What to do when you lose immigration documents
Immigration documents such as passport, visa, I-20 or DS-2019, and I-94 are vital for you to maintain your student visa status valid. If you lose any of these documents, you need to a) first let International Student Services know; and then b) immediately take steps to get a new one issued.
- I-20 or DS-2019
You must contact an embassy or a consulate of your country in the U.S. to arrange for a new passport. Once your passport is replaced, come to International Student Services (ISS) so
that copies can be made to update your file.
Please keep in mind that it may take several months for your embassy to replace your passport. We also suggest filing out a police report for your records.
- Refer to
this website to find an embassy or
a consulate of your country in the U.S.
The Form I-94 is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Nonimmigrant Arrival/Departure Record. It records your immigration status and the dates of your entries and departures to/from the United States.
When you are admitted to the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security keeps the "Arrival Record" section (top portion) of the Form I-94 and gives you the "Departure Record" section, which is usually stapled into your passport.
This small white card is an important document that serves as evidence of the immigration status you were granted when you last entered the U.S., and how long you may legally remain in the country.
Without it, you are unable to apply for any immigration benefits with USCIS, such as employment authorization if you are in F-1 or J-1 student status.
- Applying for a replacement I-94
Meet with ISS to get assistance with your application. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or come by the Center for International Engagement (Maxwell Library, Room 330) to make an appointment to meet with an advisor.
Bring the following to your appointment:
- USCIS Form I-102
- Police report if your document was stolen.
- Current immigration documents: I-20 or DS-2019, passport, and visa
- Personal check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $320.00
Mail all the required documentation to the following address:
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
- You may also file Form G-1145,
E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance with Form I-102 in order to
receive a notification Email when USCIS has received your application packet in mail.
If you file the Form G-1145 with your application, you will receive an E-mail notification when the USCIS has received your application. You should then receive an official
Notice of Action (receipt notice) from the USCIS in mail approximately two weeks later. This notice will assign a receipt number to your pending application, and you will be able to check the application status online. The receipt notice will also have a phone number that you can call if you have a question.
- Keep in mind that it may take several months for USCIS to process your request. Once your I-94 card is replaced, come by ISS so that we can update your file. You should also notify ISS if you plan to leave the U.S. before receiving your replacement I-94 card.
- Your F-1 visa is only needed when you enter the U.S. If your F-1 visa becomes damaged or is lost or stolen with your passport while you are in the U.S., it can only be replaced the next time you travel abroad. You must apply for and obtain a new F-1 visa while you are abroad in order to re-enter the U.S.
Come by ISS with your new visa when you return to BSU so that we can update your file.
- Renewing your F-1 visa
- You should expect that the visa application and issurance procedures might have changed since you last obtained a visa. Most U.S. embassy and consulate
websites offer good information on these procedures, but be aware that websites may not have been updated to reflect recent changes in policies and procedures. The most current information can be obtained by contacting the consular office where you will apply for a visa.
- Required documents
Form DS-157: if you are male between the ages of 16 and 45
- Proof of continued enrollment at BSU
- Original financial documents providing the availability of sufficient funds
- One photograph (2x2)
- Visa application fee receipt
- You may be asked to demonstrate your "nonimmigrant intent" (i.e., proof that you will return home after your studies; financial ties, employment ties, family ties)
- Applying in a country where you are not a citizen:
- If you would like to apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in a country that is not your country of citizenship, you should research specific visa application requirements. You should also contact that particular embassy or consulate, inform them of your country of citizenship, and ask if they will accept and consider your application, and approximately how long it will take for the visa to be issued, if approved.
- Keep in mind that it may be more difficult, and in some cases perhaps even impossible, to obtain a visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate which is not located in your country of citizenship or lawful permanent residence.
- Applying in Canada, Mexico, or the Adjacent Islands
- An F-1 or J-1 student who applies for a visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate while in Canada, Mexico, or the adjacent islands (except Cuba) will not be allowed to take advantage of the Automatic Visa Revalidation provision to return to the U.S. If your visa application is denied, you will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S., and will need to
travel to another country (most likely your home country) to apply for a visa before returning to the U.S.
- Automatic Visa Revalidation
- It is possible for an F-1 or J-1 student to re-enter the U.S. with an expired F-1/J-1 visa after a visit of no more than 30 days when traveling to Canada, Mexico, or the adjacent islands (except Cuba).
- Eligibility Requirements
- You must have the following documents at the time of your re-entry to the U.S.:
- Form I-94 marked "D/S" (Duration of Status)
- Valid, recently endorsed I-20 or DS-2019: make sure you get a travel signature at ISS before you leave
- The expired visa stamp
- Valid passport
- You have only have bee to the country or territory for a period of no more than 30 days.
- You have maintained your F or J status and intend to resume the same status when you return to the U.S.
- You have not applied for a new visa while abroad.
- If you lose your I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (for J-1 students), you must inform International Student Services immediately. It may take a few days before your new I-20/Ds-2019 is ready. Once your new I-20/DS-2019 has been issued, you will receive an email notification from ISS. You will need to print your name, sign, and date your I-20/DS-2019.
Last Modified: August 2, 2010