Documents

It is very important that you keep all of your immigration documents in a safe place. Stony Brook University is required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep a copy of these documents in your electronic student file. Be sure to provide Visa and Immigration Services with a copy of any renewed or updated immigration documents.

Passport:

  • 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 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. Copies of your renewed or extended passport must be submitted to VIS.

SEVIS Form I-20:

  • An I-20 is issued by the U.S. school you attend and allows you to:
    1. Apply for an F-1 visa
    2. Enter or re-enter the U.S. to pursue your studies
    3. Receive other immigration benefits
  • 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 #5 of your SEVIS Form I-20
  • You are required to keep every I-20 issued to you. Do not discard old ones.
  • To re-enter the U.S. to resume your studies at Stony Brook you must obtain a travel signature from your VIS Advisor on page 3 of your I-20 before departing. If your absence abroad exceeds more than 5 months you are required to re-enter with an Initial attendance I-20.

DS-2019

  • A DS-2019 is issued by the U.S. school you plan to attend and allows you to:
    1. Apply for a J-1 visa
    2. Enter or re-enter the U.S. to pursue your studies
    3. Receive other immigration benefits
  • The DS-2019 must remain valid at all times throughout your study.
  • You are required to keep every DS-2019 issued to you. Do not discard old ones.
  • To re-enter the U.S to resume your studies at Stony Brook you must obtain a travel signature on the bottom portion of your DS-2019 before departing.

F-1 / J-1 Visa Stamp:

  • U.S. consular officials place an F-1 /J-1 visa stamp in your passport indicating that you are eligible to enter or re-enter the U.S as an F-1 /J-1 student.
  • The visa stamp does not determine your length of stay in the U.S.
  • If your F-1 /J-1 visa expires while you are in the U.S., it is not necessary to renew it as long as you remain in the country.
  • A visa can only be granted at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas.

I-94 Arrival/Departure Record

  • The I-94 is a small white card or stamp on your passport, by an immigration official at the port of entry.
  • The I-94 card or stamp and a valid I-20 / DS - 2019 permits you to stay temporarily in the U.S. as an F-1 / J-1 student.
  • The immigration official should indicate "F-1 D/S"  on your I-94 card or stamp. D/S stands for "duration of status" and refers to the length of time a 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) under certain circumstances to Canada, Mexico and adjacent islands, you will receive a new stamp with a new admission number each time you enter the U.S.  Be prepared to submit a copy of your new electronic I-94 number to VIS upon request. 
FAST FACTS

Your passport must be valid at least six months into the future

Your I-20 must remain valid at all times throughout your study.

Keep all immigration documents in a safe place.