Immigration Documents for International Students
It is very important for students to become familiar with the immigration requirements surrounding their time in the United States. Below is a list and description of each immigration document.
There are two types of F visas, F-1 and F-2. The first type, F-1, is used by students pursuing a degree while in the United States. Because this is a student visa, it only authorizes students to pursue activities that are complimentary to their education objective.
The second type of F-visa is for dependents, either a spouse or children, of an F-1 visa holder. Individuals on an F-2 visa are able to live in the United States while the principal F-1 holder is pursuing a degree. If an F-2 visa holder wishes to obtain a degree while in the United States, they will have to change their visa type to an F-1. A child on an F-2 visa is able to attend school, but care needs to be taken in order to ensure that all enrollment requirements are met.
For benefits, opportunities and requirements for F-visa holders, visit: Maintaining Immigration Status.
J-1 visas are used by international exchange students, and visiting scholars.
Dependents, spouse or children, of a J-1 visa holder will enter the United States on a J-2 visa. On this visa type, individuals are able to work, although earnings cannot be used to support the J-1 visa holder. Before employment, J-2 visa holders need to receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
For benefits, opportunities and requirements for J-visa holders, visit: Maintaining Immigration Status.
Students are required to maintain a valid passport that extends to 6 months beyond the program completion date listed on their I-20. If your passport is about to expire or has expired, contact your consulate or embassy to find out what you need to do to renew it.
A list of consulates and embassies.
The I-20 lists the program start date, end date, and can also be endorsed for international travel when planning to leave the country for short periods of time (less than 5 months). Students are encouraged to keep all of their I-20’s for their records.
The second page provides instructions for school officials and students. By signing the front page of the I-20, a student agrees to the instructions written on this second page.
Students will receive a new I-20 at various times during their enrollment at SUU, including:
First arrival in the US Your I-20 will change from an Initial to a Continued Attendance I-20 on item #3
Change of Education Level If you complete your current program and decide to continue studying at SUU, you will receive a new I-20 with your new education level listed on item #4
- Graduated ESL students will also have Item #6 changed
Change of Major After changing your major, you will receive a new I-20 with your new major listed on item #5
Authorized off-campus employment Students approved for off campus employment (CPT, OPT, and Severe Economic Hardship) will receive a new I-20 with their employment authorization listed on the third page.
Concurrent Enrollment Students attending two universities at the same time will receive a new I-20 stating they have been approved to attend another university on item #9
Program extensions Students who extend their program will receive a new I-20 with your new program end date listed on item #5
Dependents added to I-20. After a student has added dependents (either spouse or children), they will receive a new I-20 with the additional costs of dependents listed on item #7
Dependent I-20: This is used by immediate family members (Spouse or children) of an F-1 visa holder. This I-20 is needed by individuals who are seeking to obtain an F-2 visa. For more information about obtaining a dependent I-20, visit: Request a Dependent.
If you lose your I-20, you can order a reprint for $5.00 from International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS).
I-20/DS-2019 Reprint Request
Complete this form and attach a receipt and submit to a Designated School Official to obtain a reprint of your I-20.
The DS-2019 is managed by the Department of State (DoS) and lists the program start date and end date for the J-visa holder, it also needs to be endorsed for travel in order to re-enter the United States.
Signing the front of the DS-2019 indicates that the signer understands and accepts the conditions required to maintain J visa status.
Dependent DS-2019: This is used by immediate family members (Spouse or children) of an J-1 visa holder. This DS-2019 is needed by individuals who are seeking to obtain an J-2 visa. For more information about obtaining a dependent DS-2019, visit: Request a Dependent.
I-20/DS-2019 Reprint Request
Complete this form and attach a receipt and submit to an Alternate Responsible Office (ARO) to obtain a reprint of your DS-2019.
The I-94 serves as the arrival/departure record for the Department of Homeland Security. The dates of the arrival and departure are checked against requirements for maintaining immigration status. For example, after graduation an F-1 student has 60 days to change their status, education level, transfer to a new school, or leave the country. The Department of Homeland Security is able to track if a student has complied with this requirement by checking the departure record against the dates listed in the student’s SEVIS record.
UPDATE: On April 26, 2013 Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP) began the automation of I-94’s. Visitors will no longer receive a paper I-94 when entering the country. Arrival and Departure information will be recorded electronically.
For more information on this change, visit CBP’s Web site: Arrival/Departure Forms: I-94 and I-94W
Individuals requiring a paper I-94 may print a copy of their record on the I-94 website.
Replacing an I-94 Card If this document is damaged, stolen, or lost, you will need to replace it before leaving the country.
To replace this document, applicants will need to provide the following information:
- Letter identifying the reason for requesting a new I-94
- Complete I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival – Departure Document
- I-102 Fee
- Copy of damaged form OR copy of the biographic page of your passport and copy of evidence supporting your status as an SUU student
- Translation of documents not in English
Complete packet can be mailed to:
U.S. Postal Service:
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036
Express Mail and Courier Services:
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034
More information on the I-94 process.
This form is issued to students who have either arrived without their I-20, or who currently have problems with their immigration status. It is issued by Customs and Border Protection agents, and must be brought to a Designated School Official immediately upon arrival.
To prevent complications with the students immigration record, they will need to work with an SUU DSO to have the completed paperwork sent to USCIS within 30 days of the date listed on the I-515.
More information on about this form and process can be found on the Study in the States What is a Form I-515A