International Student Services

Welcome to all international students, scholars and their families. The staff of Office of
International Student Services (ISS) sincerely hopes that you will enjoy your stay at Howard
University. There are many resources available through our office and at the University.

We trust that whenever necessary; these resources will assist you to solve your problems and
concerns or to enhance your experience. In this web site are descriptions of some of the
programs and services we offer, including short biographies on the members of our staff.

The mission of our Office is to assist individual international students, faculty, staff members
and their families by advising them on federal immigration, taxation and labor regulations, and
by providing counseling on personal, academic, financial and social matters. We try
to promote cross-cultural awareness for the Howard University community through educational
programming, such as cultural adjustment, and cross-cultural communication. Our goal
is to serve as an information and resource service for the Howard University and surrounding
communities; and in general, to promote the benefits of international educational exchange.

The Office of International Student Services promotes, provides, and supports international
and intercultural educational opportunities for the Howard University community and others
by serving as an information and advising resource, providing international student and scholar services
and coordinating special projects. The Office International Student Services also facilitates the
integration of international students and scholars into the Howard community and promotes awareness
of the important contributions of this group to the mission and international character of the University.
Finally, ISS serves as a resource center for information often needed by members of the international
and University communities, and functions as an advocate for international students, staff and scholars.

It is our hope that you will find our staff to be accessible and helpful to you. You are
encouraged to make personal appointments to eliminate unnecessary wait time. We look
forward to meeting you and the members of your family.

Fall 2021 Orientation Guide

InternationalStudentOrientation_Fall_2021_8-26-21

About Us

Our Role

Role of The International Student Services Office

  • Safeguard the ability to bring international students and scholars to the university
  • Ensure compliance with federal agency requirements (Department of Homeland Security and Department of State)
  • Track laws and regulations
  • Apply for certifications and re-certifications
  • Ensure training for staff compliance
  • Act as a resource to university departments for immigration questions
  • Help you maintain and abide by your Student Status as it pertains to the US Immigration law
  • Keep you informed of changes in Immigration law
  • Cultural Adjustment Programming
  • Orientation to academic and social life in the US.
  • Immigration Advising for students
  • SEVIS/DHS Reporting Requirements

Immigration Advising

Immigration Advising for International Students includes the following: 

  • Production of immigration documents
  • Updating and record-keeping of immigration documents and SEVIS records
  • Maintenance of status and enrollment requirements
  • Travel requirements and visa applications
  • Changes of immigration status
  • Work authorization

Staff Directory

Peter A. Ugbong, M.A., JD, (PDSO/RO)

Visa and Administrative Coordinator

pugbong@howard.edu

202-806-2777

 

Benedicta A. Seho-Ahiable, DSO/ARO

Administrative Assistant

Benedicta.ahiable@howard.edu

202-806-2775

 

Jeronimo Augusto MHSA, ARO

International Programs Manager

Jeronimo.augusto@howard.edu

202-806-2550

Travel & Re-entry

Travel & Re-entry

International Students are allowed to travel to and from their home country and  other countries while enrolled at Howard University. There are  immigration -related regulations, for which all students must comply  in order to travel and maintain their F-1 Student or J-1 Exchange Visitor Status.

Travel Document Checklist

The list of documents below are required for travel and re-entry into the United States. F-1 and J-1 students must present these documents to the immigration inspector at the port of entry.

Current Students

  • Form I-20 ( F-1 Students) with International Student Advisor travel signature on page 2
  • A valid and unexpired passport ( valid six months into the future)
  • A valid and unexpired F-1  visa stamp ( the visa must be valid on the date of your planned re-entry)
  • Proof of financial support - financial documents ( the original documents that were used to issue the Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Howard University ID Card
  • Proof of full-time enrollment: Enrollment verification from registrar or transcript verifying enrollment in a full-time course of study, or letter of good standing from Graduate department.

 

F-1 Students ( Optional Practical Training- OPT)

  • Original Form I-20 ( F-1 Students) or Form DS-2019 ( J-1 students) with a valid  International Student Advisor travel signature on page 2
  • A valid and unexpired passport ( valid six months into the future)
  • A valid and unexpired  F-1 visa stamp ( the visa must be valid on the date of your planned re-entry)
  • Proof of financial support - financial documents ( the original documents that were used to issue the Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Academic Transcript
  • Employment Authorization Card(EAD) or the receipt notice for our OPT application.
  • Job Offer Letter or letter confirming current employment. The job offer letter or letter confirming your current employment should describe the job as temporary (no more than 12 months) because the idea behind Optional Practical Training is that it allow you to gain training in a temporary position in the U.S. An offer of permanent employment may be construed as inconsistent with holding non-immigrant status in the U.S.

