Glossary of Terms

  • SEVIS - Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.  SEVIS is an internet-based program that has been developed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to track all students and scholars who are in F-1 and J-1 status.  Their spouses and child dependents are tracked in SEVIS as well.

  • USCIS - US Citizenship and Immigration Services is responsible for most application and petition adjudications.

  • International Student Advisor - Provides advising, immigration services, programming, advocacy, and outreach to the international student population.

  • F-1 - a non-immigrant who is pursuing a full course of study to achieve a specific educational objective at a US academic institution that has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security to offer courses of study, and has been enrolled in SEVIS.

  • J-1 - The general purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange to develop mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. J-1 students must be admitted to a degree program for a full course of study or be engaged full time in a non-degree course of study.  50% or more funding must come from a source other than personal or family funds.

  • I-20 - A multi-purpose government form used in connection with F-1 procedures.  This document must be maintained and active in order to be in legal status in the U.S. during the course of your studies.

  • DS-2019 - Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitors (J-1 students).  This document must be maintained and active throughout your studies in the U.S.

  • Entry visa - A stamp placed on a page in a passport, issued by a consular officer.  The visa is only “used” to enter the U.S.  Once a student has entered the United States, the visa ceases to have a function until next time it is needed to enter the U.S.

  • I-94 – Also known as the Arrival and Departure Record. Electronic record issued by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon entry to the United States. Confirms that the student has been legally admitted to the United States in a specific visa status, and for what duration of time.