General Information for International Students

Following are some key definitions and regulations pertaining to international students. Additional information is provided in the electronic International Student Handbook.

Key Terms for International Students

I-20 A/B: Immigration and Naturalization Form (Certificate of Eligibility) for F-1 Visa

Uses: 

  1. To obtain an F-1 visa from the American Embassy/Consulate in his/her home country
  2. To enter the U.S. for the first time
  3. To re-enter after a short visit outside the U.S.
  4. To transfer to another school
  5. For entry of family
  6. To extend expected graduation date
     

DS2019: Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-1 Visa)

Uses:

  1. To obtain a J-1 visa from the American Embassy/Consulate in his/her home country
  2. To enter the U.S. for the first time
  3. To extend stay and renew Entry Permit (I-94)
  4. To re-enter after a short visit outside the U.S.
  5. For entry of family
  6. To extend expected graduation date
     

I-94: Arrival/Departure Record

The I-94 is issued electronically upon admission to the U.S. It includes the visa classification and expiration date of the student's authorized stay written when he/she enters the U.S. International students can download the I-94 card from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home.
 

All students should have F-1 (exchange students should have J-1) written as the visa classification.

D/S stands for duration of status, which means the period during which the student is pursuing a full course of study, one year to twenty-nine months for practical training (18 months to three years for J-1 students), and 60 days in which to depart the country (30 days for J-1 students).
 

Passport

A passport is a person’s country’s identification of him or her as a citizen. The passport must remain valid at all times and may not expire. It may be renewed by contacting one's home-country Embassy/Consulate within the U.S.
 

Visa: Stamped Page in Passport

A visa normally is a stamp placed in one's passport by an official of the U.S. (or the country being entered) that permits entry. Unless someone is visa-exempt, he/she must have a valid visa to enter the U.S.; however, unlike a passport, a visa is allowed to expire once in the U.S.