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Form & Document Definitions

Form I-20: Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student

Your I-20 can be used for the following:

  • To obtain an F-1 visa from American Embassy/Consulate in your home country.
  • To enter the US for the first time.
  • To reenter after a short visit outside the U.S.
  • To transfer to another school.
  • For entry of family (spouse, children).
  • To extend expected program completion date.

DS-2019: Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Students Status (J-1 Visa)

Your DS-2019 can be used for the following:

  • To obtain a J-1 visa from American Embassy/Consulate in your home country.
  • To enter the US for the first time.
  • Extension of stay and renewal of Entry Permit (I-94).
  • To re-enter after a short visit outside the U.S.
  • For entry of family (spouse, children).
  • To extend expected program completion date.

I-94: Arrival-Departure Record

The I-94 is the small white card in your passport on which the visa classification and the expiration date of your authorized stay is written when you enter the U.S. If your last date of arrival in the U.S. is prior to April 30, 2013, you will have a paper I-94 card in your possession. If your date of last arrival is after April 30, 2013, you will have an electronic I-94 card that can be printed at http://www.cbp.gov/i94

Passport

A passport is your country’s identification of you as a citizen. Your passport must remain valid at all times. It is not allowed to expire. You may renew it by contacting your Embassy/Consulate within the U.S.

Visa: Stamped Page in Passport

A visa is normally a stamp placed in your passport by an official of the United States (or the country you are entering) permitting you entry. You must have a valid visa to enter the United States (unless visa exempt). However, unlike a passport, once in the U.S., a visa is allowed to expire.