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Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30a.m.-4:00p.m.

Location: 2nd floor (206B) of the Resource Center Building (433 Bolivar Street).

Contact Us

By Phone:

(504) 568-4802

By Email:

InternationalServices@lsuhsc.edu
Disclaimer

Disclaimer

The content on these pages is designed for use by LSUHSC-New Orleans sponsored students, exchange visitors and employees. It is not intended to constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for legal counsel.

 
 

 

***For details about documentation required of ALL non-U.S. citizens by the Department of Homeland Security, click here.***

 

IMMIGRATION RELATED TERMS AND DOCUMENTS

Adjustment of Status: this term is used to refer to individuals who are applying to convert their status to that of a Permanent Resident without departing the United States and re-entering in a different status.

CBP:   CBP stands for Customs and Border Patrol, and is part of DHS. CBP is responsible for security at U.S. ports and land borders and is responsible for inspection of all individuals who wish to lawfully enter the United States.

Change of Status : this term is used to refer to individuals who would like to change from one status (ex. F-1 to H1B) to another, except for that of Permanent Resident, without leaving the U.S. and re-entering in a different status.

(DHS) Department of Homeland Security: is a U.S. government agency whose mission is to protect the United States against threats. DHS includes USCIS, CBP, ICE and many other federal agencies.

DS-2019: The DS-2019 is an important immigration document issued by a program sponsor (LSUHSC-NO), which makes an individual eligible for J-1/J-2 status. You may remain in the U.S. as a J-1/J-2 exchange visitor for up to five years from the start date of your program.Your DS-2019 must remain valid during the entire stay in the U.S. A DS-2019 must be endorsed by the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer before departing for a trip abroad. Each J-1/J-2 should sign their own DS-2019 with the exception of minor children whose form may be signed by their J-1 parent.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or I-766:   An EAD is issued by USCIS to persons who have requested specific work authorization or persons who are authorized to work because of their immigration status. The EAD is a small plastic card similar to a driver's license which contains the photo, biographical information and dates of employment authorization belonging to the individual. The EAD card may also contain travel permission if issued to an individual who is adjusting status to permanent resident.

Entry Visa:  Your entry visa is a page inserted into your passport at the U.S. Embassy or consulate when you were granted your visa. It contains your biographical information and photograph, and looks similar to a passport. The expiration date on the visa does not matter as long as you have entered the U.S. before that date. An entry visa is simply a document, which lets you ask to enter the U.S. If your visa has expired, and you need to travel abroad, you will need to obtain a new visa while you are abroad in order to be able to return to the U.S. An entry visa cannot be renewed within the U.S.

I-20: The I-20 is an important immigration document, issued by an authorized school (LSUHSC-NO) which makes an individual eligible for F-1/F-2 status. An individual may remain in the U.S. as an F-1 student (or F-2 dependent) for the time it takes the F-1 student complete their course of study, any authorized training and a 60 day grace period to depart the U.S.  The I-20 must remain valid during the entire stay in the U.S. An I-20 must be endorsed by the DSO or PDSO before departing for a trip abroad.Each F-1/F-2 should sign their own I-20 with the exception of minor children whose form may be signed by their F-1 parent.

I-94:

If you entered the U.S. before April 30, 2013: Your I-94 is a small white piece of cardboard which was stamped and stapled into your passport when you came through the immigration inspection at the airport or at the border, unless you entered under the Visa Waiver Program.  This card is very important: the stamp on it will tell you which immigration status you hold and when that status expires. There is also a number at the top of the form; this is your I-94 Number, or Admission Number, which the DHS uses to keep track of your entry into and departure from the U.S.  Therefore, it is very important that you keep the I-94 card securely stapled into your passport, because you will need to turn it in when you leave the U.S. in order to prove that you did indeed depart the country. If you lose your I-94, you must ask for a replacement from USCIS. The filing fee to request a replacement I-94 is $330!  More information about replacing your I-94 can be found here.

If you entered the U.S. after April 30, 2013 BY LAND: Your I-94 is a small white piece of cardboard which was stamped and stapled into your passport when you came through the immigration inspection at the border, unless you entered under the Visa Waiver Program. This card is very important: the stamp on it will tell you which immigration status you hold and when that status expires. There is also a number at the top of the form; this is your I-94 Number, or Admission Number, which the DHS uses to keep track of your entry into and departure from the U.S. Therefore, it is very important that you keep the I-94 card securely stapled into your passport, because you will need to turn it in when you leave the U.S. in order to prove that you did indeed depart the country. If you lose your I-94, you must ask for a replacement from USCIS. The filing fee to request a replacement I-94 is $330! More information about replacing your I-94 can be found here.

