Your Immigration Status

Your Immigration Status

A traveler without observation
is a bird without wings.

–Moslih Eddin Saadi

Current international students and Visiting Language Instructors at UMW must be mindful of certain immigration regulations for their time in the U.S. If you are a newly admitted student, please consult the Before You Arrive checklist. Please contact the Center for International Education with any questions.

  • Your Passport must be valid for six months beyond the period of your approved stay in the United States. Check your passport expiration date and get an extension if you need one. Refer to this directory of foreign embassies and consulates in the United States if you need to locate your embassy/consulate to renew your passport.
  • Your Visa stamp in your passport, along with your I-20 or DS-2019, gives you permission to apply for entry into the United States. Do not confuse the validity of your visa stamp as being an indication of your approved period of stay here. The visa must be valid at the time of any entry to the United States; it does not have to be valid for you to remain in the United States.
  • Your I-94: Permission to stay in the United States is indicated on your I-94 admission record card, which you must retrieve electronically at the Department of Homeland Security website. It indicates the date and port of entry to the United States, your immigration classification (F1, J1), and is marked “D/S” (duration of status). This means you can remain in the United States as long as you are a full-time student with a valid I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Your I-20 or DS-2019 is a permanent record of your F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant status, and you will need it for any necessary endorsements and certifications by our office. We will also use it to record transfers and employment recommendations. It is also used for re-entering the United States after a brief visit outside.
    • Students on an F-1 visa have a 60-day grace period beyond the I-20 end date in which to depart the United States or apply for a change of status.
    • Students or Visiting Language Instructors on a J-1 visa have a 30-day grace period beyond the DS-2019 end date in which to depart the United States or apply for a change of status. If you need to extend your time here beyond the date typed on your DS-2019, you are required to notify the Department of State. CIE will update DS-2019 for this purpose. Please consult our office if you need to stay beyond the date on your current DS-2019.


Maintaining Your Status

It is important that internationals on F-1 and J-1 visas understand the immigration responsibilities required to maintain their status. Please download the document below that corresponds to you, and ensure you are in compliance with the guidelines. Any violation of these regulations puts you at risk of disciplinary action or deportation.

International Travel in F-1 or J-1 Status