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F-1 & J-1 Students Entering the U.S.

All F-1 and J-1 students (except Canadians) must have a valid and appropriate F-1 or J-1 visa stamp in their passports before entering the U.S. When traveling to the U.S., you should present the following documents to the admitting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer:

  • Your U.Va. Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Your passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the U.S.
  • Your valid F-1/J-1 visa in your passport.
  • The Immigration Officer will stamp your I-20 or DS-2019 and provide you with a
  • Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. (a small white card that should be placed in your passport.)
  • You must ensure that the I-94 card remains in your passport throughout your time in the U.S.
  • The I-94 card should be marked “F-1” and “D/S” or “J-1” and “D/S”.  “D/S” stands for “duration of status.”

 

NOTE: NEW F-1 AND J-1 STUDENTS MAY NOT ARRIVE IN THE U.S. MORE THAN 30 DAYS BEFORE THE START DATE ON FORM I-20 OR DS-2019.

Do NOT enter the U.S. on B-1, B-2 or Visa Waiver, as you will not be permitted to enroll at UVA under these statuses.

 

Current F-1 or J-1 Students Transferring to U.Va. in the Same Status

  • Current F-1 or J-1 students should ensure that their SEVIS record is transferred to U.Va. prior to beginning studies at U.Va. A new I-20/DS-2019 cannot be issued prior to the release date from your current school.

 

Individuals already in the U.S. in another status who intend to change to F-1

 

Individuals already in the U.S. in another status who intend to change to J-1