Frequently Asked Questions | Handbook | General Immigration Info | F-1 Status Checklist | 1-901 SEVIS Fee Insert

General Immigration Information

Issued by the government of your country. It is the responsibility of each non-immigrant to hold a valid passport at all times while in the U.S.

U.S. Visa
Stamped or computer generated in your passport by the U.S. Consulate; the visa enables you to enter the U.S. for the time of its validity.

Immigration Status
This refers to your immigration category, such as F-1, B-1, B-2, etc. This is usually the same as your visa.

The Arrival/Departure form issued to foreign visitors upon entering the U.S. The I-94 shows how long you are authorized to stay in the U.S. and includes your admission number. It is now issued electronically, but you may need to print it out if you are applying for services such as a social security card or optional practical training.  Please see the ISA for help in retrieving your I-94 number.

I-20 Form
A student receives this document when they are accepted to a school. If the student is in their home country, they will present this form to the American Embassy or Consulate in their home country when they apply for F-1 visa status. The I-20 is what determines how long you may stay in the United States as a student. Before traveling abroad, students must obtain a signature from a DSO (Designated School Official). At Pitzer College, the DSO’s are Todd Sasaki, Michael Ballagh, Eva Peters, and Jamie Francis.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Small plastic card issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to show authorization for employment.