Part of your responsibilities as an F or M student is to safely keep legal documentation issued to you by the U.S. government and your school stating that you are authorized for studying in the United States. If you are traveling for the summer, it is important to take them with you and keep them safe. However, here is what you need to know if your documents are lost, stolen or misplaced so you can return to the United States to study.
- Form I-20 — If you lose your Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” contact your designated school official (DSO) for a replacement.
- Form I-94 —The Form I-94, “Arrival Departure Record,” is now available electronically. To find your record, log onto the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s website and consent to the terms of using a Department of Homeland Security website. If you arrived to the United States at a land port of entry, you received a paper Form I-94. If your paper Form I-94 is lost or stolen, you must replace it immediately. You must also file a police report with law enforcement and notify your DSO. To replace the paper Form I-94, file a Form I-102, “Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document,” with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and pay the associated filing fee.
- Passport — You must immediately replace a lost or stolen passport. Report the loss or theft of your passport to your country of citizenship’s issuing government entity, such as your embassy or consulate. Those officials can give you information on how you can replace it. If someone stole your passport, you should file a police report and inform your DSO.
- Visa — If you lose your student visa while in the United States, you must report it to the issuing embassy or consulate. Since you only need a visa when entering the United States, you can continue to study here until your departure. You cannot replace it while you are in the United States, so if you are traveling make sure you re-apply for a new visa at the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate to re‑enter the United States.
As a precaution, always have the contact information of your DSO handy in case of an emergency. Contact your DSO immediately for advice on how to replace your lost or stolen documents and maintain status. You should make copies of all forms and keep them in a safe place in case they are ever lost or stolen. When travelling, always hand‑carry your documents; never place them in your checked luggage.
If you have additional questions contact your DSO or e-mail the SEVP Response Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.