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Immigration & Visas

It is your responsibility to maintain regular communication with Ohio Northern’s Designated School Official (DSO) to assure compliance with all Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) requirements. If you ever have any questions about immigration matters, please visit the Academic Affairs office located in Lehr Memorial 204F.

ONU's DSOs are:

Dr. Lynda Nyce, Director of Global Academic Initiatives, Lehr Memorial 204

Dr. Julie Hurtig, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Lehr Memorial 204F


Visa: Stamp/chop in passport obtained from a United States Embassy or Consulate giving permission to come to the United States. These are only issued outside of the United States, and usually have an expiration date. Most F-1 Visas are issued for duration of status (D/S). Regardless of whether there is an expiration date or D/S indicated on the visa, you are not in jeopardy as long as you remain in status as a student. The visa is a document used only to gain entry into the United States. If the visa expires while you are in the U.S., that is perfectly fine. However, you will not be able to leave the U.S. and return if your visa is expired. 

F-1: Type of visa for students in a degree-seeking academic or language program

F-2: Type of visa for the spouse, child, or dependent of someone who holds an F-1 Visa

J-1: Type of visa for an Exchange Visitor

J-2: Type of visa for the spouse, child, or dependent of someone who holds a J-1 Visa

I-20: Certificate of Eligibility issued to F-1 students so they may obtain a visa to enter the United States. The SEVIS I-20 is also used in recording school transfers, extensions of stay, off-campus employment, and practical training authorization. This form is permanently retained by the student and must be carefully safeguarded.

Designated School Officials: The employees at the university who communicate your information to the U.S. government, issue and sign I-20s, and are able to advise you on immigration matters

DS-2019: Certificate of Eligibility issued to J-1 students so they may obtain a visa to enter the United States and participate in an exchange program

I-765: Application form for Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Application is necessary for optional practical training in an occupation directly related to the student’s studies. You should plan to complete the application well in advance of the period of desired training. See the DSO for assistance.

I-94: Arrival/Departure form issued to all visa categories upon arrival in the United States, available electronically at

Passport Validity: United States Immigration requires that you keep your passport valid for at least 6 months in the future at all times.