 

Current J-1 Students

  • Form DS-2019 ( J-1 students) with International Student Advisor travel signature on page 1
  • A valid and unexpired passport ( valid six months into the future)
  • A valid and unexpired J-1  visa stamp ( the visa must be valid on the date of your planned re-entry)
  • Proof of financial support - financial documents ( the original documents that were used to issue the Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Howard University ID Card
  • Proof of full-time enrollment: Enrollment verification from registrar or transcript verifying enrollment in a full-time course of study, or letter of good standing from Graduate department.

Dependent Travel (F2 and J2)

F-2 or J-2 spouses and minor children who are not accompanied by the F-1 or J-1 student and visiting scholars must have:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid U.S. visa stamp (except for Canadian Citizens)
  • Valid separate Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Evidence of financial funding

If the dependents have never been given an I-20 or DS-2019, then you need to see an adviser at the ISS.

Form DS-2019 for the J-2 dependents can be obtained from the ISS or your program sponsor.

 

Travel Signature

A Travel Signature is an endorsement  signature from your International Student Advisor , which indicates that an  F-1 or J-1 student is eligible for re-entry into the United States. A travel signature  given by an International Student Advisor on Form I-20 is valid for one year.  For those on OPT, travel signatures are only valid for six months.

Graduate Students: required documents for a travel signature:

  • Recent letter of good standing from your department
  • Passport
  • I-20 (must be the original and most recent version)

 

Undergraduate Students required documents for a travel signature:

  • Enrollment Verification form from the Office of the Registrar
  • Passport
  • I-20 (must be the original and most recent version)

Traveling to Canada or Mexico for less than thirty days.

Automatic Revalidation

If you have an expired non-immigrant visa stamp in your passport (for example F or J) and you have a valid I-94 card stating your current status, your visa will be considered automatically revalidated for that ONE entry when you re-enter the U.S. from Canada or Mexico as long as ALL of the following are true:

Requirements

  • you have only been in Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days
  • you have with you a current I-94 card stating your valid status
  • you do have an expired non-immigrant visa in your passport
  • you do not apply for a U.S. visa while in Canada or Mexico
  • you are not from one of the countries currently considered by the U.S. federal government to be state sponsors of terrorism (as of 07/16/2008 this includes Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba)

I-94 Card

For automatic revalidation to apply to you, you must be careful to keep your I-94 card when leaving the U.S. When you re-enter the U.S., present your I-94 card along with your valid passport, expired visa and your valid immigration document (I-20, DS-2019 or I-797 in the case of someone in H1B or O visa status).

Special Registrants

If you are a "special registrant" (you would have been told when you entered the U.S. that you were being "special registered" as part of the "NSEERS" program), then you must leave the U.S. for Canada or Mexico through a designated port of departure. You must register your departure with the port inspectors. At that time, state to the inspectors that you intend to re-enter using automatic revalidation.

Changes of Status and Automatic Revalidation

The automatic revalidation will also work for someone who originally entered the U.S. in one non-immigrant status (such as F1) and has since changed to another non-immigrant status (such as H1B). The expired F1 visa will be considered to be revalidated and changed to H1B for the entry from Canada or Mexico. Those in H1B status should also carry the original I-797 approval notice while traveling which you can borrow from the OISS.

Adjacent Islands excluding Cuba

For those in F or J status (but NOT any other status), the automatic revalidation also works for visits of less than 30 days to the adjacent islands** excluding Cuba.

**Adjacent Islands include: Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Netherlands territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea.

Check with the Office of Immigration & Visa Services
If you plan to re-enter the U.S. using automatic revalidation, it is a good idea to stop by ISS before you go to be sure your documents are in order.

I-94 Record

  • The F Form I-94 card gives you immigration status
  • The I-94 form is currently electronic and can be printed from the US Customs & Border Protection website

Traveling to Canada

Before traveling to Canada, come to ISS to check visa requirements and to pick up a Canadian visitor visa application if one is required (or on the web at http://cicnet.ci.gc.ca). You can re-enter the U.S. from Canada with an expired U.S. visa stamp if ALL of the following apply to you:

  • You have a valid passport with an expired non-immigrant visa stamp, a valid I-20 or DS-2019, and you keep your I-94 card when leaving the U.S. and entering Canada
  • Your visit to Canada will be less than 30 days
  • You do NOT apply for a U.S. visa stamp while in Canada
  • You are NOT a national of one of the following countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Cuba, or North Korea.

Renewing Your Visa Stamp

If you or your dependents need to renew your visa stamps in order to re-enter the U.S., you must apply in person to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Applicants are normally required to submit the following documentation:
valid passport

Immigration Updates & Alerts

Key Agencies

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

https://www.uscis.gov/

USCIS Students and Employment

Students and Employment | USCIS

Department of Homeland Security ( DHS)  

https://www.dhs.gov/

Department of State (DOS)  

https://www.state.gov/

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

https://www.ice.gov

All Forms | USCIS