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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 3 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 when applicable.

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 6 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 be secured only at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Canadians do not require a visa.

I-94 Admission Record

The electronic record of your I-94, after arrival in the United States, 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?

“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. If this is not noted, please contact Global Services immediately.

Travel History

Each time you enter the United States, your I-94 will be updated. It is a good idea to check your I-94 after each entry to ensure it still shows your F-1 status and D/S.

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.