Entering a university is a big change for any student. Doing so by traveling to another country, often one you've never been to before, can be confusing and difficult. Cranwell International Center is here to help make the transition to Virginia Tech, and the United States, a smooth and pleasant experience. Take time to explore our New International Undergraduate Student page to find the answers to many of your questions regarding living in the United States and becoming a student at Virginia Tech. If you are a prospective undergraduate student wishing to attend Virginia Tech, please visit the International Student Admissions page for more information.
As international students work toward degrees at Virginia Tech, there are still a number of things to consider. In this section, you can find information regarding employment, immigration regulations, and forms. Take a moment and read our glossary of basic immigration terms below:
DSO – Designated School Official; The person designated by a SEVP approved school to support the Principal Designated School Official and maintain SEVIS records.
ARO – Alternate Responsible Officer; A person recognized and authorized by the DOS to support the Responsible Officer to advise and assist J-1 exchange visitors in areas of federal laws and regulations, and to administer federal forms that are related to the status/activities of J-1 exchange visitors.
Form I-20 - Certificate of eligibility for F or M student status, issued through SEVIS by a school designated by the Department of Homeland Security. The Form I-20 identifies the student and provides a brief description of the student’s program, including the start and end date, program of study, and an estimate of the cost of the academic program.
Form DS-2019 - The Form DS-2019 or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" is the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program. The Form DS-2019 identifies the exchange visitor and their designated sponsor and provides a brief description of the exchange visitor’s program, including the start and end date, category of exchange, and an estimate of the cost of the exchange program.
I-94 – The Arrival and Departure Record is the I-94, in either paper or electronic format, issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to foreign visitors entering the United States. After you have arrived to the United States, you may obtain a copy of your I-94 here.
Visa - A document placed into the passport of a foreign national by a U.S. Consulate which authorizes the individual to present him/herself at a USCIS Port of entry (POE) and request admission into the United States with a specific type of immigration status (e.g. F-1, J-1, M-1). If your visa is expired and you are traveling outside the US, you will need to receive a new visa before returning to the US.
Passport - An official document issued by a government, certifying the holder's identity and citizenship and entitling them to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries.
SEVIS - Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
SEVP - Student and Exchange Visitor Program
USCIS - US Citizenship and Immigration Services