Passport: The passport must be kept valid at all times during your stay in the U.S. It must be valid at least 6 months into the future to reenter the U.S. or to apply for a visa. The passport is usually renewable through your embassy or consulate in the U.S.
I-20: This 3-page document is issued to students in F-1 status by an educational institution. The I-20 must be presented to the U.S. consulate abroad to obtain a visa and to immigration officials upon each subsequent reentry to the U.S. Page 3 must contain a valid signature (no more than 6-months old) for authorized reentry in F-1 status. ONLY an International Student Adviser in ISSS is authorized to sign the I-20!
I-94 Card: This small white card is completed by you before passing U.S. immigration officials at the U.S. port of entry. This document authorizes your presence in the U.S. as a student for a specified period of time, in a specified program of study, at a specified institution. Two dates appear on the I-94; the date of U.S. entry and the date of expiration of your permission to stay. The expiration dates is usually “D/S” for “duration of status”, corresponding to the I-20 date of program completion. Top number is your “Admission Number.”
F-1 Visa: The student visa, which is a stamp or sticker placed in the passport at the American embassy or consulate permits you to enter the U.S. The expiration date on the visa is the last day you can use it to enter the U.S. Once you enter the U.S., the date does not matter. The visa may expire while you are in the U.S. You cannot and need not renew it while you are here. If the original visa expires, a new entry visa is required for subsequent reentries to the U.S. following travel abroad.