Document Identification and Information
The following are very important documents. You will be asked to give these documents to the International Student Adviser (ISA) to make photocopies to keep on file in the International Student office. You will be required to produce the original documents any time you leave or reenter the U.S.
You received your passport from your own country’s government. It is your responsibility to keep your passport valid. Do not let it expire. It should be valid for at least six months at all times. Extensions are granted by your government’s consulate or embassy in the US. The phone numbers for many Embassies are listed under “Resources” (tab on left hand side); if the one you require is not listed please see the ISA for assistance in finding the number.
Receiving a visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed by a U.S. consular officer at an American embassy or consulate, and that the officer has determined you’re eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose. The visa allows you to travel to the United States as far as the port of entry (airport or land border crossing) and ask the immigration officer to allow you to enter the country. Travel to the US is only permitted within the validation dates on the visa. Only the immigration officer has the authority to permit you to enter the United States. He or she decides how long you can stay for any particular visit (which is indicated on the I-94).
A small card which you completed on the airplane. It was stamped and returned to you with your passport by the immigration officer at the point of entry. (The officer often staples the I-94 onto the passport.) This document states your admission number which will be required for any future correspondence with USCIS. The I-94 form shows the specific period of time one may lawfully remain in the US. For F and J visa holders, this is normally D/S (Duration of Status) which means as long as you remain “in status” as an F-l or J-l student, you are permitted to remain in the US.
If the 1-94 has a specific date written on it, you MUST either leave the country by that date or apply for an extension or change of your visa. If you need to apply for an extension or change of status, see the ISA at least 3 months prior to the expiration.
For those students with an F visa type, at the Point of Entry (POE), the Form I-20 that was issued by EMU, will need to be presented to the immigration officer. After satisfying the immigration officer at the POE, they will hand back the I-20 form with an admission number written into the section under item number 1, and a stamp in the upper right-hand corner. Item number 5 on your I-20 indicates the expected date of completion of your program of study. If you have not completed your studies by that date you will need to apply for an extension of stay for your form I-20.
If you are a student or scholar in J-1 status, the immigration officer at the point of entry returned your copy of the IAP-66/DS-2019 that was issued to you by EMU or your programs sponsor. Now it has a stamp in the lower left-hand corner. Item number 3 indicates the expected date of completion of your program of studies. If you have not completed your studies by that date you may be able to apply for an extension. The IAP-66 form is being replace by the DS-2019 and a copy was not available at the time of print this booklet.
It is your responsibility to be aware of the expiration date on your I-94, I-20 or DS-2019. You must contact the ISA at least three months before the expiration date, and it is your responsibility to make sure that the paperwork is completed in a timely manner. Failure to complete these steps will cause you to fall out of legal status and could potentially lead to your deportation.