Immigration Documents

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These documents are extremely important and will be needed to identify yourself — both in the U.S. and if you travel outside the U.S.

Please guard them carefully.   Replacement of these forms can be expensive and may take a long time.   Should you lose any of these documents, please contact the International Services as soon as possible.

Passport

  • You must keep your passport valid while you are in the U.S. (unless you are exempt from passport requirements).
  • If your passport will expire while you are still in the U.S., contact your Embassy to get your passport extended before expiration. You may not re-enter the United States with an expired passport.
  • If you lose your passport, you should take immediate steps with your Embassy to have it replaced.

Form DS-2019

  • You should read and clearly understand all the information printed on your DS-2019.
  • If you lose this form, contact the International Services immediately.  
  • Contact the International Services prior to any intended travel outside of the United States.   You will need a signature on your Form DS-2019 to re-enter the U.S.
  • You must carry Form DS-2019 with you whenever you travel outside of the United States.
  • Expiration Date on Form DS-2019
    • The expiration date on your DS-2019 is the date that your program in the U.S. ends (unless you complete your program objectives prior to this).
    • You have 30 days from the expiration date before you are required to leave the United States.
    • You may use this 30-day period to prepare for your departure, or to travel in the United States.
  • You are not permitted to engage in employment of any kind during this time period.
  • You will not be permitted to re-enter the United States if you travel outside its borders after the date listed on Form DS-2019, even if it falls within this 30-day period.

Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)

  • This document is the small white card that was given to you to complete and demonstrate upon arrival in the U.S.
  • The I-94 contains an eleven-digit identifying number called the "admission number", which is used to keep track of your arrival in and departure from the U.S.
  • If there is a date written in the upper right-hand corner of your I-94, you must apply to extend your stay or leave the U.S. within 30 days of that date. Extensions of stay must be filed in a timely manner in order to remain in the U.S.  
  • If there is no date on the I-94, as is the case for most students, but rather the notation "D/S" (duration of status), you are considered to be in status for the entire length of time you are enrolled full-time in an educational program, plus an additional 30 days to prepare for departure, as long as your DS-2019 is valid. "D/S" does not mean that you can stay in the U.S. indefinitely.
  • If you lose your I-94, you should immediately apply for a replacement document. Consult the International Services staff for procedures.

Visa

  • This stamp was affixed to your passport by the U.S. Consulate or Embassy and permits you to enter the U.S. for a specific purpose, and defined period of time.
  • The visa may either be for single, double, or multiple entries.   Its purpose is only for entry to the United States and does not always determine how long you may remain in the U.S.
  • It is very common that a visa may expire while you are in the United States, and this is not a problem, so long as you are maintaining lawful status.
  • However, if your visa has expired and you depart the United States, you will be required to obtain a new visa before attempting to re-enter the United States.
  • It is not possible to renew a J-1 visa while you are within the borders of the U.S.
  • If you change your visa status or program category within the U.S. and then leave the country, you will be required to obtain a new visa in the new category before coming back in to the U.S. — regardless of whether the previous visa is still valid.