Your passport is your international identification. It has your
personal information on the first or last page. Your passport must
be valid at least 6 months into the future at all
Your Student Visa:
Inside your passport, you will find your student visa (stamp,
usually in the middle of your passport).
The visa will contain:
- Place of issuance,
- Personal information: Your name (family, Given), Gender, Date
of Birth, Nationality, etc.
- Your passport number
- Entries: 'M' means multiple. This means that
you are able to leave and reenter the U.S. multiple times
- Visa Type/Class: 'R' for
Regular/F-1 is your class of visa
- Expiration Date: The date when your visa is no
longer valid. *If you have a valid I-20 when your
visa expires, you may continue to study in the U.S. legally.
However, if you choose to leave the U.S. on an expired visa, you
will need to extend you visa before returning to the
Your I-94 card:
You will receive your I-94 card at the port of entry. Each time
you leave and reenter the U.S. you will receive a new I-94 card.
The immigration office will stamp you card to display the following
- Port of Entry: where you last entered the
U.S. (may not be your final destination)
- Date you last entered the U.S.
- Your class: F-1/ J-1
- D/S: 'Duration of Status', period in which you
are an active full-time student or engaged in OPT
Your I-94 will also have an admission number ('A'
number). This is an 11 digit number towards the top, right
corner of the card. The first 9 digits of this number is your
Alien Registration Number.
Most immigration officers will staple the I-94 card into
your passport, but in case they do not do so, keep your I-94
card in a very safe place. It is very expensive to
Replacing an I-94 card
For information on how to replace your lost/stolen I-94 card,
- Fill out form I-102, I-94
- Pay the filing fee of $330 with a money order. Check USCIS
website for changes in filing fee amount.
- Submit documents to support your application. Necessary
documents can be found in the I-201 application instructions.
Your I-20 document (sometimes referred to as 'Certificate
Your I-20 will be issued by your school (Butler University) and
will be mailed to you in your home country. When you receive your
I-20 document, sign at the bottom of the first page. You will take
your I-20 document to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate to apply for your
F-1 student visa.
When you enter the U.S., your I-20 will be stamped with your
port of entry, date of entry, class, and D/S (see I-94 card for
detailed information). The immigration office may write your visa
issuing port and the date your visa was issued on your I-20.
You will receive a new I-20 if:
You apply for OPT or CPT (each time you
You run out of room for travel signatures
You extend your Program End Date
You change your Major/Minor
You add/subtract a dependent
Change Education Level (UG to G, etc)
You Transfer to another school
To the right of the stamp is a barcode and a number beginning
with the letter 'N'. The number is your SEVIS
number: your identification number in the government's
'Student and Exchange Visitor Information System' (see SEVIS for
more detailed information).
A Closer Look at Your I-20:
1. Your Personal
2. Your School's
3. through 6.
Information Regarding Your Degree
Initial Attendance: You
have been accepted, but you have not reported to the school
When you report to your new school, you will receive a continued
Transfer Pending: You
have been accepted and your previous school (within the U.S.) has
transferred your SEVIS record to your new school, but you have not
reported to the new school
Transfer: When you
report to your new school, you will receive a transfer I-20
4.) Level of degree you
are seeking (for example, Associates, Bachelor's, Master's)
5.) This section
contains very important information!
The latest date you are expected
to report to the Office of International Student Services at your
new school. * If you do not report to the school by
the date indicated and you do not communicate with the DSO about
why you are unable to report by that date, you will be considered a
'No Show' and your record will be terminated.*
Your Program End Date:
The date you I-20 will expire. You will then go into your 60 day
grace period (LINK). *if you need to extend your I-20 or apply for
OPT you must do it before your program end date.*
'The Normal Length of Study' is
the amount of time (in months) that it should take for you to
complete your degree.
6.) You must have a
certain level of English proficiency to attend Butler University.
This is usually measured by the TOEFL test.
7. & 8. Financial
7.) The cost to attend the school (Tuition,
living expenses, dependents, etc.)
8.) Student's Financial Eligibility
9. Remarks from the DSO or
student (if requested)
10. & 11.
10.) Printed Name and Signature of Your
Designated School Official (DSO), Title, Date, and Place
*Your I-20 should be signed when you receive it.*
11.) Your Printed Name and Signature,
Date you sign the I-20
*You should sign your I-20 as soon as you receive*
If you are under the age of 18, your legal guardian will need to
sign the I-20 as well.
Page 3 of Your I-20:
On Page 3 of your I-20, you will find:
Work Authorization (CPT, OPT)
dates, status, company information
Travel Signature (bottom of the
3rd page): Your DSO will sign the third page to authorize you to
travel outside of the U.S. **You may not travel outside of the U.S.
without a signature from your DSO!**
The signature is valid for one year from the date it was signed.
You must reenter the U.S. before the signature expires. Otherwise
you should receive a new signature before you travel outside the
You do not need a signature form the DSO to travel within the