U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has issued a formal announcement that as of August 10, 2012 admission stamps will no longer be provided on Forms I-20/DS-2019 for prospective and returning international students and scholars traveling with F, M, and J visas. This change makes CBP processes consistent with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) recent change to stop stamping Forms I-20/DS-2019 upon change of status or extension of stay in the F, J or M categories. USCIS implemented this change as part of the launch of its online immigration benefits system, USCIS Electronic Immigration System, as it transforms the agency from a paper-based system to an online environment.
During this transition to the online system, some international students and scholars without the stamp may encounter difficulties in acquiring a driver’s license or state identification card. If a state benefit granting agency rejects an unstamped Form I-20/DS-2019, applicants may make an appointment with USCIS online through InfoPass and take their Form I-20/DS-2019 to their local USCIS office to be stamped. This transitional step will end on Nov. 21, 2012.
International students and scholars who encounter issues with their state or federal benefit applications should contact the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program.
For more information from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, please click here.