F-1 students are required to provide valid immigration documents when you enter the United States and maintain valid immigration documents throughout your stay here in the U.S.
We recommend carrying original immigration documents whenever you travel outside of Buffalo.
Identification document issued by one’s country of citizenship that certifies an individual’s legal identity and nationality.
Legal document issued by a U.S. school through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) SEVIS database. The I-20 confirms acceptance to an institution for a full course of study and proof of sufficient funds for the program.
Keep copies all I-20s that are issued to you as they are required to document maintenance of status and may be requested for future benefit applications.
Refer to page 1 of your I-20, section titled "FORM ISSUE REASON" to determine what kind of I-20 you have.
Most students receive an initial I-20 when they are accepted to UB for the first time. Initial I-20s are also issued for students who violated F-1 status and need to regain status or those who want to travel to change their status to F-1. An initial I-20 requires that you enter the U.S. with the I-20 and a valid visa stamp to begin (or regain) your F-1 status.
This means you received an updated I-20 after ISS reported your initial arrival to the U.S. An updated I-20 could be issued for a variety of reasons - you applied for a benefit (OPT/CPT), you requested an update to information on your I-20, you requested a travel endorsement, etc.
If your I-20 says, "Transfer Pending..." and includes the name of your previous US school, this means that you completed a SEVIS transfer and moved from one US school to another. Soon after your first semester at UB begins, ISS will issue you a new I-20 indicating "Continued Attendance".
When a F-1 student completes one degree and continues at UB for another degree, a change of level I-20 is issued to reflect the new degree program. If you are admitted to UB for another degree, be sure that you receive your new I-20 before the end of your 60-day grace period (60-days after degree conferral). If you have questions about the process to receive your new I-20, please contact the UB admissions staff in the department in which you applied.
Indicates that you are inside the U.S. (in another immigration status) and have applied to USCIS for a change of status to F-1. If you are applying for a change of status via travel outside the U.S., you will be issued an "initial" I-20.
The visa is a stamp that the U.S. consular officer placed on a page in your passport. The visa permits you to apply for admission to the U.S. as an F-1 student, and does not need to remain valid while you are in the U.S. (Canadian citizens do not have visa stamps.)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers create an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to document the admission of international visitors at the U.S port of entry, or in some instances a Pre-Clearance location abroad.
The arrival record indicates a visitor’s basic demographic information; entry port and date; class of admission (e.g., F1), and Admit Until Date (D/S: Duration of Status for F-1 students).
You should download, save, and print a copy of your I-94 on the CBP website. Whenever you enter the US, you should save a copy of your I-94 for your records and review your I-94 every time you re-enter the U.S. to confirm that your entry was recorded properly. Sometimes Customs and Border Protection makes mistakes that require correction. If you find that your I-94 information is incorrect, please contact ISS.