US Citizenship & Immigration Services

Customs and Border Protection 

Immigration & Custom Enforcement

Code of Federal Regulations 

Non-Immigrant Status
A foreign national who has documented intent to reside temporarily in the US and no intent to immigrate permanently. Many visa types (such as student, scholar, tourist) require that the individual document non-immigrant intent to be eligible. 

Immigrant Status
A foreign national who has indicated intent to immigrate permanently to the US. Individuals with immigrant intent are required to obtain the appropriate immigrant visa to come to the US. 

Dual Intent
Certain nonimmigrant classes, such as H-1B, do not require nonimmigrant intent and allow the foreign national to pursue lawful permanent residence while maintaining a nonimmigrant H-1B status. 

I-901 SEVIS Fee
The SEVIS I-901 fee, which is $100, is a mandatory fee charged to all students and exchange visitors applying for a visa using an I-20 or DS-2019 immigration document issued after September 1, 2004.
I-797 Approval Notice
USCIS form indicating approval of a petition filed with USCIS. In the case of an H-1B employee, the employer retains the original I-797 and gives the employee the bottom portion that includes the I-94 card. Any time an H-1B employee travels, they should bring their entire original I-797 document.
I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
The document that identifies the visa classification of legal entry to the US and the allowable period of stay in the US. I-94 numbers are retrieved online by entering your information at You should print a copy for your records and keep it with your official immigration documents. Each time you enter the U.S. a new number will be associated with your stay. Keep copies of all I-94 numbers.
The identity document for any foreign national while in the US. It must remain valid during entire stay in the US, and should be renewed at least 6 months prior to expiration by the foreign national’s home consulate/embassy, located either in the US or in their home country.
Gives permission for a foreign national to be considered by CBP for admission to the US. The visa stamp is located inside the passport. Individuals can stay in the US with an expired visa as long as the date on the I-94 card has not passed and they are maintaining status. Renewal is required to be eligible for re-entry after travel outside of the US and can only be done at a US consulate outside of the borders of the US.