International Student Dictionary

This page include the main terms and form names an international student is likely to hear frequently during his stay in the US.

The F-1 visa is intended for non-immigrants wishing to pursue academic studies and/or language training programs for a period of time in the United States. The F-1 visa program is managed by a shared database called SEVIS. F-1 students are granted permission to remain in the United States until the completion date noted on the Form I-20 plus 60 days provided they remain enrolled full-time and meet all other terms and conditions of their F-1 status. Students may obtain F-1 visa stamps by visiting a U.S. embassy or consulate and presenting a Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 Student Status) issued by Wagner College. F-1 students are expected to attend the educational institution that issued the Form I-20.


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This type of visa that allows the spouses and children of F-1 to enter the US and live with the F-1 visa holder for the period of the study program of the F-1 visa holder. For more information, please visit this USCIS page.

This refers to the time period for which an international student is allowed to stay in the US after the end of their academic program or the expiration of their work authorization.

Currently, this period is 60 days.

This is a non-immigrant visa that allows a foreign national to enter the US to work in a “specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability,” as specified by the USCIS website.

In short, the H-1B, in most cases, is a working visa.

This is the document that shows all the information about an F-1 international student’s status in the US, including the student’s personal information, the start and end date of the programs, and work authorizations obtained.


It is a form that shows all the arrival/departure dates of aliens (foreigners) visiting the United States.

You may obtain an electronic copy of your I-94 using this website.

The J-1 visa is generally used for students in specific educational exchange programs such as the Fulbright, LASPAU, DAAD, AmidEast, etc. Educational institutions, such as Wagner College, may also sponsor J-1 visas for students in their degree programs.

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to provide foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States and return home to share their experiences. The J-1 visa program is managed by a shared database called SEVIS.

Visit this page for more info.

This type of visa that allows the spouses and children of J-1 to enter the US and live with the J-1 visa holder for the period of the study program of the J-1 visa holder. For more information, please visit this page.

A matriculated student is a student who is enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree. On the other hand, a non-degree (or non-matriculated) student is enrolled in the college on a course- or semester-based, which is not intended to lead to obtaining a degree.

This is the minimum hourly rate that any employee (such as student employee) should receive if working in New York. Currently, the minimum wage is $15/hr.

A permanent resident of the United States is a foreign national who has received the green card (the Permanent Resident Card) which allows that person to live and work in the US permanently (without the need to obtain a visa).

To learn more about Permanent Residency, please visit the Green Card page.

This term usually refer to a course (or a series of courses) that a student should take before the student can register for an ‘advanced’ course.

For example, Calculus 2 course has a prerequisite course, which is Calculus 1.

Note that exceptions can be made to prerequisite requirements, but the student has to reach out to the professor who teach the course the student want to register for.

“SEVIS” stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is a secure internet-based system that allows schools and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly INS) to exchange data on the visa status of international students. Accurate and current information is transmitted electronically throughout an F-1 student’s academic career in the United States. The International Student Advisor, known to USCIS as the Designated School Official (and referred to in this memo as the DSO) is responsible for reporting this information in SEVIS. United States embassies and consulates also have access to SEVIS.

For more information, visit the SEVIS Website.

The Social Security Number (SSN) is a tax identification number that tracks employee salary in a payroll system.  Social Security Numbers are issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is the tax authority of the United States, at birth for U.S. citizens.

In order to accept any form of employment either on- or off-campus, it is necessary to have a Social Security number.

To find the nearest Social Security Office to you, please use their locator.

USCIS is an abbreviation for “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,” and it “is the federal agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.” They are a component of the Department of Homeland Security. For more information, please visit the USCIS website.