We recommend that you make copies of the following important documents and keep the originals in a safe place:
- Passport: You should keep your passport valid for 6 months into the future at all times. If your passport is going to expire in less than 6 months you should contact your country’s embassy in the U.S. as soon as possible to renew it. You can also apply for renewal in your home country if you plan to travel before the expiration date. Please consult with an International Student Advisor if you have questions.
- Visa: Your F-1 visa stamp in your passport has to be valid at the time you enter the U.S. Once you are here, it is ok to let you visa expire as long as you have a valid I-20 form and are maintaining your status.
- I-20: In order to maintain F-1 status you must attend (full-time) the school that issued your I-20. You must not let you I-20 expire. If your I-20 expires you will be out of status and will need to either apply for reinstatement to F-1 status or leave the U.S. The program end date listed in item 5 on your I-20 is the I-20 expiration date. If you plan to travel outside the U.S. you’ll need to contact an International Student Advisor to obtain a signature on page 3 of your I-20.
- I-94 Arrival / Departure Record: This is a record of your legal entry into the U.S. and your immigration status. F-1 students are usually admitted into the U.S. for duration of status (D/S) which should be noted on the I-94. Please contact an International Student Advisor if your I-94 does not have a D/S notation. You should keep the I-94 with your passport and you are required to surrender it when leaving the U.S. Each time you enter the U.S. you will receive a new I-94 card.