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Visas and Documentation

Your Immigration Documents
The following is intended to help you understand the purpose of your immigration documents. These documents should be kept in a secure place at all times when not in use:

Form I-20
The form I-20 is issued by Colorado College and will be mailed to you prior to your arrival. This is the form you will bring to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your country to apply for a visa. You must also present your I-20 to an immigration official every time you enter the U.S. from abroad. Keep your I-20 in a safe place and consult our office immediately if it has been stolen or lost.

Your visa is the stamp that was issued to you by a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas and placed in your passport. It is important only for entry into the U.S. The expiration date on your visa simply determines the time during which you may enter the U.S. It does not affect how long you can stay in the country and it does not have to remain valid while you are here. You will only need to renew your visa if it has expired and you are planning to leave and re-enter the U.S.

Customs & Border Protection ("CBP") began implementing the automated version of the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record ata air and seaports of entry on April 30, 2013. CBP will roll out the automated Form I-94 at air and seaports of entry over a four week period from April 30, 2013 through May 21, 2013. Nonimmigrants entering the United States at air and seaports of entry will not be provided with a paper Form I-94. Instead, the nonimmigrant will need to access their electronic Form I-94 record by visiting\I94. CBP has indicated that it will be providing nonimmigrants affected by Form I-94 automation with instructions on how to look up their electronic record on the CBP's website.

Nonimmigrants may need their Form I-94 when requesting certain benefits from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and when requesting for public benefits from other governmental agencies, including Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and/or a driver's license from a state Department of Motor Vehicles.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
In an effort to manage information on international students more efficiently, the U.S. government has developed a program called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System or SEVIS. This is an internet-based system that allows schools to exchange information with the government about international students throughout their academic careers in the U.S.

As part of SEVIS reporting requirements, we must collect and send the following information to the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services:

  • Your name, date of birth, country of birth and citizenship, source and amount of financial resources and program start and end dates
  • Your arrival and enrollment at CC or failure to enroll
  • A change in your legal name or address
  • Graduation prior to the end date listed on your I-20
  • Academic or disciplinary actions taken due to criminal conviction
  • Registration of less than a full course of study (less than 3 blocks per semester) without prior authorization
  • Termination date and reason
  • Failure to complete your academic program

Maintaining Status
It is very important that you adhere to the following rules in order to stay in F-1 student status. If you do not, depending on the circumstances, it may be very difficult to re-instate your status. If ever in doubt about your status, please consult our office.

  • Have a valid passport at all times unless you are exempt from the passport requirement.
  • Remain a full-time student. You must be enrolled for at least 3 blocks each semester.
  • Notify us if you plan to drop a class. If for some reason you are not able to take 3 or more blocks in a semester, you must get approval to drop your classes before you drop them. If you don't, you will fall out of status.
  • Update your address. If you move, even from one room to another, you must notify our office within 10 days.
  • Inform our office if you will not graduate in time. Program extensions must be approved prior to the end date listed on your I-20.
  • Alert us if you plan to transfer. We will need to complete an immigration transfer before the new school will be permitted to issue you a new I-20.
  • Consult with our office before accepting employment if you are interested in working off campus.
  • Limit all on-campus employment to no more than 20 hours per week when school is in session, and no more than 40 hours per week during vacation periods.
  • Depart the U.S. no more than 60 days after the end date listed on your I-20 unless you are transferring schools or have been granted a program extension.