SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, an internet database run by the U.S. government. All U.S. educational institutions that enroll international students use this database to generate your I-20 or DS-2019 documents. You must pay the SEVIS Fee before your visa interview. The SEVIS fee is a one-time payment associated with your SEVIS number. Your 10-digit SEVIS number starts with the letter "N" and is located at the top right of your I-20 or DS-2019.
Your Immigration Documents
Renew this before it expires. It should be valid for at least six months after your date of arrival in the U.S. Your passport can be renewed while you're in the U.S. Contact your country's embassy or consulate for instructions.
Your F-1 or J-1 visa is like an admission ticket. It only needs to be valid at the time you enter the U.S. Once you are here, the F-1 or J-1 visa can expire, as long as your I-20 or DS-2019 is current (unexpired) and you are maintaining your student status.
This is the form International Student Services creates for you from your SEVIS record. It should always reflect your current major and your expected graduation date. If you see any errors on the form, contact International Student Services to get a corrected copy.
This document is used by the U.S. government to track and approve your entry into the U.S. You will need your most recent printed I-94 to enroll for payroll at Bucknell, to receive your Social Security card and to apply for a driver's license or state ID. This document changes each time you leave the country so you need to print a new one each time you enter the U.S.
Access and print your I-94
On the I-94, the D/S annotation means "Duration of Status." This essentially means that you are eligible to remain in the U.S. for as long as you are maintaining your student status and pursuing your degree. For most students, this record is now electronic. A few (particularly Canadian students) may receive a paper copy.
Requirements for Maintaining Legal Status
- Keep your address current. All F-1 and J-1 students must update their address within 10 days of moving. If you are an undergraduate student living on campus, your housing information will be automatically updated when you change rooms. If you are a graduate student, please report your current address directly to International Student Services.
- Keep all status information current. Be sure to tell International Student Services if your name changes or status changes (for example, due to marriage, divorce or obtaining permanent residency in the U.S.).
- Maintain the minimum enrollment requirements. Undergraduates must be enrolled in at least three courses per semester, and seven for the academic year in total to be considered full-time. Graduate students must be enrolled in at least in two courses per semester to be considered full-time. Any drop below these minimums requires authorization from International Student Services. This authorization will only be granted under very specific and limited circumstances.
- Follow the Bucknell Student Code of Conduct and obey all local laws. International Student Services must report any disciplinary action taken by Bucknell against a student as a result of the student being convicted of a crime.
Travel Outside the U.S.
If you plan on leaving the U.S., make sure you have the following documents:
- A passport, valid for at least six months after the date you plan to re-enter the U.S.
- Your visa, which must be valid on the day you plan to re-enter the U.S. Visas can only be renewed outside the U.S.
- I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel. You must get a "travel signature" on your document before you leave campus. Contact International Student Services for this signature.
- I-20s are signed on the third page and each signature is valid for a maximum of one year.
- DS-2019s are signed on the first page and each signature is valid for a maximum of six months.