange Visitor Information System SEVIS.

Your I-20 must reflect your current program of study.  If you change your major your I-20 needs to reflect that change.  If you will not complete your studies by the expected completion date listed on #5 of the I-20 please speak with an immigration coordinator about applying for an extension.

DS-2019 (J-1)

Your DS-2019 is one of the documents you used to apply for your J-1 visa.  It indicates the school you are attending, level of education, area of study, expected graduation date and information on how you will finance your education.  The DS-2019 is a U.S. government document generated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Student and Exchange Visitor Information System SEVIS.

Your DS-2019 must reflect your current program of study.  If you change your major your DS-2019 needs to reflect that change.  If you will not complete your studies by the expected completion date listed on #3 of the DS-2019 please speak with an immigration coordinator about applying for an extension.

I-94

Your I-94 is the small white card stapled in your passport.  It is the U.S. Arrival/Departure Card and when you entered the U.S., the "Arrival" portion of the card was kept at the Port of Entry. 

Your I-94 will have the date and place of entry into the U.S. and the Port of Entry official will write your visa type (F-1 or J-1) and D/S.  D/S means Duration of Status and that means that you are eligible to remain in the U.S. as long as you are maintaining your status.