All of the documents listed below are critical to maintaining your status in the U.S. Keep the originals current and in a safe place at all times. All newly arriving students must bring original documents listed below to the Center for International Education for copies within 5 days of arriving at ACU.
Passport – This card is issued to you by the government of your country.
U.S. Visa – Your visa allows you to enter and re-enter the United States within the period of visa validity.
I-20 – This document is issued by the sponsoring school and allows the student to come to the U.S. and study on an F-1 visa.
Designated School Official (DSO) – This refers to the school official who is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to issue F-1 immigration documents and benefits at the university. At ACU, the DSOs to assist you are in the Center for International Education.
I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) – This is the card issued upon arrival to the U.S. and stapled in your passport.
I-901 Fee – This fee is required by Congress to support the services and automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and verifies that they maintain their status while in the U.S. Each student issued an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 is responsible for paying this fee. You must pay this fee or your visa application will not be processed. For information on the I-901 fee, payment instructions and exceptions, go to www.ice.gov.
I-765 – This is the form needed to complete the application for Employment Authorization. There is a filing fee required with this form.
I-539 – This form is needed to complete the application for reinstatement or change of status. There is a filing fee required with this form.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – This is the U.S government department that enforces immigration laws.
U.S. Department of State (USDOS) – This is the U.S. government agency that operates U.S. embassies around the world. Non U.S. citizens must visit the embassy to receive their visa to enter the U.S.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) – This is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the U.S.
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) – This is the government’s web-based records system used by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP, a division of the DHS) to monitor the activities of universities and international students and scholars in the U.S.
Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) – This is the card issued by DHS to authorize off campus employment.
Center for International Education (CIE) – This is the department at Abilene Christian University with the major role of providing immigration information, advice and documents for F-1 visa holders. Orientation sessions are offered at the beginning of each semester, and personal appointment times are available all year.
For more information, contact:
Center for International Education
124 Hardin Administration Building