Glossary of Immigration Terms
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Work experience, taking many forms, that is related to your field of study. An example would be an internship or field placement experience. Curricular practical training is a unique form of practical training where the experience is required for graduation within your major, for example, as student teaching would be for an education major. Students need to be a matriculated degree candidate (undergraduate or graduate) and have been in F-1 status for a year before they become eligible for CPT.
D/S Duration of status, As an F-I student you do not have an expiration date for how long you may stay; instead you may stay in the country as long as you maintain legal status as a student, an until you complete your studies. Although, given duration of studies, you must not let your 1-20 or passport expire.
DSO Designated School Official. Usually your International Student Advisor who has been approved by the U.S government to grant certification of status for international students and to verify status on government forms.
EAD Employment Authorization Document. A laminated government card bearing your photo you receive after successfully applying for permission to work as with OPT. It has beginning and ending dates of your authorized employment.
F-1 The class of visa that is issued to non immigrants who are granted permission to enter the U.S to study at an approved school, also known as a Student Visa.
Green Card The document awarding immigrant or permanent residency to a foreigner .
1-9 A form to prove employment eligibility by anyone being hired.
1-20 Three-page document you are sent before you attend school. It shows your field of study, starting and ending dates of study, and financial information. Is used to obtain your F-1 visa and for entry and re-entry into the U.S.
1-94 Small white cardboard that is stapled in your passport or on your 1-20. It is dated to show entry and expiration dates. it is called the "departure record" and is surrendered when you leave the country. It should also have your admission number or alien registration number on the card.
Immigrant A non-citizen who has obtained legal permission to remain in the U.S. with some of the privileges of citizens. May intend to apply for citizenship.
J-1 An exchange visitors visa which allows a non immigrant to stay in the US for a shorter period of time as an exchange student for a semester or a year. A J-1 visa may also be issued to a visiting professor or research scholar.
Non-Immigrant A person who is not a citizen who is authorized to stay in the country for a specified period of time who must leave the country when his/her visa expires.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) Work experience that is related to your field of study. May be granted for up to one year, after completion of studies. To apply, you must have been in status for at least nine months prior to being authorized for OPT and have a valid U.S. address. Other conditions apply; see a DSO if interested in OPT.
Permanent Resident A non-citizen who has obtained legal permission to remain in the U.S with some of the privileges of citizens. May intend to apply for citizenship.
SEVIS Student Exchange Visitor Information System. The government's system and database that is used to track student visas, employment status, and to issue student 1-2 os.