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ISSS Travel Advisory Session. International Student & Scholar Services Division of Student Affairs FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY. Immigration & Travel Advisory Workshop Overview. Before traveling: Check your Documents! Changes in Automatic Visa Revalidation

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ISSS Travel Advisory Session

International Student & Scholar ServicesDivision of Student Affairs

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY


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Immigration & Travel Advisory WorkshopOverview

  • Before traveling: Check your Documents!

  • Changes in Automatic Visa Revalidation

  • Consular Affairs: Visa Application

    • Procedures

    • Documents

    • Security Checks

  • U.S. CBP: Inspections at Port of Entry

  • In Case You Have not Thought of it…


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    Before Traveling: Check your Documents

    • F-1 Students Currently Enrolled:

      • Unexpired passportImportant: Students with Dual Citizenships You MUST use the passport of the country that appears on your I-20 as your country of citizenship.

      • Valid F-1 visa stamp in passport (F-2 visa for dependents)NOTE: If expired, you must apply for a new one at U.S. Consulate in home country for use at reentry.

      • Original and valid FIU SEVIS I-20 (DSO signature valid for a one year period provided, student remains in-status during that period)

      • Evidence of financial resources: Must be current

    Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Information Sheet, SEVP Program, (2005).


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    Before Traveling: Check your Documents

    • F-1 Students Currently Enrolled:

    • Not required but recommended, especially if you have had problems at POE in your previous travels:

      • Updated FIU academic transcript

      • Full-time Certification letter from ISSS

      • Name and contact information for a FIU PDSO or DSO

    Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Information Sheet, SEVP Program, (2005).


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    Before Traveling: Check your Documents

    • F-1 Students who graduated and currently on OPT:

      • Unexpired passportImportant: Students with Dual Citizenships You MUST use the passport of the country that appears on your I-20 as your country of citizenship.

      • Valid F-1 visa stamp in passport (F-2 visa for dependents)NOTE: If expired, you must apply for a new one.

      • Original and valid FIU SEVIS I-20 (with valid OPT authorization noted under “Remarks” section (item #9 on I-20) and DSO signature.

    Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Information Sheet, SEVP Program, (2005).


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    Before Traveling: Check your Documents

    F-1 Students who graduated and currently on OPT:

    IMPORTANT: Effective Spring 2005, SEVP changed their policy regarding a regulatory section under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(13)(ii). SEVP now considers F-1s who possess unexpired EADs but who are currently unemployed or do not have a job offer to be INELIGIBLE for reentry into the U.S. under F-1 status.

    • Highly recommended to travel with:

    • Employer’s letter confirming current employment or offer of employment (for which degree completed is required and related)

    • NOTE: Traveling without proof of current employment in the U.S. poses a critical risk.

    Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Information Sheet, SEVP Program, (2005).


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    Before Traveling: Check your Documents

    • J-1 Visa Holders:

      • Unexpired passportImportant: Students with Dual Citizenships You MUST use the passport of the country that appears on your I-20 as your country of citizenship.

      • Valid J-1 visa stamp in passport (J-2 visa for dependents)NOTE: If expired, you must apply for a new one at U.S. Consulate

      • Original and valid DS-2019* (with updated RO/ARO signature) *DS-2019 issued by FIU or by sponsoring agency/organization

      • Evidence of financial resources – Must be current

    Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Information Sheet, SEVP Program, (2005).


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    Before Traveling: Check your Documents

    • J-1 Visa Holders:

    • Not required but recommended, especially if you have had problems at POE in your previous travels:

      • For those in student category, updated FIU academic transcript

      • For scholars & researchers, copy of your contract, if you have one.

      • Name and contact information for an FIU RO

    Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Information Sheet, SEVP Program, (2005).


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    U. S. VISIT

    Secondary Inspections: WHY?

    • An individual may require additional or secondary screening because one or more of the following:

    • The data provided indicates possible national security concerns.

    • The data provided indicates other law enforcement concerns.

    • The data presented constitutes improper documentation.

