I-20 Certification of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status
DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Exchange Visitor Status
- Issued by the educational institution or organization after determining the exchange visitor (EV) meets eligibility requirements. The individual must not be a candidate for a tenure-track position. Departments request Forms DS-2019 through the International Center
- EV uses the DS-2019 to obtain a J-1 visa at an American Embassy or Consulate abroad to enter the U.S.
- The DS-2019 should be endorsed by the Alternate Responsible Officer of the J-1 program before the exchange visitor travels outside of the U.S. for re-entry to the U.S.
Visa: Permission to Apply for Entry into U.S. at a Port of Entry
- Issued by an American Embassy or Consulate abroad (Canadian citizens need an I-20/DS-2019 but do not need a visa)
- Must be valid to enter / re-enter the U.S., except from Canada, Mexico, and the adjacent islands (with some restrictions)
- As long as the EV remains in the U.S. it does not matter if the visa has expired since it is a travel document, and not the permission to stay
I-94: Arrival - Departure Record
- A small card issued to a non-immigrant alien by the Department of Homeland Security upon entry into the U.S. indicating legal entry, status at the U.S., and the permission to stay. It is often stapled to the passport.
- D/S - "Duration of Status" means the length of time necessary for the scholar/professor to complete a specific program or level (as indicated on the Form I-20 or DS-2019), plus a 60-day or 30-day grace period for F-1 or J-1 Status Respectively.
- Issued by the home government
- Required to enter the U.S.
- Must be valid for at least 5 months after entry into the U.S.
Documents Required for Student or Exchange Visitor to Enter the U.S.
- Valid passport with a F-1/F-2 or J-1/J-2 visa (Canadians are exempt from visa requirement)
- Form I-20 or DS-2019
- I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt
- Optional but Recommended Documentation
- Financial Support Documentation
- Letter of invitation