The following information can be found below:
- Student Immigration Status
- Immigration Verification Form
- Shipping Immigration Documents
Student Immigration Status
As a foreign visitor in the United States, it is important for you to understand the benefits and restrictions of your immigration status. International Advisors are available in the Office of International Services to answer questions before and during your stay in the U.S.
What is an I-20?
A Form I-20 is a document for a student on a F visa. It identifies both the student and the school, and shows eligibility of the student to enter the U.S. for the purpose of seeking a degree.
- Your I-20 is issued after you have been fully admitted to the University. It is used at the U.S. Consulate’s Office, along with other documentation, to assist you in receiving an F visa.
- Once you are in the U.S. your I-20 determines your immigration status. Even once your visa expires, the date on your I-20 will maintain your legal stay in the U.S.
- Your I-20 must display correct information. If any portion of your I-20 changes, contact an International Advisor to update your I-20. When you are issued an updated I-20, this is the document used for travel and immigration verification, but you should still keep all previous Forms I-20 for your records.
What is a DS-2019?
Like the I-20, a Form DS-2019 is an immigration document for J visa holders which identifies the school and shows eligibility to enter the U.S. for study. Unlike F visa holders, J students are usually short-term exchange students or students sponsored by their government.
- Your DS-2019 is issued after you have been fully admitted to the University. It is used at the U.S. Consulateâ€™s Office, along with other documentation, to assist you in receiving a J visa.
- Once you are in the U.S. your DS-2019 determines your immigration status. Even once your visa expires, the date on your DS-2019 will maintain your legal stay in the U.S.
- Your DS-2019 must display correct information. If any portion of your DS-2019 changes, contact an International Advisor to update your DS-2019. When you are issued an updatedÂ DS-2019, this is the document used for travel and immigration verification, but you should still keep all previous FormsÂ DS-2019 for your records.
Both the I-20 and the DS-2019 are essential documents for F and J students, respectively. But before these forms can be issued to potential students, supporting documentation must be in place. See details below concerning the Immigration Verification Form required for F and J international students.
Immigration Verification Form
The Immigration Verification Form is collected during the admission process. It helps your International Advisor determine if and how to issue your immigration documents. Be sure to submit all requested documentation along with the Immigration Verification Form. Your I-20 or DS-2019 will not be processed without this completed form.
To verify that potential and current students have the financial capability to live and study in the U.S. without working, students must provide a financial statement. UALR accepts a personal bank letter with the total available balance, signed by the bank officer, written on bank letterhead and dated within the past 6 months. If the student will be sponsored by a relative or other sponsor, an affidavit of support or completed Immigration Verification Form are also required. Students sponsored by their government must provide a Financial Guarantee. If you are receiving a scholarship or graduate assistantship, also include the award letter.
All bank statements must be on official bank letterhead and contain the bank officerâ€™s signature. Detailed statements of the sponsors transactions are not necessary. All financial documentation must be dated within the past 6 months. Funds can be stated in home country currency, but must be written or translated into English. Bank statements, scholarship letters, affidavits of support and additional documentation may be required at the U.S. consulate when applying for a student visa.
Students with a spouse or minor children may apply to bring their dependents with them to the U.S, but additional documentation is required to receive additional Forms I-20 (for F-2 dependents) and Forms DS-2019 (for J-2 dependents). Complete the Immigration Verification Form and attach copies of the biographical page of the passport for each dependent. Proof of additional financial support will also be required ($4500 for spouse, $2500 per child).
Dependent visas have different benefits and restrictions. Refer to the following chart to restrictions on work and study.
|Work||May not work||May apply for work authorization|
|Study||May only study recreationally, may not pursue a degree||May study without restrictions|
Transferring SEVIS Record
Students who are currently within the United States on an F-1 or J-1 visa should contact their previous institution with the completed Transfer Request Form.Â Students who transfer their SEVIS record to a new university will maintain their original SEVIS number and will not need to pay a new SEVIS fee. They will not need to leave the U.S. unless desired and will not need to renew their visa unless they leave the U.S. with an expired visa or remain outside the U.S. for more than 5 months.
To transfer your SEVIS record, complete the Transfer Request Form and submit it to your previous institution, along with a copy of your admission letter. Once you submit Financial Statements and the SEVIS release date has passed, you can receive an I-20/DS-2019 for UALR.
If traveling outside the U.S. between universities, you will need the I-20/DS-2019 for the institution where you will enroll in the following semester.
Note: Students with SEVIS records at any point within the transfer period will have difficulty applying for or renewing a driverâ€™s license.
Shipping Immigration Documents
There are two options available for the mailing of your immigration documents (I-20s, DS-2019s, EAD cards, etc):
- Regular mail at no expense. Delivery time of 3-12 weeks, depending on your location. No tracking available.
- Express mail service at your expense via eShipGlobal. Delivery time of 3-5 business days.
The University uses eShipGlobal to manage express mail purchase and delivery. eShipGlobal is an online service that allows you to easily pay for express mail delivery with your credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover cards only). Students can select either FedEx or DHL to deliver their documents. All express mail-related communication will be handled by the eShipGlobal service. For best success in finding an affordable price, ship to major cities or post office boxes.
To pay for express delivery through eshipGlobal, follow these instructions:
- Go to their website https://study.eshipglobal.com and click on â€śSign upâ€ť to create your account.
- Enter the required information and click â€śRegisterâ€ť.
- An activation email is generated and sent to the email address you provided. Click on the link to activate your account. A new internet browser will temporarily open and activate your account.
- You will receive another email indicating that your activation was successful. You can now log into the eShipGlobal website at https://study.eshipglobal.com/and create a shipment label.â€¨Â NOTE: Do NOT create a shipment label unless you received a confirmation from UALRâ€™s Office of International Services that you have been admitted!â€¨
- To create a shipment label, go to eShipGlobal, enter your email address and password, and click â€śLoginâ€ť.
- You will see your welcome page. Click on â€śReceive a Package from Universitiesâ€ť.
- Choose Arkansas either from the drop-down menu or the map. You can also type â€śUniversity of Arkansas at Little Rockâ€ť in the University Search box.
- Scroll down and choose â€śUniversity of Arkansas at Little Rockâ€ť and click â€śContinueâ€ť.
- Then choose â€śOFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICESâ€ť and click â€śContinueâ€ť. Do NOT choose any other option or other offices.
- Your label information will show that it is being sent from Allyson Douglas at the University of Arkansas at Little Rockâ€™s Office of International Services.
- Your profile information should populate in the shipping fields. Make any necessary changes or corrections, and click â€śShip/Quoteâ€ť.
- Enter your payment information and click â€śSubmitâ€ť. You will receive a confirmation from eShipGlobal when your transaction has been approved. An email will be sent to the Office of International Affairs notifying us of your shipment label creation. ISSÂ will then print out your shipment label when your documents are ready to ship, and you will be notified by eShipGlobal once the packet has been picked up for delivery.