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Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1 or J-1) Student Status

In order for an individual to be admitted to the United States as a student, he or she needs to receive official admission to a program of study and must provide documentation that verifies his or her ability to finance the education without relying on employment in the United States. This documentation is required before a student may receive a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or DS-2019) from Hunter College. The Certificate of Eligibility, as well as all original financial documentation, must also be presented to a U.S. Consular officer in the country where the student officially resides in order to obtain a student entry visa. At the port of entry the student must present form I-20 (for F-1) or DS-2019 (for J-1) along with the visa. These documents certify that the student meets the academic and financial requirements to attend our institution. Once the student has been granted entry into the United States, the forms I-20 and DS-2019 are used to verify his/her legal status in the country.

Automated I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)

Effective June 2013 the I-94 card has become automated and will no longer issued to individuals entering the U.S. to study or for a temporary visit. When students or visitors arrive at a U.S. port of entry, an immigration inspector will place a stamp in their passport to record their arrival and legal status in the country. International students can print a copy of their I-94 by visiting It is recommended that they wait at least 1 week before visiting this site to print a copy of the I-94.

Immigration Status

Immigration status is the term used to describe a foreign national's principal purpose for coming to the U.S. A student’s status is determined at the port of entry by the immigration officer who inspects his/her documents. The immigration status is then indicated by a stamp placed in the passport.

Entry Visa

An entry visa is generally a machine-readable stamp or attachment to a page in the student’s passport. A U.S. Consular Officer issues the visa in the student’s country of citizenship or residence. An entry visa has the sole purpose of showing that the U.S. Consulate had approved the student’s eligibility to apply for admission at a United States port of entry. Because the entry visa has only this limited purpose, it may expire while a student is in the U.S. The student’s authorization to be in the U.S. remains valid as long as the student remains in full-time academic status at the institution listed on the I-20 or DS-2019.

Duration of Status

Duration of Status or D/S is a notation placed in the passport of F-1 or J-1 students, effective June 2013, authorizing them to remain in the U.S. for the length of time needed to complete their studies. F-1 and J-1 students must maintain their immigration status in the U.S. by enrolling for full-time classes during their course of study. This includes students engaging in Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training (AT).

Source of Funding

Students in F-1 or J-1 immigration status may obtain funding for their education from a variety of sources. The most common source of funding is from personal, family, or/and relatives who can show proof of earnings and savings.




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