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U.S. Immigration Law Basics. U.S. Immigration Basics. ISSO advisors are here to help Visa stamps and visa “status” “Regulations” & “Maintaining status” – (how to follow the rules) Working Traveling. ISSO advisors are your advocates. We are here to assist you, but… We need YOUR help…

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U.S. Immigration Basics

  • ISSO advisors are here to help

  • Visa stamps and visa “status”

  • “Regulations” & “Maintaining status” – (how to follow the rules)

  • Working

  • Traveling


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ISSO advisors are your advocates

  • We are here to assist you, but…

  • We need YOUR help…

  • It is a partnership...


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Visa Stamps & Visa Status

What’s the big difference?


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Visa Stamps & Visa Status

  • The Visa Stamp in your passport is only used for entering the U.S. -- it only needs to be valid when you enter


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Visa Stamp

  • The visa stamp is like a key to get in the door of the U.S.

=


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Visa Stamp

  • After you open the door and get in,

you do not need the key.

  • You can have an expired visa stamp and still be valid to stay here in the U.S.


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Renewing the Visa Stamp

You will only need to renew your expired visa stamp when you travel outside of the U.S. and plan to re-enter.


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Visa Stamps & Visa Status

  • Your Visa Status is the Visa “Classification” that you are in while you are here, like:

    • F-1 Student or

    • B-2 tourist, or

    • H-1 Temporary Worker


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Visa Stamps & Visa Status

  • We can illustrate this by telling the story of how you got your visa “status”…

  • Once upon a time…

  • In land far far away…


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Visa Stamp

  • Most of you had to get a visa stamp in your passport in order to come to the U.S. (unless you are Canadian)


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Visa Stamp

  • First you got admitted to Cornell…


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Visa Stamp

  • and then, Cornell asked you to show that you had the funding to afford Cornell….

… and you did!


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Visa Stamp

  • So Cornell sent you an I-20


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Visa Stamp

  • At the top of the I-20, you will see it states “certificate of eligibility”

Cornell is saying to the U.S. consulate, we think this person is eligible for an F-1 visa


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Visa Stamp

  • Then you went to the consulate to apply for your visa stamp


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Visa Stamp

  • The consulate officer was probably very busy…


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Visa Stamp

  • Just like the I-20, the visa stamp says that the consulate officer also thinks you are eligible for F-1 status


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Visa Status

  • Next you got on the plane…


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Visa Status

  • … Finally you landed at the port of entry and presented your documents to the port of entry officer


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Visa Status

  • At that point, you were asking the Port of entry officer to give you F-1 or J-1 “STATUS” in the U.S.

  • You only get the actual F-1 or J-1 “status” at that point when you finally ENTER the U.S.


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Visa Status

  • Your “Visa Status” is written on your I-94 card by the port of entry officer


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Visa Status

  • Most of you are either “F1” or “J1”

  • “D/S” = Duration of Status


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Visa Status

  • “D/S” = Duration of Status (instead of a specific end date)

  • status will be valid as long as you are doing what F1 students or J1 students are supposed to be doing


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Visa Status End Date

  • The end date of your status is either the end date of your form I-20 or DS-2019 OR the day you complete your program or graduate:

  • WHICHEVER IS

  • EARLIER


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Visa Status

  • You have a grace period during which time you can pack up your things or travel around the U.S.

    • F-1 = 60 days

    • J-1 = 30 days


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Regulations & Maintaining Status

  • For each visa status, there are regulations or rules that you must follow while you are here

  • We call this “maintaining” your status


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“Maintaining status”

To maintain valid status

both F1 and J1 students must:


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Check in at the ISSO

If you have not yet checked in at the ISSO, you MUST do so:

  • ISSO is in B-50 Caldwell Hall

  • Bring your passport, I-94 card and I-20 or DS-2019


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Enroll Full Time

  • Undergraduates must be enrolled in 12 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters

  • Graduate students just need to be registered in the Fall and Spring semesters

  • Each department has specific course-load requirements


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Update your address

  • Update your local residential address within 10 days of moving within the U.S.

  • To update your address you must:

    • Update “Just the Facts”

    • Notify the ISSO of your address change on the isso web site: www.isso.cornell.edu


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Keep Your Documents Valid

  • Keep your passport valid

  • Make sure your I-20 or DS-2019 has the correct

    • Level

    • Major

    • End date

  • If you need more time to complete your degree, get an extension of your I-20 or DS-2019 BEFORE the end date


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Discuss Plans for After Graduation with ISSO

  • New Degree Program at Cornell

  • New Degree program at another school

  • Working after you graduate


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Do NOT work off campus without authorization

  • F1 and J1 students may work on campus

    • 20 hours per week while enrolled

    • 40 hours per week during vacation

  • F1 and J1 students are eligible to apply for certain types of off campus work authorization


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F1 Work Authorization

  • After being enrolled full time for one full academic year

  • Practical Training in your field of study


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F1 Work Authorization

  • Curricular Practical Training

    • For academic credit

    • For internships or Co-Op programs

  • Optional Practical Training

    • Summer work that is not for credit

    • Work after graduation

      We will hold workshops


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J1 Work Authorization

  • Academic Training

    • For practical training in your field

    • Either in summer vacation or after graduation

  • Some other work authorization in special circumstances

  • Come to the ISSO to discuss options


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Traveling outside of U.S.

  • When you travel outside of the U.S., be sure you have with you:

    • Valid Passport

    • Current visa stamp in your passport

    • I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel

    • Financial support documents

    • Proof of enrollment (available at the registrar’s office)


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Stay Informed!!!!

  • These days, there are OFTEN changes in the regulations

  • ALWAYS read the emails from the ISSO


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Questions…?ASK US!Come to the ISSO


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International Students & Scholars Office

B-50 Caldwell Hall

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

9:00-4:30

Wednesday: 1:00-4:30

www.isso.cornell.edu

isso@cornell.edu