Volume 1, Issue 1-- February 6, 2003
Forms & Publications
The ISSS Office will be publishing a newsletter to international scholars at least twice a semester.
IAP-66 Name Change
The Department of State has changed the name of the Form IAP-66. It is now called DS-2019.
Starting January 31, 2003 the DS-2019 will be printed on the computer in the ISSS Office. This is because we are now in full compliance with the governments SEVIS program
DS-2019: What is the end date?
Your DS-2019 has a beginning and end date on it. The end date is VERY IMPORTANT!!!!! This document is what gives you permission to stay in the United States. If you want to stay longer than the end date then you have to apply in the ISSS Office for an extension.
BUT!!!! You have to apply for the extension BEFORE the end date.
How do you apply for an extension?
You bring a new appointment letter from your department to the ISSS Office and fill out the blue Extension for J-1 Visiting Scholar Form in the ISSS reception area and give both documents to the ISSS staff. They will tell you when you can come back and get the extended form.
SEVIS stands for "Student Exchange Visitor Information System." It is a new web-based tracking system for international students and scholars. Accurate and current information on F-1 or J-1 students/scholars will be transmitted to INS through this system.
The concept of SEVIS is not new. "Section 641 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) requires INS to collect information on an ongoing basis from schools and exchange programs relating to nonimmigrant foreign students and exchange visitors during the course of their stay in the U.S., using electronic reporting technology to the fullest extent practicable."
Implementation of SEVIS began on July 2, 2002 on a voluntary basis. Mandatory participation in SEVIS is required by January 30, 2003 for all schools. Rensselaer has been enrolled in this program since August 2002.
Here is the process:
- Rensselaer issues a Form DS-2019. It looks similar to the old style but there is now a bar code with information about the student that is not listed on the DS-2019.
- Scholar takes the Form DS-2019 to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in their home country and applies for a visa stamp. If everything is in order, the scholar receives a visa stamp in his/her passport.
- At the airport, an INS officer will notify SEVIS that the scholar has entered the U.S. and stamp the DS-2019 with arrival information and give the form back to the scholar.
- When the scholar arrives on campus and checks in with the ISSS Office, the staff confirms the scholar’s arrival at Rensselaer with SEVIS.
This is what Rensselaer is required to report through SEVIS for scholars:
- Current address
- Date and place of birth
- Country of Citizenship
- Current status
- Disciplinary action due to crime and conviction
- Name change
- When/where scholar transfers
- Extensions of DS-2019
- Employment authorization
- Date and Port of Entry
- Date of termination and reason
- Field of study
- Visa classification
- Date of Visa issuance or classification granted
- Maintain status
What does "Failure to maintain status" mean?
Scholar information will be sent to SEVIS every semester. A scholar must keeps their DS-2019 valid at all times, If a scholar fails to make progress in their department, maintain health insurance for himself and all family members in the United States or does not extend the DS-2019 before it expires, they will be considered out of status and eligible for deportation.
If a scholar falls out of status, what can they do?
The scholar can apply to INS for reinstatement if the violation resulted from circumstances beyond his/her control. BUT, INS has said that "Reinstatement is intended to be a rare benefit for exceptional cases."
The ISSS staff has attended many government meetings about SEVIS and will continue to do so.
New scholars have to physically check-in with the ISSS Office upon their arrival to the Rensselaer campus. This enables the ISSS staff to make sure all your immigration papers are in order, and then ISSS will notify INS through SEVIS.
If Rensselaer fails to comply with all of the SEVIS regulations, we could lose the ability to accept international students and scholars. For this reason, Rensselaer takes SEVIS very seriously.
Traveling Outside the United States – What do you need to do?
If you are going to travel outside the United States you need to have your DS-2019 signed.
How do you do this?
You bring the Ds-2019 into the ISSS Office and fill out the green sheet "I-20/DS-2019 Request Form." You can find this form in the ISSS reception area. You then give the green sheet and your DS-2019 to the ISSS office staff and they will tell you when you can come back and pick up the signed DS-2019.
Your DS-2019 needs to be signed once a year if you are traveling.
The visa stamp in your passport does not give you permission to stay in the United States. But it must be valid if you want to enter the United States.
You cannot extend your visa stamp in the United States.
Visa stamps can only be extended at a United States Consulate/Embassy outside the United States.
It is dark early in the evening now. Be careful when driving at night for children and college students crossing the roads. Many students wear dark colored jackets and you cannot see the person while they are walking, until you are right next to them.
Always drive carefully where you know there are people walking.
If an American says "Later!" to you as he/she is walking away, it is simply another way of saying "Good-bye! I will see you some other time."