    Remember: Stay calm. Do NOT panic. If you didn’t do anything wrong, no need to worry.


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    Changes in Automatic Visa Revalidation

    It is definitely NOT “business as usual” with Automatic Visa Revalidation.

    • What is Automatic Revalidation?A special provision in the Department of State regulations which permits holders of F and J status---with original/valid Form I-94 and absence of no more than 30 days---to:

    • go to “contiguous territory” and return to the U.S. without a currently valid visa stamp in the passport.

    • go to “adjacent islands” return to the U.S. without a currently valid visa stamp in the passport.


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    Changes in Automatic Visa Revalidation

    “Contiguous territory” =Canada and Mexico

    “Adjacent Islands” =Angular, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Marie-Galante, Martinique, Miguel, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Christopher, Saint Estates, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Marten, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Calicos islands.

    NOTE: Automatic Revalidation is NOT available for travel to one’s home country/country of citizenship.


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    Changes in Automatic Visa Revalidation

    Automatic Revalidation Rules and Criteria

    • You must not be a citizen of a country that the Department of State determined to be a sponsor of terrorism. Countries currently on this list: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

    • Time outside the U.S. MUST (1) not exceed 30 days AND (2)be spent ONLY in contiguous territory or adjacent islands.NOTE: Travel to a third country from Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island isNOT PERMITTED.

    • You must be in possession at exit/reentry of a valid SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019 and present it to USCBP Officer at POE.


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    Changes in Automatic Visa Revalidation

    Automatic Revalidation Rules and Criteria

    • You must be in possession at exit/reentry of a valid unexpired passport.

    • You must be in possession at exit/reentry of an original and valid Form I-94.NOTE: When you travel to Canada, Mexico or Caribbean, DO NOT SURRENDER your I-94 to an airline representative or other transportation entity. The original I-94 isREQUIRED to be eligible for reentry using automatic revalidation.

    • You must have maintained legal and valid F or J status while in the U.S. prior to travel and must resume legal and valid status upon reentry. Students who fall “out-of-status” are NOT eligible for automatic revalidation.


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    Changes in Automatic Visa Revalidation

    Automatic Revalidation Rules and Criteria

    • You must not be considered inadmissible to the U.S. under Section 212(a) or 212(d)(3)(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). If either one is noted in your expired visa passport, you are not eligible for automatic revalidation.

    • You MUST NOT apply for a visa at the U.S. Consulate in Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean. A student or scholar who proceeds to apply for a visa:

      • MUST be prepared to wait the entire period of processing including security checks, as necessary.

      • MUST be prepared to return to his/her home country should the application be denied. In this case, he/she is NOT eligible for automatic revalidation.


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    Changes in Automatic Visa Revalidation

    IMPORTANT!An F or J visa holder who somehow gets admitted into the U.S. even if he/she did not meet the rules and criteria will be considered as having committed VISA FRAUD.Visa Fraud is a deportable offense and he/she is subject to removal from the U.S. and will not be eligible to be admitted any time in the future.Refer to INA Section 212( a )( 6 )( C ) under “Misrepresentation -”.INA Site:http://uscis.gov/graphics/lawsregs/INA.htm


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    Consular Affairs: Visa Application

    Visa Application Procedures

    • Visa Application is done at U.S. Consulate in your home country.

    • Third country might bepossible only if (1) permanent residence at that country or (2) can document hardship with travel to home country.

    • Personal interview on an appointment basis, in most cases.

    • Check bulletins on Consulate closings and procedure/policy changes. Site: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/embassies/embassies_1214.html

    • Decision on visa application will vary depending on length of security clearance processing at the particular U.S. Consulate. In many cases, processing may take at least 30 – 60 days.

    • Plan ahead. Be prepared.


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    Consular Affairs: Visa Application

    Visa Applications Documents

    • REQUIRED:

    • Forms: DS - 156: Nonimmigrant Visa ApplicationDS – 157: Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application DS – 158: Contact Information and Work Historyfor Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant

    • Valid passport – must be valid at least 6 months

    • Original SEVIS I-20 (F1/F2) or DS-2019 (J1/J2)

    • Original and current financial documents to prove sufficient funding.