If you entered the U.S. after April 30, 2013 BY SEA OR AIR:  Depending on which port of entry you used and the CBP schedule found here, your I-94 may be electronic and a hard copy must be printed from the CBP website OR a paper I-94 (see above). Your passport should also have been stamped to reflect your status and period of admission when you came through the immigration inspection at the airport or at the port. The I-94 document is very important: it will tell you which immigration status you hold and when that status expires. There is also a number at the top of the form; this is your I-94 Number, or Admission Number, which the DHS uses to keep track of your entry into and departure from the U.S. You are not required to apply for a replacement I-94, you may simply re-print the form from the CBP website as long as you do so before departing the U.S. following that admission. Once you depart the U.S., your I-94 history is removed from the CBP website, and you must request a replacement using Form I-102..

If you entered the U.S. after April 30, 2013 BY SEA OR AIR AND went through secondary inspection: Your I-94 is a small white piece of cardboard which was stamped and stapled into your passport when you came through the immigration inspection at the airport or at the port. This card is very important: the stamp on it will tell you which immigration status you hold and when that status expires. There is also a number at the top of the form; this is your I-94 Number, or Admission Number, which the DHS uses to keep track of your entry into and departure from the U.S. Therefore, it is very important that you keep the I-94 card securely stapled into your passport, because you will need to turn it in when you leave the U.S. in order to prove that you did indeed depart the country. If you lose your I-94, you must ask for a replacement from USCIS. The filing fee to request a replacement I-94 is $330! More information about replacing your I-94 can be found here.

If you entered the U.S. after May 21, 2013 BY SEA OR AIR: Your I-94 is electronic, a hard copy must be printed from the CBP website. Your passport should also have been stamped to reflect your status and period of admission when you came through the immigration inspection at the airport or at the border. The I-94 document is very important: it will tell you which immigration status you hold and when that status expires. There is also a number at the top of the form; this is your I-94 Number, or Admission Number, which the DHS uses to keep track of your entry into and departure from the U.S. You are not required to apply for a replacement I-94, you may simply re-print the form from the CBP website as long as you do so before departing the U.S. following that admission. Once you depart the U.S., your I-94 history is removed from the CBP website and you must request a replacement using Form I-102.

I-797 Notice: A paper notice issued by USCIS to provide documentation that a particular petition or application has been received and accepted by USCIS (Receipt Notice) or to convey the decision made (Approval or Denial Notice) on a particular application or petition by USCIS.

ICE: ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and is part of DHS. ICE is responsible for criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration including location, detention and removal of persons who are not authorized to be present in the United States.

Passport: Your passport must always remain valid while in the United States. If it is close to expiring, you should contact your country’s embassy or consulate in the U.S. to apply for a renewal. If your passport is lost or stolen, notify your consulate immediately and arrange to have it replaced. In order to re-enter the U.S. from a trip abroad, a passport needs to be valid for at least six months after the end date on your I-797, I-20 or DS-2019. For example, if the end date on your DS-2019 is December 1, 2010, the expiration date on your passport must not be before May 1, 2010. If your passport is not valid for six months past your program/approval end date, have it renewed either in the U.S. through a consulate or embassy before you leave the U.S., or have it renewed during a return trip to your home country. Make sure you allow enough time to receive the new passport before your return to the U.S.

Permanent Resident: a person who is authorized to remain in the United States to live and work indefinitely. Permanent Residents have many, though not all, of the same rights and privileges as U.S.  Citizens

PDSO and DSO: stands for Principal Designated School Official and Designated School Official. These are the persons at your school authorized to issue and endorse Form I-20. They are also responsible for reporting to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) on certain activities of F-1 students through the SEVIS system. Each SEVP authorized school must have at least one PDSO and can have multiple DSOs.

RO and ARO: stands for Responsible Officer and Alternate Responsible Officer. These are the persons at your school or institution authorized to issue and endorse Form DS-2019. They are also responsible for reporting to the Department of State (DOS) on certain activities of J students and scholars through the SEVIS system. Each Exchange Visitor Program must have at least one RO and can have multiple AROs.

SEVIS: the Internet-based system where DHS maintains information on SEVP-certified schools, as well as the international students who come to the United States to study in F or M status and attend those schools. SEVIS also maintains information on DoS-designated visitor program sponsors and J-1 visa exchange visitor program participants.

SEVP: Stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. SEVP is a part of the National Security Investigations Division and acts as a bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on nonimmigrants whose primary reason for coming to the United States is to be students.

USCIS: USCIS stands for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This is a U.S. government agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This agency is responsible for overseeing lawful immigration to the United States and adjudicating applications for immigration related benefits.

USCIS Forms: USCIS forms (I-129, I-539, I-765) are used for many different reasons. They can be used to apply for various immigration benefits, replace immigration related documents, verify employment authorization or to have someone else petition for immigration benefits on your behalf. All immigration related forms are available free of charge on the USCIS website. You should never pay anyone to obtain a blank USCIS form!

Visa or Immigration Status: The entry visa in your passport allows you to apply to enter the U.S. and be inspected by a Homeland Security /Customs and Border Patrol Officer. That Officer then may grant you a visa/immigration status. The visa/immigration status is noted on your I-94 card, for example “F-1” or “J-1.” Your entry visa has an expiration date, and so does your visa/immigration status (indicated on your I-94), but they are most often not the same date.