International students have many documents and terms to remember. You may use this list as a helpful reference.
- DHS (Department of Homeland Security): The U.S. government department responsible for national security. USCIS, CBP, and ICE are all bureaus under the jurisdiction of DHS.
- USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services): The bureau within DHS responsible for adjudication of applications for benefits filed by nonimmigrants.
- CBP (Customs and Border Protection): The bureau within DHS that includes border patrol, customs, and inspectors at U.S. ports of entry.
- ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement): The bureau within DHS responsible for SEVP.
- SEVP (Student Exchange and Visitor Program): The program under ICE which is responsible for tracking international students using SEVIS.
- Passport: An official document verifying your citizenship of a specific country.
- I-20: An official document showing you are eligible to attend a specific school as an F-1 student.
- F-1 Visa: An official document adhered to a page of your passport which shows that you are eligible to enter the country in F-1 status.
- I-94: An arrival/departure card that is issued to non-U.S. citizens when they enter the U.S. Sometimes, it is a cardstock stapled to your passport, but most often it is issued electronically. The I-94 denotes how long you may stay in the U.S. legally.
- EAD card (Employment Authorization Document): A special document that authorizes you to work off-campus. Issued by the U.S. government after OPT is approved.
- F-1 Status: The rules and regulations F-1 students must follow in order to remain in good standing with the U.S. government and remain in the U.S. legally.
- D/S (Duration of Status): When on your I-94, D/S denotes that you may legally stay in the U.S. for as long as you maintain your visa status.
- SEVIS (Student Exchange and Visitor Information System): The database that contains information on all F-1 students.
- SEVIS Record: Your specific record within SEVIS, where your DSO reports on your school registration and activity as it relates to your visa status.
- DSO (Designated School Official): The person at your school who is authorized to report on your school registration and activity as it relates to your visa status.