Travel Difficulties

I-20/DS-2019 Not Properly Signed: Possible I-515A

  • F status holders should have their immigration documents (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019) endorsed for re-entry to the U.S.
  • The date of the travel signature should be no older than one year before the date of entry, or in the case of those on F-1 post-completion OPT, 6 months.
  • If you try to enter the U.S. with an outdated signature, you might be admitted without further question or be sent to secondary inspection where a CBP officer could issue Form I-515A and admit you for only 30 days, as indicated on the Form I-94. In the worst case, you may be denied entry.
  • Form I-515A includes instructions on how to correct your status by mailing the required documentation to the DHS office in Washington D.C. for deferred inspection.
  • If you do not mail the requisite documentation to DHS to the correct address in a timely manner, your legal status in the U.S. will be seriously jeopardized. 
  • Per DHS, your SEVIS record status will terminate if DHS does not receive the required documentation by the (I-515A) I-94 expiration date. 
  • Upon entering the U.S., please immediately consult an International Student Services (ISS) advisor for assistance with Form I-515A.

Forgotten/Lost/Stolen Documents

  • Entry to the U.S. without the proper documentation is more problematic.
  • It may happen that you are not even permitted to board the aircraft without I-20, or I-797.
  • If you are allowed to board, the inspecting officer might issue Form I-515A as described above for F status holders.
  • In any case, it is recommended that you make every effort to retrieve your document by calling a friend who can ship it express mail or by contacting International Student Services (ISS) (cconjar@immaculata.edu or 610-647-4400 ext. 3116) to prepare a duplicate.
  • Photocopies of lost or stolen passports are not sufficient for reentry. If your passport is missing, you will have to postpone travel until you can obtain a new passport from your home country government. It will also be necessary to obtain a new U.S. visa stamp from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please see the Visa page.
  • Students: In the absence of your immigration document, you can print out an unofficial transcript from SSIU to show that you have been registered full-time.
  • Employees should gather any documentation that shows their association with the University, e.g. letters, Immaculata ID, pay stubs.

Visa Delays

  • Visa processing times, appointment scheduling, and documentary requirements vary from consulate to consulate.
  • It is important to allow enough time for the entire visa application process and to come prepared with the proper documentation.
  • Missing or unclear documentation can lead to delays and possibly be reason for the consular officer to request an additional security clearance.
  • Also see the Visa page and the section about DOS Administrative Processing Visa Delays.

Improper Notation On Form I-94 Or Visa Document

  • Occasionally Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers will make mistakes when admitting an individual to the U.S.
  • Individuals in F status should have their Forms I-94 date-stamped and noted F-1 D/S or F-2 D/S.
  • Those in TN, H, O, and E statuses will have a specific departure date noted on the Form I-94.
  • If you have doubts about what is written or not written on your forms, consult an ISS advisor. If there is a problem, the advisor will instruct you to take your passport and visa documents to the Customs and Border Protection office at the Philadelphia International Airport or nearest port of entry. The Philadelphia CBP office hours are 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and the office is located in Terminal A West.

I-94 Not Turned In Upon Departure

  • Occasionally an individual departs from the U.S. without turning in the Form I-94.
  • It is important that your departure be properly recorded so that there is no question of visa-overstay.
  • Please refer to the instructions on the CBP website on how to return the Form I-94 here.

Repeated Questioning at the Port of Entry/Border

  • Some individuals may encounter lengthy questioning or visits to secondary inspection every time they enter the U.S.
  • In some cases this may be caused by a problem with an immigration record, which can sometimes be corrected with the help of an ISS advisor. However, not all border issues are within the purview of ISS.
  • You can make your own request to correct your records and facilitate travel through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). For more information, please refer to the CBP website here .

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