Immigration Terms

Designated School Official (DSO): The term used by the Department of Homeland Security - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) to refer to the person(s) who administer the "F-1 (Student)" program in the university. The DSO is usually the international student advisor.

Responsible Officer (RO) and Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO): The term used by the Department of State to refer to the person(s) who administer the "J-1 (Exchange Visitor)" program in the university. The international student advisor usually assumes this role.

B-2 Status: Means that a person is classified and admitted into the U.S. as a "tourist" and his/her principal activity is for pleasure not for educational purposes. The authorized stay is generally given for about 6 months.

F-1 Status: Means that a student is classified and authorized to be in the U.S. for the principal purpose of pursuing a full course of study at an academic or language institution in the U.S. There are sections of the law and regulations that define what F-1 students can and cannot do while in the U.S. and students must abide by them in order to maintain their legal status.

F-2 Status: The nonimmigrant visa classification of dependents (spouse and/or children only) of F-1 students. There are sections of the law and regulations that define what person(s) on F-2 status can and cannot do while in the U.S. and that person(s) must abide by them to maintain legal status in the U.S.

J-1 Status: Means that a person is classified and admitted in the U.S. as an exchange visitor and authorized to pursue his/her principal activity at an academic institution in the U.S. as detailed in his/her DS-2019. There are sections of the law and regulations that define what J-1 exchange visitors can and cannot do while in the U.S. and the exchange visitor(s) must abide by them to maintain legal status.

J-2 Status: The visa classification of dependents (spouse and/or children only) of J-1 students. There are sections of the law and regulations that define what person(s) on J-2 status can and cannot do while in the U.S. and that person(s) must abide by them to maintain legal status in the U.S.

Visa Waiver: A person entering the U.S. under a visa waiver means he/she is admitted into the U.S. as a "tourist" but without any actual visa stamp issued on his/her passport. Persons in this category, who may be issued a green I-94 with "W-T" noted on it , are allowed to remain in the U.S. for no more than three months or 90 days . NOTE: Persons admitted under this classification cannot apply to change status in the U.S.

Duration of Status (D/S): A notation specified on the Form I-94 and refers to the period during which the bearer of the I-94 is authorized to remain in the U.S. until he/she completes his/her program of study in an educational institution, and any periods of authorized practical training, plus 60 days, if still applicable, to depart the U.S.

Change of Status (COS): A Department of Homeland Security/United State Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) procedure through which persons in an eligible non-immigrant visa classification may apply to change to an F-1 visa classification in order to pursue a full course of study in the U.S. and be eligible for F-1 benefits. (NOTE: Persons admitted in C, D, K, and M visa classifications and the Visa Waiver program are NOT eligible to request a change of status to F-1 in the U.S.)

Practical Training: Refers to employment which is related to student's major or field of study. There are 2 types: Curricular practical training and Optional practical training. Note that any practical training (whether paid or non-paid) must always be authorized in writing, either by USCIS or by an international student advisor.

Program Extension (Extension of Stay): The immigration procedure which an F-1 student must complete when he/she must remain in the U.S. longer than the time originally estimated for completion of his/her program as stated on his/her I-20. An extension can only be processed within a 30-day period before the originally estimated completion date.

Reinstatement: The immigration procedure which an F-1 student must complete when he/she fails to remain in lawful status or overstays beyond his/her completion date as noted on his/her I-20 and fails to complete a program extension.

School Transfer: The immigration procedure which an F-1 student (or a J-1 student) is required to complete when changing from one U.S. institution to another or when changing from one educational level to another (i.e., from bachelor's to master's). Failure to complete this procedure puts a student out-of-status.

SEVIS I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Students): This form is required in order to obtain F-1 status. The form is issued by the school to fully admitted, degree-seeking students who have shown sufficient funds to cover their studies in the U.S.

DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa): This form is required for prospective exchange visitor to request J-1 visa at a U.S. consular post abroad. Categories of exchange visitors are visiting professor, short-term scholar, researcher, faculty member, or exchange student.

Passport: A document issued by a government to identify a person as a citizen of a particular country and allow the bearer to travel abroad and permit re-entry to the home country. The visa is stamped on the passport. U.S. immigration law requires that non-immigrants possess valid passport to enter the U.S. and that passport remain valid through the time that the bearer is in the U.S.

Click here for a listing of Foreign Consulates in South Florida .

B-2 Visa: The stamp issued by a U.S. consular post abroad allowing the bearer to enter the U.S. as a Tourist. The principal activity in this case is for pleasure (i.e. tour the U.S. on a vacation).

F-1 Visa: The stamp issued by a U.S. consular post abroad allowing the bearer to enter the U.S. as a student on F-1 status. An F-1 visa is an entry permit and cannot be "extended" in the U.S. since F-1 visas can only be obtained or renewed at a U.S. consular post abroad.

J-1 Visa: The stamp issued by a U.S. consular post abroad allowing the bearer to enter the U.S. on J-1 status and pursue his/her principal activity in accordance with the category specified on his/her DS-2019.

Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record): Form used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) to document entry to and departure from the U.S. of all foreigners. At entry, this form is stamped according to the bearer's visa classification. The date or period through which the bearer is authorized to remain in the U.S. is also noted on this form.

FAU Campuses: Boca Raton/Davie/Dania Beach/Fort Lauderdale/Jupiter/Treasure Coast Boca Raton Campus Danie Beach Campus Davie Campus Fort Lauderdale Campus Harbor Branch Campus Jupiter Campus Treasure Campus
 Last Modified 6/25/13