Your passport must be valid at least six months into the future. Report a lost or stolen passport to the police, as your home country's government may require a police report before issuing a new passport.
To renew or replace your passport, contact your country's consulate in the U.S.
F-1 visa stamp
An F-1 visa stamp placed on your passport by a U.S. consular official indicates that you are eligible to enter or reenter the United States as an F-1 student. It does not determine the length of your stay in the United States.
If your F-1 visa expires while you are in the U.S., you do not need to renew it as long as you remain in the country. You may secure a visa only at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States.
Form I-20: Certificate of eligibility
The U.S. school you attend issues your I-20, which allows you to:
- Apply for an F-1 visa.
- Enter or reenter the U.S. to pursue your studies.
- Receive other immigration benefits.
The I-20 lists recent events, such as employment authorization. The I-20 must remain valid at all times throughout your study.
You must request a new I-20 prior to the expiration date listed in item number five. You must keep every I-20 issued to you for your permanent record. Do not discard old I-20s.
To reenter the U.S. to resume your studies at WSU after a temporary absence abroad (not exceeding five months), you must obtain a travel endorsement from the international student advisor on page three of your I-20 form.
I-94 departure record
The I-94 is a small white card, usually stapled into your passport by an immigration official at the port of entry. This card and a valid I-20 allow you to stay temporarily in the United States as an F-1 student.
The immigration official should indicate “F-1 D/S” on your I-94. D/S stands for duration of status and refers to the length of time an F-1 student is permitted to remain temporarily in the U.S. to pursue a full course of study.
Except for brief visits (30 days or less) to Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands, you are issued a new I-94 card with a new admission number each time you enter the U.S.
Keep all of your important documents in a safe place such as a secure location in your home or a bank safe-deposit box. The DHS requires your international student advisor to keep a copy of these documents in your student file. Provide her with a copy when you renew these documents.
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