International Students - F-1 Students
Important Immigration Terminology
SEVIS: The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
(SEVIS) is the web-based system that facilitates timely reporting and
monitoring of nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors. SEVIS is used to generate your Form I-20. Your SEVIS
record must accurately reflect your current information at all times.
SEVP: The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) acts
as a bridge for government organizations that use SEVIS to monitor and collect
information about nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors, as well as their
DSO: The Designated School Official (DSO) is the person
authorized to create and maintain F-1 students SEVIS records. The DSO is
usually your International Student Advisor.
Passport: Travel document issued by
your government indicating your identity and citizenship. The U.S. government
requires that your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you
enter or re-enter the U.S. If your country appears in the Passport Agreement List, you are allowed to enter the U.S. on your current passport up
to the actual date of expiration. Your passport should always remain valid
while you are in the U.S. Only your government can renew or extend your
passport and it usually takes several weeks for a passport to be renewed, so be
sure to allow enough time. Contact your country’s embassy or consulate in the U.S.
Form I-20: "Certificate of Eligibility for
Nonimmigrant Student Status" is the document issued for a degree-seeking student
to request an F-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
F-1 Visa: The stamp in your passport issued by the U.S.
Embassy or Consulate that allows you to enter the U.S. in F-1 status. It is not
required that your visa be valid while you are in the U.S. It is only when
traveling outside the U.S. that you must have a valid visa for re-entry. An F-1
visa can only be obtained at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
I-94: The Arrival and Departure Record, in either paper or
electronic format, issued by a CBP Officer when entering the United States. The
I-94 indicates that you have been legally admitted to the U.S. in a specific
immigration status and for a specific length of time. F-1 students are usually
admitted to the U.S. for the duration of status (D/S).
D/S: Duration of status (D/S) is recorded in your I-94 and
admission stamp in your passport when entering the U.S. D/S indicates that you
are authorized to remain in the U.S. until completion of your program, plus
your grace period, if you have maintained lawful status.
F-1 Status: Nonimmigrant visa status for students eligible
to enroll in academic programs in the U.S. at colleges or universities awarding
bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate or professional degrees.
F-2 Status: Nonimmigrant visa status required for
dependents (spouse or minor children) of F-1 visa holders to enter the U.S.
Dependent: A student’s spouse and/or minor child (who is
unmarried and under 21 years old). Dependents may accompany an F-1 student to
the U.S. or join them while they study.