By now, you already have a set of immigration documents, probably forms I-20 for F-1 students or DS-2019 for J-1 students. A small card, I-94, is clipped into your passport. Don't ever discard any of these papers, even if they seem outdated or after you get a new set of forms. You may need your old papers for new applications.

Make photocopies of all of your documents, and keep them in a safe place. If your documents are lost or stolen, it will be easier and faster to replace them if you have a photocopy of the original document. Please contact the Center for International Education for assistance if you do need to replace any of your documents.


You must keep your passport current. It is a good idea to keep it valid at least six months beyond certain visa dates or other special permits granted by INS. If your passport is lost or stolen, contact your country’s consulate or embassy immediately. You can find the phone number and address of your consulate in the Yellow Pages of the phone book (see the blue-edged pages for government offices) or visit You can still stay in this country with an expired visa, as long as you maintain your full-time student status and as long as you do not travel abroad. If you travel abroad with an expired visa, you must renew it before you can come back into the United States. Schedule an appointment in advance with the Director or Assistant Director of the Center for International Education before you travel.