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Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an online database that allows USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to track all international students.
Maintain a valid passport at all times. Make sure to renew your passport at least six months prior to the expiration date.
Yes! Your passport can be renewed within the United States at your country's consulate or embassy. Please contact your country's consulate/embassy at www.embpage.org/
A Visa is a stamp or sticker placed in your passport at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside the U.S. You must make sure that your visa is valid for your re-entry. An expired visa must be renewed at a U.S. consulate/embassy outside of the U.S. prior to re-entry.
Remember! This visa is only a permit to enter the United States. Once you are here, your I-20/DS2019 becomes the relevant document that keeps you in status.
Your I-20/DS-2019 form expires on the date you complete your studies. This cannot be extended once you have graduated. F-1 students who have applied for Optional Practical Training, (OPT) will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which will show the dates of validity. F-1 students are permitted to remain in the U.S. for 60 days after completing their study program. J-1 students may be eligible to participate in academic training under certain circumstances. Consult with the Responsible Officer (RO) in the IESC for eligibility requirements. J-1 students can remain in the U.S. for 30 days after completing their study program.
Extension of Stay
If you are unable to complete your program of study by the expiration date noted in item #5 on your I-20 form you must apply to the IESC for a program extension at least 60 days prior to that expiration date. J-1 students must check #3 on the DS2019 for the expiration date.
Change of Major
You must report any change of your major and degree level to the IESC no later than 10 days after the change has been made. IESC is required to report these changes to USCIS. You will need to request a new I-20/ DS2019.
Leave of Absence
A Leave of absence for one semester or one year requires PDSO approval. Remain outside the U.S. the entire time unless under valid status other than F-1 or J-1. Students approved for medical leave may remain in the U.S. Students who do not resume studies after two semesters will need to reapply to the university.
Remember to obtain a travel signature on your I-20/DS2019 from the IESC when traveling outside the borders of the U.S. Plan ahead of time! The IESC currently requires 1 to 3 weeks to process all requests.
Travel signatures are granted to students who meet all eligibility requirements. Travel signatures for continuing students will be valid for one year provided the student continues to maintain correct student status.
Students who need to travel during the semester will have to demonstrate eligibility in addition to obtaining permission from all professors to miss classes. Professors may e-mail permission to the appropriate FSA or students may bring letters from professors when submitting I-20's for travel signatures.
Students who have applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT) must show a Notice of Receipt from USCIS in addition to proof of acceptable health insurance and a valid F-1 visa in order to request a travel signature. Students who have received an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or approval for OPT must submit a copy of the EAD as well as show proof of acceptable health insurance and a valid F-1 visa in order to request a travel signature. USCIS recommends that students on OPT show a letter from their employer at the Port of Entry when returning to the U.S. All students who have either applied for or are currently on OPT should communicate with their FSA for current information on appropriate documents and immigration regulations.
An I-94 is a white arrival/departure card which is given to you when you enter the U.S. The immigration officer at the port of entry must stamp this card with the date of arrival and a D/S stamp indicating "Duration of Status" which covers the period of time for the completion of your course of study plus any periods of authorized practical training, plus 60 days for your preparation to depart the United States. J-1 students will have only 30 days to depart from the U.S. upon completion of the study program.