Immigration Terms

So many new terms... What do they all mean? If the acronyms and immigration slang confuses you, you are not alone! Feel free to refer to this immigration terms list at any time.


Alternate Responsible Official (ARO)

The school official responsible for reporting the status and information of all J-1 students and their dependents to the U.S. Government


Completion Date (End Date)

The second date listed in section 5 of your I-20. This is the end of your academic program; all of your classes must be completed by this date. F-1 students have sixty days beyond this date to leave the country, begin OPT, or apply for a change of status. J-1 students have 30 days beyond their end-date to leave the country. Students who leave the U.S. during this time will not be allowed to return unless they return under a new status (non-student or continuing student).


D/S (Duration of Stay)

The length of time you are eligible to stay in the United States at Hope International University as noted by the start and end dates on your I-20. Please note that your D/S also assumes you are making normal progress towards completing your academic program.


Designated School Official (DSO)

The school official responsible for reporting the status and information of all F-1 students and their dependents to the DHS.


DHS (Department of Homeland Security)

Formerly the INS, the DHS is responsible for tracking all non-immigrants (including F- and J- students) who are permitted to be in the United States.


DS-2019

The official government document printed and signed by you and your ARO that shows your status as a J-1 student at Hope International University. Do not lose your DS-2019 form!


Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

A small, plastic card granted by the DHS to qualified students, allowing them to work off campus for a period of 12 months. You must have an EAD card to work off campus.


End Date

See Completion Date.


F-1 Student

A nonimmigrant in the U.S. who comes to the United States to study.


I-20

The official government document printed and signed by you and your DSO that shows your status as an F-1 student at Hope International University. Do not lose your I-20!


I-94 (arrival/departure card)

The small white card stapled to your passport by the U.S. Border officials. This card notes how long you will be able to stay in the U.S., usually "D/S."


J-1 Exchange Visitor

A nonimmigrant student/exchange visitor who comes to the United States to study or teach in an academic exchange with Hope International University.


Passport

Your major form of identification which tells what your citizenship and home country is.


PDSO

The Principle Designated School Official (PDSO) is ultimately responsible for all F-1 student immigration reporting to the government.


RO

The Responsible Officer (RO) is ultimately responsible for all J-1 student immigration reporting to the government.


USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)

Formerly known as the INS is part of the Department of Homeland Security. USCIS enforces all immigration regulations and is responsible for your stay in the United States.


Visa

Your entry document into the United States. If you wish to depart and return to the United States at some point during your course of study, you need to be sure that your visa remains valid. If your visa expires while you are in America, you will not be able to leave and return without renewing your visa at your home embassy.