When you travel into the U.S., you will need to present the following documents at the U.S. port of entry:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid F-1 Visa (except for passport holders from Canada and Bermuda)
  • Valid Form I-20 (with a valid travel signature on page 2 after the initial entry)
  • Proof of I-901 (SEVIS) fee payment

First time students may enter the U.S. is no more than 30 days prior to the start date listed on the Form I-20.

Forms and Passport Information

Your Form I-20 is the certificate of eligibility issued by Stonehill College and consists of three pages: the student information page, the endorsement page, and the instructions page. The student information page includes information about Stonehill and the program you have been admitted to. Your SEVIS ID number (which begins with N) is printed at the top of the page. You can view a sample of a Form I-20 by clicking here.

If you are entering the U.S. to attend school for the first time, the Customs and Border protection (CBP) official at the U.S. port of entry will review your Form I-20 and place an entry stamp in your passport. This stamp indicates that you have been inspected for admission into the U.S. and have been authorized to attend the school whose name appears on your Form I-20. You must attend the school that issued you the Form I-20.

The travel signature on page 2 of your Form I-20 is valid for 12 months (or six months if you are on USCIS-approved Post-Completion Optional Practical Training work authorization). While travel signatures are valid for 12 months, if you intend to apply for a new F-1 visa, we recommend that your signature be less than six months old. 

It takes 3-5 business days to process a travel signature request. If you intend to travel outside the U.S you may request a travel signature from the OIP via e-mail. You will be required to drop off your Form I-20 during this time, and pick it up once signed. You may use that signature for unlimited entries to the U.S. during the specified time period. The most important item to remember is that you must always re-enter the US before that signature expires or make plans to obtain an updated signature prior to exiting the country.

The Form I-20 must be accurate and valid throughout your enrollment and you are responsible for the accuracy of this document. Check the Form I-20 to make sure that all the dates, program and enrollment information are correct. Be sure that you do not allow your Form I-20 to expire prior to completion of your academic program. If you have any concerns about finishing your degree requirements before the “end of program” date listed on your I-20, speak to OIP staff as soon as possible. Also notify the OIP if you see any incorrect information on your I-20 or if you need to request an extension of the document.

Entry visas are issued by the Department of State at U.S embassies or consulates throughout the world. Students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States must obtain an F-1 student visa in order to attend Stonehill College. 

The visa stamp on your passport is your permission to enter the U.S. It indicates the number of times you may enter the U.S. and the time period for which this permission is valid. You cannot apply for a new visa while you are in the U.S. If you leave the U.S. and want to re-enter, you must have a valid visa. The visa in your passport does not have to be valid while you are in the U.S.

Entering students who have questions about their F-1 visa please contact John Pepin, Associate Dean of Admission and Coordinator of International Admission (jpepin1@stonehill.edu) directly.

The I-94 records the date and purpose of your entry into the U.S., and the length of time that you are allowed to stay here. As an F-1 student, you are allowed to remain in the US for as long as it reasonably takes for you to finish your studies. This is called Duration of Status (D/S). Make sure that the Admit Until Date on your I-94 says "D/S."

The I-94 used to be a small white card that was issued to you each time you entered the U.S., and collected each time you left. Now, the officer at the airport records your entry electronically using your passport, so the I-94 record is now an electronic document.  You can, and should, go online to obtain your I-94, ensure that dates have been appropriately recorded, and print a copy for your records. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website is where you would obtain your I-94.

When entering your information, make sure to enter your name exactly as it appears on your passport. If you are not able to obtain your I-94, try all possible combinations of your name.
If you have tried all possible combinations, but cannot obtain your I-94, please contact us.

Note: if you travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island, your I-94 record will not be updated. If you are returning from one of these places, you should request a paper I-94 at the point of entry.

Contact Information

Duffy Academic Center – 131

The Office of International Programs helps develop students as global citizens by providing international experiential opportunities that assist them with meeting both academic and personal goals that foster the education of the whole person. It coordinates study abroad, international internships and global learning programs at the College.