F-1

Important Documents

Passport

ois---passport.jpgYou are required to maintain a valid passport at all times while in the United States. If you wish to reenter the country or apply for a visa, your passport must be valid at least 6 months into the future. If you need to renew this document, contact the consulate or embassy representing your home country in the United States or the appropriate authorities in your home country.

I-20

ois--120.jpgThe Form I-20 must be presented to consulate officials to obtain a U.S. visa and to immigration authorities upon each subsequent re-entry to the United States.

A valid signature is required on page 3 of the form for authorized re-entry in F-1 status. This signature must be less than 1 year old on the day you will re-enter the United States or less than 6 months old if on OPT. Come by our office at least one week prior to your departure if you are planning to travel outside the country.

I-94

ois---i-94.jpgStudents admitted at air or seaports of entry are given instructions on accessing their electronic records on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection electronic I-94 website. There, you can obtain your I-94 admission number and print out a copy of your I-94 record.

Two dates appear on the I-94; the date you entered the country and the date of expiration of your permission to stay. In the case of students, that date is usually shown as D/S for “duration of status,” and corresponding to the date of program completion.

ois---194-pic-2.jpgThose entering the United States at a land border will receive a small white I-94 card with the same notations.

Note: You should always check that your endorsement reads "D/S." If it does not, contact the Office of International Services immediately.

Visa

A student visa is a sticker placed in your passport at an American consulate. The expiration date on the visa marks the last day you can use it to enter the United States. Once here, and as long as you are maintaining legal status, your visa may expire without consequence to your immigration status.