Almost Winter Break!! But What Do I Need Before Relaxing?

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Mississippi river is starting to freeze. "Single digit" is becoming normal temperature.
Minneapolis is ranked 16th in America's 25 Coldest Cities.

But if you are a true "Minnesotan," you will still enjoy your venti Frappuccino® outside!
Soon, it will get even colder.


Winter Break and Important Things to Know
As the winter break is approaching, I would like to talk something important for international students to know. These are essential for international students who are leaving the U.S. over the winter break, as well as any breaks.

-Passport
Always, always, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months in the future. If your passport expiration date is coming closer, you may need to contact the embassy of your country. I have renewed my passport in the U.S., but it was not very difficult.


-F-1/J-1 Visa
Since I am a full time student, I can only talk about F-1 Visa, but ISSS can always provide you necessary and detailed information.
You must carry your passport that has a F-1/J-1 visa stamp. This means that if you have renewed your passport after getting one of the visa stamps, you must have the old passport with the stamp as well as your new passport. If you leave the U.S. without F-1 visa, you must pay a fine when you come back, and this record will be filed in the U.S. database.

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-I-94 Card
Remember the long white card on the left that you filled in on airplane or at the airport? This is the I-94 card. An inspector will tear the card into two and staple the tiny part on your passport. You must keep this card until it is collected by a border agent when you leave the U.S. I-94 and I-20 are necessary documents to maintain your F-1 visa status. If you lose this, you have to apply for replacement in the nearest Immigration Services and pay $330 for replacement. Also, it takes couple of weeks to get a new one.


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-Form I-20
The last piece of the important legal documents is I-20, which is issued by the university. You need to make sure that you have a valid travel signature from ISSS on your I-20. If you lost or damaged your I-20 form, you need to request ISSS to obtain a new I-20. If you change your major or extending graduation dates, you also need to go to ISSS to issue a new form or apply for extension. If you notice that you don't have your I-20 in your country, keep in mind that it takes time for ISSS to send you a new one.

Wow, that was a serious, unrelaxing topic. I hope I didn't scare you too much. Keep all of your legal documents in one safe place, and carry a copy of your passport in the Twin Cities.

This is my last entry for this year. This is a bit early, but I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!! I will see you next year:)
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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Megumi published on December 8, 2011 3:09 PM.

FINAL IS COMING! ARE YOU READY?? was the previous entry in this blog.

Favorite Places is the next entry in this blog.

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