All non-immigrants (except Canadian citizens) are required to possess and keep current a valid passport issued by their country of citizenship. Failure to keep it valid renders a non-immigrant out of status (and consequently ineligible for employment, extension of stay or change of status as well as subject to deportation). You are required to renew your passport within six months of the date of expiration. Questions regarding passport renewals, extensions, or replacements should be addressed to the non-immigrant's embassy or consulate here in the U.S.
I-20 (F1 Students)
The I-20 is is officially titled the "Certificate of Eligibility" and is a multi-purpose document issued by LTU certifying that you have been admitted to a full-time study program and that you have demonstrated sufficient financial resources to stay in the U.S. The I-20 form is used for visa application at a U.S. Embassy or Consular Office outside the US and for entry when entering the US.
The I-20 form is extremely important since it legitimizes your presence in the United States and you should keep it in a safe place. This document states the period of time that you may legally remain in the United States. Please note item #5, the program end date, on your I-20. Do not allow this date to expire or you will be out of status.
DS-2019 (J1 Students)
The Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, or DS2019 form, is the document that LTU issued upon your admission. The DS2019 form is used for visa application at a U.S. Embassy or Consular Office outside the U.S. and for entry when crossing a border into the United States.
The DS-2019 form is extremely important since it legitimizes your presence in the United States and you should keep it in a safe place. This is the document that states the period of time that you may legally remain within the United States. Please note the completion of studies date at #3 on your DS2019 form. Do not allow this date to expire, or you will be out of status and unable to work or apply for any other benefits.
A visa is a stamp in the passport issued by a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad which will facilitate entry into the U.S. for a specific purpose if presented at the port of entry along with any other necessary visa documents. One cannot obtain visa within the U.S. The visa is generally good for 1, 2, or multiple entries and usually has an expiration date.
Your F1 or J1 visa may expire while you are in the U.S. with no consequences as long as the end date on your I-20 or DS-2019 is still valid. If you depart the U.S. during the middle of your studies, you will need to ensure you have a valid visa in order to re-enter the U.S. If you visa has expired, you will need to renew it while you are at home.
I-94 – Arrival/departure record
By May 21, 2013 all I-94 cards will be electronic. The electronic arrival/departure record (I-94) can be obtained at www.cbp.gov/I94.
Travelers arriving by air or sea will no longer receive a paper I-94. Travelers will still receive an admission stamp in their passport noting the ‘date of admission’, the ‘status admitted in’, and the ‘admitted until’ date. Please note that travelers crossing at land border ports of entry will continue to receive a paper I-94.
The I-94 automation will not impact a traveler’s ability to enter the U.S. If a traveler requires a copy of Form I-94, they can access the electronic version to print it HERE. We recommend that all International Students obtain a copy of their I-94 for their records.
CBP will provide each traveler with an admission stamp that is annotated with the date of admission to the U.S., classification of admission (F-1 or J-1) and admitted until date.
Travelers currently in possession of a paper I-94 should surrender it to the commercial carrier or CBP upon departure. For travelers with an electronic I-94 record, CBP will document the departure using information obtained from the commercial carrier.
**The Office of International Programs recommends that all students keep a electronic color copy of all travel documents.**