Many Connections. One U.

Understand Your Immigration Documents

You are required to present valid immigration documents at the time you request admission to the United States and to have them in your possession at all times. You should make copies of your documents to carry around on campus and nearby, but whenever you leave St. Louis, carry the original documents with you. These are the documents that should be kept up-to-date and carried when you travel:

Your Passport

Your passport is issued by the government of your home country and permits you to leave and –renter your country. It should be valid for 6 months into the future at all times. You may renew your passport while you are in the US by contacting your embassy. Your passport contains:

  1. Your photograph
  2. Your passport number
  3. Your full legal name
  4. Your date of birth
  5. The date it was issued and the date it will expire
  6. Visa stamps
  7. Port of entry stamps

Your Visa

Your visa is a sticker that is placed inside your passport by the US consulate or embassy at which you applied. It shows the status that you will receive when you have been admitted to the US. You cannot obtain a visa within the US, but it is ok for your visa to expire while you are here. You will need an unexpired visa the next time you request admission to the US. Your visa contains:

  1. Personal information that matches what is on your passport ID page
  2. The class in which you plan to enter the US (e.g. F-1)
  3. The number of times (multiple or single) that you can use the visa to request entry
  4. The expiration date after which you may not use the visa to request entry
  5. The name of the school you will attend (should say Maryville unless you are a transfer student)

Your Port of Entry Stamp

Your port of entry stamp is issued by a US Customs and Border Protection official at the time you are granted admission to the US. You will receive a new stamp each time you re-enter the country. The stamp is usually placed on the page adjacent to your visa. Your POE stamp contains:

  1. A three-letter abbreviation for the name of the port through which you enter
  2. The date you enter
  3. The class of the status that you are granted (should be F-1)
  4. The date by which you are expected to leave the US (should be D/S meaning that you can stay for as long as you maintain your status)

Your Arrival/Departure record (Form I-94)

Your arrival/departure contains some identifying information as well as some of the same information that is shown on the POE stamp. However, this is an electronic record that allows this information to be communicated to other US government systems so that you can obtain a driver license or a Social Security number or certain benefits associated with your F-1 status. You should obtain a copy of this electronic record by visiting the Customs and Border Protection website.

Your Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20)

Your certificate of eligibility demonstrates that you have been fully admitted to Maryville university for the program of study for which you applied and that you have provided evidence that you have all the financial resources required for you to live and study in the US for at least the first full year of your program. It is required in order for you to apply for your visa in order for you to be admitted to the US and in order for you to remain in the US. It should always contain accurate and up-to-date information. If any of the information on your form changes, ISS will issue you a new one. You will need a valid travel signature on your certificate in order to re-enter the US following travel abroad. Your certificate of eligibility contains:

  1. Your personal identifying information
  2. Your SEVIS ID number
  3. The name and ID number of the school at which you are studying
  4. The level of your program of study
  5. Your field of study
  6. The date your program begins and the estimated date by which it should be completed
  7. Authorizations for practical training
  8. Travel signatures

Your SEVIS Fee Receipt (Form I-901)

Your SEVIS fee receipt demonstrates that you have paid the SEVIS fee. It is issued by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program at the time the fee is paid. It is required for your visa application, at the port of entry, and may be needed when you apply for benefits related to your status. Your SEVIS fee receipt contains:

  1. Personal identifying information
  2. The status (F-1) for which you are applying
  3. Maryville’s SEVIS school code
  4. Your SEVIS ID
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