Immigration Status

The term "immigration status" refers to the immigration classification that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives international visitors when they enter the United States, such as F-1 status or J-1 status. The status is written on the I-94.

Get to Know Your DSO

DSO stands for Designated School Official. This is a UNA employee who is legally authorized by the U.S. government to interact with the SEVP (Student Exchange Visitor Program) regarding international students. The Office of International Affairs' main DSO for F-1 students is Sarah Stevens however OIA has several employees who can advise students in maintaining, changing, or reinstating status. Also, students are advised on extending or changing a degree program or completing studies.

Some Important Reminders

  • International Students must have a valid Passport, Visa and I-20 with current dates.
  • Student's U.S. address must be current. If you have changed your address, you must notify the Office of International Affairs (OIA) within 10 days of making the change. The address in UNA's Banner system must match what is on the SEVIS records and on the Alabama Driver's License. Send new information to the OIA here.
  • If a student's passport is going to expire in less than 6 months, the student must renew the passport before entering the US. This is best done while in the student's home country.
  • The student's visa can expire while the student is the US so long as the student has a valid I-20 and passport. If the student's visa is expired and the student leaves the US, the student will require a new US visa to return the US.

Study in the States

Get your information directly from the US government. It's all on the Study in the States website.
Email us at