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Immigration Documents

Immigration Documents

Following are the documents you need to have as a F-1 visa student:

This travel document should always be valid at least 6 months into the future. Contact your country’s embassy/consulate in the U.S. to renew it.

This is a document issued at an American Consulate outside of the U.S. A valid F-1 visa is only necessary to enter the U.S. If your F-1 visa expires and you leave the U.S. for any reason, you must renew it outside the U.S. before you return to the U.S.  The length of your visa dictates how long you can use that visa for entry/re-entry to this country. This document does not determine your length of stay in the United States; it indicates a date range within which you are approved for entry to the US. You can remain in the U.S. with an expired visa, as long as maintaining your F-1 status. 

This document is one of the two documents governing one’s F-1 status in the U.S. When the international student is officially admitted at a school, the school inputs the student’s information into SEVIS and an I-20 will be generated for the student listing a personal barcode and a SEVIS ID number. There are three pages to the I-20. Page one is your personal and educational information concerning academics. Page two is travel and employment endorsements. Page three indicates F-1 compliance issues.
  • Keep the I-20 with you at all times and do not relinquish it when you leave the U.S. as you may need it to reenter the U.S.
  • Review the terms and conditions listed on page three as it is your responsibility to become familiar with the F-1 rules and regulations.
  • Inform the International  Student Program office of any changes to the information provided on your I-20, so it can be updated in SEVIS.
  • Make sure program end date is always be valid. If it will expire within 2 months, please contact the international advisor to discuss and to possibly extend your program end date.

This Arrival/Departure Record is a form which shows the date that you arrived in the U.S. The I-94 will indicate what date you have travelled, your current status and your length of stay. Your I-94 form should state your Duration of Status (D/S). It gives you permission to stay in the country until completion of program as long as you are maintaining legal F-1 status. You may be able to access your electronic I-94 record online: Please review your I-94 record. If you notice any discrepancies or have any difficulty locating your I-94 record online, please contact International Student Program for assistance.

A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will stamp your passport with the arrival date and will write “F-1 D/S” on the stamp. F-1 refers to the category of student visa and D/S means “Duration of Status.” Duration of Status indicates that you are allowed to stay in the U.S. for as long as you maintain your F-1 status while you complete your academic program. If you receive a stamp that says anything other than "F-1 D/S," please speak to an international student advisor.