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Immigration Information


Welcome from The Office of International Programs!

The International Student Advisors in the Office of International Programs are here to provide support, guidance and assistance to all current UT international students on the F-1 visa and exchange visitors on the J-1 visa with immigration-related issues, as well as enhance your educational, cultural and social experiences.

Please contact the International Programs Office (IPO), located at Plant Hall 300, or at international@ut.edu, for any visa and immigration status questions/issues/concerns.

Use your @spartans.ut.edu email account

The International Student Advisors will notify all F-1 and J-1 students of any immigration-related reminders or updates by sending an email to his/her @spartans.ut.edu email account. It is the student’s and scholar's responsibility to read these emails if they want to have the latest, most accurate information.

Terms You Should Know As An International Student or Exchange Visitor

IPO - International Programs Office
Located in Plant Hall room 300

SEVIS - Student and Exchange Visitor Information System 
This is a web-based system for maintaining information on international nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the United States. 

PDSO - Principle Designated School Official (For F-1 Visa Students) or
DSO - Designated School Official

P/DSOs are your biggest resources as an international student and can answer your questions and guide you through the process of studying in the United States. P/DSOs update your student record, and help you maintain your student status by providing advice, or helping your fill out important forms. This is the person who is also required to communicate with SEVIS on the school's behalf. At UT, your P/DSO is your International Student Advisor.

RO - Responsible Officer (For J-1 Exchange Visitors) or
ARO - Alternative Responsible Officer

A/ROs are your biggest resources as an exchange visitor and can answer your questions and guide you through the process of working or studying in the United States. A/ROs update your student record, and help you maintain your exchange visitor status by providing advice, or helping your fill out important forms. This is the person who is also required to communicate with SEVIS on the school's behalf. At UT, your A/RO is your International Student Advisor.

F-1 Visa
The visa category for international students coming to the United States to pursue a full course of academic study.

F-2 Visa
The visa category for children or spouses of F-1 students.

J-1 Visa
The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs.

J-2 Visa
The visa category for children or spouses of J-1 exchange visitors.

I-20
This form is the "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status". The DSO at your school will issue this form.

DS-2019
This form is the "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status". The ARO at your school will issue this form. 

Visa
The visa is the stamp in a passport that allows the passport holder to enter the country. It’s okay to remain in the US after the visa stamp has expired as long as the visa status is maintained. However, if a student leaves the US with an expired visa, reentry will not be allowed until the visa is renewed.

I-94
This is your US arrival and departure record and can be used to verify your status in the US. This is now issued electronically by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

USCIS - United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
This is the government agency responsible for administering immigration benefits for eligible foreign nationals in the U.S.

EAD - Employment Authorization Document
The card issued by USCIS. If students apply and are approved for work authorization during their stay in the US, they may be issued an EAD card.