International Programs (IP) is pleased to welcome you to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP). You will be joining a diverse campus that includes approximately 60 international students from more than 20 different countries. IP will assist you in understanding and complying with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immigration regulations and required documentation during your stay at UNCP. DHS requires us to create and maintain your Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) immigration record. U.S. regulations require you to keep us informed of any changes to your academic status, or your immigration status, so that we can update your SEVIS record in a timely fashion. Our office is the best place to ask any questions you may have regarding your immigration status while in the U.S.
In order to have your SEVIS record registered when you arrive on campus, you must report to IP for mandatory immigration check-in. Failure to do so could result in a termination of your SEVIS record, and jeopardize your legal ability to remain in the U.S.
What is your visa status?
DEGREE SEEKING STUDENTS
Degree-seeking students are undergraduate or graduate level students who intend to graduate from UNCP at the completion of their program.
They will be issued an F-1 visa, and the Form 1-20 will be issued for the length of the student's academic program.
If you are a degree seeking student, you can find further information about your immigration status and the U.S. immigration system at this website.
NON-DEGREE SEEKING STUDENTS
If your institution has a formal exchange agreement with UNCP, you will be admitted as a non-degree exchange student.
Non-degree seeking exchange students will be issued a J-1 visa, and a DS-2019 will be issued for the length of the student's exchange program.
If you are a non-degree seeking student, you can find more information about your status and the U.S. immigration system at this website.
Visa or Status?
As an international student in the United States, you may be asked from time to time about your "visa" or your "status". While in most situations in the U.S. the two are interchangeable, it is a good idea for your to know the difference.
- A visa is a stamp in your passport, which is issues by a U.S. Embassy or consultate overseas. Visas cannot be obtained in the U.S.
- The purpose of a visa is to allow you to be taken to a U.S. Point of Entry where it will be determined whether you are eligible for admission to the U.S.
- After you have been admitted to the U.S., the visa in your passport does not need to remain valid in order for you to stay in the country legally. However, if you travel outside of the U.S., then a new student visa may be required in order for you to re-enter the country. If you plan on traveling outside the U.S. you should check the expiration date on your passport to ensure that it is still valid.
- You will be granted an immigration status upon clearing inspection at a U.S. Point of Entry.
- This status can be found on your I-94 printout.
- Your passport will include an entry stamp showing the date of entry into the U.S. and your Class of Admission (J-1 or F-1, depending on your status.)
- Your status grants you permission to remain in the U.S. while you pursue your degree, as long as you maintain your immigration status.