Skip Navigation

Immigration Documents

Certificate of Eligibility

Form I-20: Certificate of eligibility for F visa (traditional students and their dependents)
Certificates of eligibility are issued by the International Admissions Office at Indiana Tech for the following reasons:

  1. To obtain an F-1 visa from the American Embassy/Consulate in your home country.
  2. To enter the country for the first time.
  3. To re-enter after a short visit outside the U.S.
  4. To transfer to another school.
  5. For entry of family (spouse, children).
  6. To extend expected program end/activity date.

Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94)

  • Form I-94 can be retrieved electronically at, however, some visa types are still issued a paper form I-94 card.
  • You will receive a new I-94 number each time you re-enter the U.S. You must provide the IS with all new I-94 numbers you receive during your stay in the U.S.
  • If you receive a paper I-94, you must be in possession of your I-94 card at all times. Do not lose this card. If you lose your I-94, contact the IS immediately.
  • D/S on your I-94 stands for “duration of status.” It indicates the period of time students are allowed to stay in the United States.


A passport is your country’s identification of you as a citizen. Your passport must remain valid at all times. It is not allowed to expire. You may request a new visa stamp by contacting your Embassy/Consulate within the U.S.


A visa is a stamp placed in your passport by an official of the United States (or the country you are entering) permitting your entry. You must have a valid visa to enter the United States (unless you are visa exempt). However, unlike a passport, once you are in the U.S., your visa is allowed to expire.

Note: You cannot re-enter the country with an expired visa.

Form I-515A (Temporary Admission)

If you have lost or misplaced your Form I-20, or for other reasons are unable to produce that form at the port of entry, you should ask to be admitted on a Form I-515A. In such a case, the immigration officer will determine if you have a valid F-1 or J-1 visa and are qualified in all other respects for admission as a student. The officer may admit you to the United States in student status for a period of 30 days and issue the Form I-515A. This form instructs you to submit Form I-20 and I-94 by mail to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington, D.C. Upon receipt of these forms, the DHS will convert the date on Form I-94 to “duration of status” by striking out the date and writing “D/S.” The valid I-20 and original I-94 should be submitted so that the I-94 can be marked “D/S.”

If the immigration officer at the port of entry is not able to determine that you are eligible for admission as a student, the officer may parole you into the United States for “deferred inspection,” which requires that you report in person to a USCIS office.

Visa Expiration/Requesting New Visa Stamp

With the valid visa you CAN:

  1. stay in the U.S. legally as long as your certificate of eligibility allows.
  2. travel to Canada, Mexico, or other contiguous U.S. territories for less than 30 days (some countries are not eligible).

With the expired visa you CANNOT:

  1. travel outside of the U.S. (except Canada, Mexico, or other contiguous U.S. territories for less than 30 days).
  2. request a new visa stamp in the U.S.

To Request a new stamp, you will need to take the following items to the nearest American Consulate/Embassy Office located in your country:

  1. a valid passport
  2. I-20
  3. proof of financial support
  4. and/or verification of enrollment letter
  5. evidence showing intention to return to your home country upon program completion
  6. proof of SEVIS fee payment.

Traveling Outside the U.S.

Students who intend to travel outside of the U.S. need the following documents to re-enter the U.S. after a temporary absence:

Required Document F Visa Holders J Visa Holders
Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20* Form DS-2019**
Valid Passport** Yes Yes
Valid Visa F Visa J Visa
Verification of Financial Support Yes Yes
Verification of Enrollment (from registrar office) Yes Yes
* Form I-20 must be signed by an Indiana Tech DSO for travel within one year of the date of travel return, or within six months if you are on Optional Practical Training.

** Passport should be valid at least 6 months beyond the date you plan to re-enter the US

Visas for Dependents (Spouse and Children)

F Visa Holders J Visa Holders
Certificate of Eligibility Form i-20 for dependent Form DS-2019 for dependent
Visa Type F-2 J-2
Employment Not permitted may apply for work permit
Education (Spouse) recreational courses any educational level
Education (Child) elementary to high school any educational level