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Your passport and visa

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Your passport, visa and immigration status have different purposes and requirements allowing you to enter and stay in the U.S. It is important that you maintain valid documents and status during your time in the U.S.

Passport

  • Is issued by your country.

  • Must be valid at all times for at least six months into the future.

  • You may renew your passport from within the U.S. If you are currently in the U.S. and your passport is expiring, contact your country's consulate for procedures and processing time to renew or replace your passport while in the U.S. 

  • If time allows during your home visit, renew your passport in your home country.

  • If your expired passport has a valid visa, you may use the valid visa in your expired passport. However, you will be required to show both your expired and new passports to the Port-of-Entry officer when you return to the U.S.

Visa

  • Your visa is one requirement for your entry to the U.S. You should have a valid visa, valid passport and valid DS-2019 when you enter the U.S.

  • The visa stamp is placed on your passport (except for Canadian citizens) by the U.S. Consulate confirming your eligibility to apply for admission to the U.S. in that specific visa classification. When you arrive in the U.S., the Port-of-Entry officer makes the final determination whether you are allowed to enter the U.S. or not.

  • You can only apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. The length of the validity of a visa is based on the program dates on your DS 2019 and on reciprocity agreements between your country and the U.S.

  • You may reside in the U.S. with an expired visa as long as you maintain your immigration status. The next time you leave the U.S., you must apply for visa renewal at the U.S Consulate abroad, prior to returning to the U.S.

  • A valid visa in an expired passport can be used along with a new unexpired passport. However, you will be required to show both your expired and new passports to the Port-of-Entry officer when you return to the U.S.

  • You may have more than one visa type in the passport but you can only use one status to enter the U.S. When you return to the U.S. to continue with your program activities, you have to return in J-1 visa status.

Lost or stolen immigration documents

If your passport or visa is lost or stolen and you are in the U.S.:

  • Go to the local police station and report your document(s) lost or stolen. If you have copies of your documents, bring them with you. Keep a copy of the police report detailing the incident for your records.

  • You must request a replacement of your passport from your local embassy or consulate in the U.S. of your country of citizenship. Each country has a different procedure. Consult your home country's embassy or consulate for more details on what to do next.

  • If your visa stamp is lost or stolen when you are in the U.S., you can reside in the U.S. and continue your studies as long as you are maintaining your immigration status.

  • Report your visa stamp lost or stolen, email the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside the U.S. which issued your visa. The next time you travel outside of the U.S., you must apply for a new visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Visas cannot be replaced in the U.S.

If your passport or visa is lost or stolen and you are outside of the U.S.:

  • Consult your country of citizenship's ministry of foreign or consular affairs to determine how to apply for a replacement of your passport. Each country has a different procedure.

  • Report your visa stamp lost or stolen to the U.S. consulate or embassy that issued your visa for next steps. For a replacement, you will need to apply in person at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

If your DS-2019 is lost, damaged or stolen, contact ISSC to request a replacement of your DS-2019. If your DS-2019 is not issued by ASU, please contact your J-1 program sponsor for replacement of your DS-2019. If your document is stolen, you may be asked to provide a police incident report.

For more information on lost or stolen immigration documents, visit the U.S. Department of State website and U.S. Homeland Security website.

Immigration Status

  • You obtain your immigration status either through admission to the U.S. at the Port of Entry or through approval of change of status from USCIS.

  • When you enter the U.S. using your valid passport, valid visa and supporting documents (including I-20 or DS-2019), you are admitted by a Port-of-Entry officer in a specific immigration status. The officer stamps your passport and creates an electronic entry record called a Form I-94.

  • The I-94 record indicates your status (F-1 D/S or J-1 D/S) and the date and location of your arrival.

  • Duration of status or D/S means that you have permission to remain in the U.S. for the length of your program as long as you maintain your status. If your I-94 is not marked D/S, you must immediately contact ISSC for further advisement.

  • Once you obtain your status, you have to maintain your status.