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Future International Students

F-1 Students

The I-20 Form

After you have accepted your offer to attend Washington State University, the University will issue you a Form I-20.

Form I-20 allows you to do three things:

  • Apply for an F-1 visa
  • Enter or re-enter the United States to pursue your studies
  • Receive other immigration benefits.

The I-20 also includes recent events such as employment authorization.

Do not let your Form I-20 expire. The I-20 must remain valid at all times throughout your study. You must request a new I-20 prior to the expiration date listed on page 1 of the form.

Keep all Form I-20s you have received. You are advised to keep every Form I-20 issued to you for your permanent record. Do not discard old ones.

When You Enter the United States

Your passport must always be valid at least six months into the future.

F-1 Visa Stamp

An F-1 visa stamp that U.S. consular officials place in your passport indicates that you are eligible to enter or re-enter the United States as an F-1 student. It does not determine your length of stay in the United States.

If your F-1 visa expires while you are in the United States: It is not necessary to renew your visa as long as you remain in the country and remain in active status. A visa can only be secured at a U.S. embassy or consulate overseas. Canadians do not require a visa.

I-94 Departure Record

The electronic record of your I-94 at the U.S. port of entry, along with a valid Form I-20, permits you to stay temporarily in the United States as an F-1 student.

What “F-1 D/S” Mean?

The immigration official should indicate “F-1 D/S” on your I-94. D/S stands for “duration of status.” It refers to the length of time you are permitted to remain temporarily in the United States to pursue a full course of study.

A New I-94 Each Time you Enter the United States

Each time you enter the United States, you will be issued a new I-94 card with a new admission number. The exception is when you re-enter the country after visits of 30 days or less to Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands.

Renewing or Replacing your Passport

Lost or stolen? Report a lost or stolen passport to the police. Your home country government may require a police report before issuing a new passport.

Renewing or Replacing your Passport: Contact your country’s consulate in the United States.