Should I keep my immigration documents for forever?
Yes, you should keep every I-20 and every DS-2019 ever given to you, forever. They are very important.
Should I throw away or destroy my previous I-20s and DS-2019s given to me by other schools and programs?
No, we recommend keeping all of your previous I-20s and DS-2019s even if they are from other schools or programs. You may need these in the future when applying for immigration benefits or interacting with the ISS team.
What is the safest way to store my immigration documents?
You should make copies of all of your immigration documents and keep them in a separate and secure place from the originals. At minimum a safe space should be cool, dry, and not regularly accessed by anyone but you and those you trust. Examples of safe spaces to store immigration documents include safety deposit boxes at banks, a fireproof safe in your home or the home of a trusted friend or relative, and filing cabinets with locks.
Should I carry my passport with me at all times?
No, you should only carry original documents with you when necessary. This will minimize the chance of them being damaged, lost, or stolen.
What should I do if I damage or lose any documents?
If you have a document that has been damaged, lost, or stolen you should contact the International Students and Scholars office by either coming in during drop in advising hours or sending an email to ISS@SCU.EDU. We can then assist you with either obtaining a new document or put you in contact with the appropriate people who can.
Are there any other immigration documents not listed above that I should keep?
Yes, you should keep all original documents sent to you from the United States government as well as copies of any document you submit to ISS. These include:
- I-797 notice of actions
- State issued IDs such as driver's liscences
- Non F-1 Employment Authorization Documents such as those issued for H-4 or L-1
- Copies of all CPT cooperative agreements
- Copies of I-765 applications