Maintaining Good Immigration Status

Maintaining Good Immigration Status

As noted earlier, there is a direct connection between your successful course work, attendance and participation in classes and your immigration status. Please pay special attention to all immigration requirements. The key is that if anything in your situation changes, such as address, schedule or other matters, you should be communicating with the immigration officials on campus; in this case, the ELI administrative staff other than the instructors can serve you in this way, as that team also acts as SEVP officials for Millersville University.

Immigration Documents

You must keep your passport valid. You should apply for passport renewal at least 6 months before the expiration date. The passport is the legal document issued by your country of citizenship; it must be valid for 6 months into the future upon your entry into the U.S. and remain valid at all times during your stay. The passport can usually be renewed through your embassy or one of your consulates in the United States. If you have been issued a Travel Document in Lieu of a Passport by the government of the country of which you are a resident, the information above, regarding passports, applies to Travel Documents.

I-20 & DS-2019 - "Certificate of Eligibility”
The I-20 (for those with F-1 status) or DS-2019 (for those with J-1 status) is the document which you must present to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to obtain a visa and which you present to immigration officials to enter the U.S. each time you travel abroad and return; for most Millersville University students the I-20 is issued by the university through the Global Education. Some J-1 students have documents issued by an outside agency. You should always keep these and any other immigration documents for your records even if you get new ones in the future. The I-20 and DS-2019 are issued via the SEVIS government tracking system and have a bar code and ID number. If any of the information on these documents changes, you MUST come to Global Education immediately to apply for a new document. Once again, the expiration date on the I-20 or DS-2019 is just an estimate. For F-1 students, your permission to stay in the U.S. ends 60 days from the date you complete the last requirement for your degree (for J-1 students your permission to stay ends within 30 days of completion). If you fail to follow all the rules of legal student status, your stay expires on the day the violation occurs.

I-94 Departure Record
The electronic I-94 is the document that authorizes you to be in the U.S. as a student for a specified period of time, for the specified program of study, at the institution specified on the I-20/DS-2019. For F-1 and J-1 visa holders, the expiration date should be D/S (duration of status), which implies the date of program completion (not always the same date as graduation). The I-94, like the passport, must be valid at all times. When a student departs, the I-94 record is no longer valid but will be reactivated upon re-entry into the U.S. The number on the I-94 record is called your "Admission Number" or "I-94 Number.”

Entry visa
The entry visa is a sticker with photograph on a page of your passport that permits you to enter the U.S. Individuals entering as students will have either an F-1 or J-1 entry visa. The visa may expire while you are in the U.S.; you cannot and need not renew it while you are here, however a new entry visa will be required if the original expires and you travel outside and then wish to re-enter the U.S. You must present a valid SEVIS form I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) from the school you will attend to the US Consular officer to obtain your entry visa. You may be able to travel to and return from Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands (except Cuba) without a valid visa if you will be staying less than 30 days (check with an advisor for current regulations). Remember, the visa does not indicate how long you are permitted to stay in the U.S. Your permission to stay ends once you complete your program of study (plus grace period) or when you fail to “maintain legal student status”. Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S.

Responsibilities of a Student in F/J Status:

  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student. Full-time is defined as 18+ class hours per week for ELI students

  • You may not legally drop below full-time enrollment without first receiving approval from Global Education.

  • You must maintain class attendance, as outlined in an earlier section of this handbook.

  • You must report address changes to Global Education within 10 days of a move

  • You may not work off-campus without authorization. Students may work on campus up to 20 hours a week as long as the on-campus employment does not conflict with their class schedule and progress.

Student Advising

When you need information about immigration matters, always check with Global Education. It is extremely important that you have good information and good advice. Do not ask your friends!

Transferring to/from Millersville University

Millersville University welcomes transfer students from other regionally accredited institutions. Nationally, 60% of students begin their education at one institution and complete their bachelor’s degree at another. Annually, nearly 700 transfer students chose Millersville to continue their educational journey. Our aim for this site is to provide transfer students the essential information they need to apply and transition into Millersville University.

Read more about your specific transfer situation here:

Withdrawal from Classes During the Term

There are many implications and requirements, if withdrawing from classes or the University in the middle of a term. Please talk to your advisor and the ELI staff for assistance.