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:
- To obtain an F-1 visa from the American Embassy/Consulate in your home country.
- To enter the country for the first time.
- To re-enter after a short visit outside the U.S.
- To transfer to another school.
- For entry of family (spouse, children).
- To extend expected program end/activity date.
- Form I-94 can be retrieved electronically at www.cbp.gov/i94, 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.
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.
With the valid visa you CAN:
- stay in the U.S. legally as long as your certificate of eligibility allows.
- 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:
- travel outside of the U.S. (except Canada, Mexico, or other contiguous U.S. territories for less than 30 days).
- 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:
- a valid passport
- proof of financial support
- and/or verification of enrollment letter
- evidence showing intention to return to your home country upon program completion
- proof of SEVIS fee payment.
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 Visa||F Visa||J Visa|
|Verification of Financial Support||Yes||Yes|
|Verification of Enrollment (from registrar office)||Yes||Yes|
** Passport should be valid at least 6 months beyond the date you plan to re-enter the US
|F Visa Holders||J Visa Holders|
|Certificate of Eligibility||Form i-20 for dependent||Form DS-2019 for dependent|
|Employment||Not permitted||may apply for work permit|
|Education (Spouse)||recreational courses||any educational level|
|Education (Child)||elementary to high school||any educational level|