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Your passport is your form of legal identification, containing personal information. It must always be valid at least 6 months into the future.
Your visa is located inside your passport.
It has information such as:
- Place of issuance
- Personal information: Your name (family, Given), Gender, Date of Birth, Nationality, etc.
- Your passport number
- Entries: 'M' means multiple. This means that you are able to leave and reenter the U.S. multiple times
- Visa Type/Class: 'R' for Regular/F-1 or J-1 is your class of visa
- Expiration Date: The date when your visa is no longer valid. *If you have a valid I-20 when your visa expires, you may continue to study in the U.S. legally. However, if you choose to leave the U.S. on an expired visa, you will need to extend you visa before returning to the U.S.*
I-94 Electronic Document
When you enter the U.S., your passport will be stamped with the following information:
- Port of Entry: where you last entered the U.S. (may not be your final destination)
- Date you last entered the U.S.
- Your class: F-1/ J-1
- D/S: 'Duration of Status', period in which you are an active full-time student or engaged in OPT
Your electronic I-94 document will be available for you to access electronically after your entry into the U.S. Please access and print your I-94 as soon as possible so you will have a copy on hand.
In order to access your I-94, visit https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/
Your I-94 will also have an 11 digit admission number ('A' number) at the top of the form. The first 9 digits make up your Alien Registration Number.
You will receive a new electronic I-94 document each time you leave and reenter the U.S.
Form I-20 (For F-1 Students)
Your I-20 is issued by your university (ONU) and is mailed to you in your home country before you arrive for classes. When you receive your I-20, sign the bottom and take the document to the U.S. Embassy when you apply for your F-1 student visa. This document is very important to safely guard because it is your proof of purpose for being in the U.S. You must always take it with you when traveling outside the U.S. and hoping to come back in.
Reasons to receive a new I-20
- You run out of room for travel signatures
- You extend your Program End Date
- You change your Major/Minor
- You apply for OPT or CPT (each time you apply)
- You add/subtract a dependent
- You change education level (UG to G, etc)
- You transfer to another school
Form DS-2019 (For J-1 Students)
The DS-2019 or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status" is the document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program.
You will use this form at a U.S. embassy when attempting to obtain a J visa to enter the U.S.
It contains personal information about the exchange visitor and their designated sponsor, and provides a description of the exchange visitor's program - including start and end date, category of exchange, estimate of the cost.