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Visa vs. Status What is the difference, and why is it important?

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Presentation on theme: "Visa vs. Status What is the difference, and why is it important?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Visa vs. Status What is the difference, and why is it important?

2 What is a visa? Permission to apply for entry to the U.S.

3 A Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) is…
Granted by a U.S. consular official at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U.S. (cannot be obtained or renewed within the borders of the U.S.) A “permit” which allows a foreign national to board a conveyance (ship, plane, train, etc.) and present him or herself for inspection at a Port of Entry. It does not guarantee admission to the U.S. A colored, digital, machine readable, decal affixed to the foreign national’s passport. Valid for one, several, or multiple (M) entries. Valid for a particular period of time (does NOT govern the period of admission to the U.S.)

4 What is status? Permission to remain in the U.S. for a specific period of time.

5 An F-1 Student Is admitted to the United States for a period known as “Duration of Status,” which is recorded on his or her entry documents (I-94 and I-20) with the notation “D/S.” Duration of status refers to the period that a student is pursuing a full course of study, plus any optional practical training authorized following completion of the course of study. A student’s valid I-20 determines the initial parameters of his or her duration of status, because those dates reflect the estimated length of the course of study. A student can be admitted to the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the report date on Form I-20 and may remain up to 60 days after completing the course of study or optional practical training.

6 What if the visa expires?
The F-1 student visa is used only at the Port of Entry to request admission to the U.S. Once in the U.S., the validity of the visa is unimportant as long as the student maintains status. If the student travels outside the U.S., a valid visa is required to re-enter the country. An exception is made for brief trips (less than 30 days) to Mexico and Canada. Re-entry to the U.S. may be granted with an expired visa in these cases.

7 How is status maintained? Students must…
Report to the Designated School Official / International Office for SEVIS registration upon arrival at the school. Attend the school that they are authorized to attend. Pursue a full course of study or engage in authorized practical training following completion of studies. Make normal progress towards completing a program of study. Apply for a timely extension of stay. Obtain a new Form I-20 for a change in academic program, funding, or level of study. Follow transfer procedures if applicable. Abide by the F-1 grace period regulations. Report change of address to the DSO within 10 days. Abide by any special requirements such as Special Registration (NSEERS). Maintain a valid passport. Not engage in unlawful employment. Depart the U.S. at the right time.

8 How is status lost? Through…
Failure to report to the school for SEVIS registration Failure to enroll for a given academic term Failure to make normal progress Failure to attend the authorized school Failure to complete the transfer out and transfer in processes Failure to file a timely change of status Failure to obtain a program extension prior to program end date Failure to notify the DSO of an address change within 10 days of the change Failure to depart from the U.S. at the right time Unauthorized employment

9 How can status be reinstated?
The US Customs and Immigration Service may consider approving a student's reinstatement application if the student can demonstrate that he/she is eligible for reinstatement. ALL of the following must be true. The student: Has not been out of status for more than 5 months prior to filing for reinstatement Does not have a record of repeated violations Is pursuing a full course of study Has not engaged in unauthorized employment Is not deportable on any grounds other than the status violation for which reinstatement is being requested The status violation resulted from circumstances beyond the student's control If the violation relates to a reduced course load without prior authorization from the DSO, the course load reduction must have been of a type that would ordinarily have been approvable by the DSO if it had been requested in a timely manner Must provide evidence of extreme hardship if application for reinstatement is not approved

10 Travel vs. Reinstatement
A student may travel and re-enter the U.S. with a new I-20 rather than filing an application for reinstatement. The DSO must terminate the student’s record in SEVIS and create an initial I-20. It may be difficult for the student to obtain a visa abroad, or if the student has a valid visa, the Port of Entry official may ask questions about the student’s prior history in the U.S. The student’s status will be viewed as a “new” entry in F-1 status upon return to the U.S. Therefore, the student would not be eligible for any type of off campus employment until he/she completes an academic year in F status.

11 So? Check all documents regularly for expiration dates
Know the implications of expired documents Maintain status Know what happens if status is lost Apply for reinstatement or travel and re-enter if necessary Consult with the Office of International Student Services when in doubt

12 Questions

13 Enjoy the USA! Office of International Student Services
This has been a presentation of the Office of International Student Services University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS HRB 52 Springfield, IL 62703

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