    • Proof of SEVIS (I-901) Fee, if applicant is subject to it.

    • For dependents, proof of relationship to principal (F1 or J1)


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    Consular Affairs: Visa Application

    Visa Applications Documents

    • Visa renewal for Continuing students: I-20 Issue

    • Requires a new I-20 as FIU that reflects 2004 – 2005 cost estimate.

    • Student must request new I-20 and reverify funding sources with original and current financial documents.

    • If student is out-of-status and traveling abroad to RESTART F-1 to reenter the U.S., is required to have a new I-20 issued for “Initial Attendance” whether or not a new visa is needed.


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    Consular Affairs: Visa Application

    Visa Applications Documents

    • NOT required but MAY BE REQUESTED:

    • Full-time enrollment certification

    • Updated academic transcript

    • If on Post-completion OPT, EAD and Employer’s letter.


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    Visa Application: Security Checks

    Department of State-Consular Affairs may subject individual applicants to the following security clearances:

    • CLASS – Consular Lookout and Support System: Name check system for general background clearance.

    • NCIC-III – National Crime Information Center’s Interstate Identification Index: A criminal database name check system.

    • TAL – Technology Alert List: A list designed as an effort to prevent the transfer of sensitive technology or material for the wrong purpose or into the wrong hands.

    • Visas Condor: A security check triggered by information on the DS-157 (Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application).

    • Visas Mantis (Donkey or Eagle): A cable process used by consulates to verify background information for certain applicants regarding security issues.


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    U.S. CBP: Inspections at Port of Entry

    • Presentation & review of travel documents for reentry eligibility:- Valid passport, valid visa stamp, and valid I-20 - Fully completed Form I-94

    • U.S. VISIT Processing:Fingerprinting (left & right index fingers) AND photograph taken. Added time to inspections = Less than 3 minutes.

    • Secondary Inspections -U.S. CBP Officer may send traveler for secondary inspections due to one of the following: 1. Data provided indicates possible national security concerns. 2. Data provided indicates other law enforcement concerns. 3. Data presented constitutes improper documentation. BE AWARE:Increased cases of secondary inspections of students who (1) fell out-of-status and restarting F-1 by travel & reentry OR (2) anyone who had a history of status violation (“SEVIS violator”)REMEMBER: Stay Calm. DO NOT panic. If you did not do anything wrong or did not violate any regulation, you need not worry.


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    U.S. CBP: Inspections at Port of Entry

    • SEVIS (I-901) Fee: - For citizens of Canada and Bermuda, SEVIS fee MUST be paid at least 3 days before appearing at POE. - For all others, fee MUST be paid at least 3 days before visa interview/application OR for those with valid visas but restarting F-1, at least 3 days before reentry.


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    In Case You Haven’t Thought of It…

    • Travel to countries other than your country of citizenship or permanent residence, may require that you obtain a tourist/entry visa from the consulate of that country you are visiting.

    • At time of visa application, you will also be asked to present proof of funds, your itinerary, your SEVIS I-20, your valid unexpired passport with a valid F-1 visa stamp in it. You may also be asked to present a full-time certification letter, and your RT ticket.

    It is important to realize that admission into a country other than our own country of citizenship or lawful permanent residence is a privilege: it is not a right.


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    Web Resource Sites

    Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE): www.usice.gov

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP):www.uscbp.govU.S. VISIT Program:http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/content_multi_image/content_multi_image_0006/xml

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): www.uscis.gov

    U.S. Department of StateBureau of Consular Affairs: travel.state.gov

    Immigration and Nationality Act (INA):http://uscis.gov/graphics/lawsregs/INA.htm


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    International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

    UP - GC 242 Phone: (305) 348-2421 Fax: (305) 348-1521

    BBC - WUC 363 Phone: (305) 919-5813 Fax: (305) 919-4824

    Office hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday – Friday

    Advising Hours: By Appointment or Walk-In Wednesdays

    Division of Student Affairs - Florida International University


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