There are several documents that will be extremely important to you during your stay in the United States. As a non-immigrant in the U.S., it is very important for you to be familiar with your immigration documents. The following is a list and brief explanation of these documents.
Passports are official government documents granting permission to travel to and from your home country. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months at all times during your stay in the United States. For passport renewal, contact your country’s consulate or embassy. Copies of your passport should always be on file in the Student Life Office.
Your visa is the multi-colored stamp entered on a page of your passport at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. The visa is used to authorize your entry into the U.S. for a certain number of entries until it expires. For example, it may be authorized for multiple entries (indicated on your visa with the letter “M”), or once (single entry, indicated on your visa as “1” or “S”), two entries (indicated on your visa as “2”), etc. Your entry visa may expire while you are in the United States. This is OK unless you plan to leave the country and return. If you leave the United States with an expired visa you must go to a U.S. Consulate or Embassy to apply for a new visa before you can return. You do not have to go to your home country to renew your Visa, however you cannot renew it in the U.S. Copies of your visa should always be on file in the Student Life Office.
The I-20 is the document which you received from Jacksonville University and used to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad. Please note, your I-20 is a very important document. It is a complete record of your activity at school. It contains a record of school transfer, permission to work, change of major, addition of major, etc. Before leaving the United States for travel, you must have your I-20 endorsed by the Assistant Dean of Students. This is a requirement each time you travel out of the U.S. If the visa is valid, the endorsed I-20 will allow you re-entry. Copies of your I-20 should always be on file in the Student Life Office.
An I-515 may be issued at the Port of Entry and gives permission to remain in the U.S. for a very limited amount of time. If given an I-515, the student should report to the Dean of Student Development immediately upon arrival to complete required paperwork.
I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
The I-94 arrival/departure record is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) inspector at the port of entry. In most cases, this document is electronic, so you will not receive a physical copy of it. The I-94 contains your 11 digit immigration Admission Number. This admission number given to you at the port of entry (airport) when you first came to the U.S. is the admission number you will use as long as you are holding an F-1 visa. The I-94 is a very important document that tells you how long you may remain in the United States. You will see the notation D/S (which means Duration of Status) written on your I-94. D/S refers to the length of time you will study at Jacksonville University or a future program of study at another school, college, or university in the U.S. as indicated by the end date on your current I- 20 or the day you complete your studies, whichever is first.