Immigration Documents & Terms

NOTE: This list is not comprehensive, and is intended as a quick guide to common immigration forms, documents, terms, and acronyms.

F-1 Students

CPT

Curricular Practical Training.  Temporary employment authorization for F-1 students, integral to their field of study.

D/S

Duration of status.  The length of time a student is permitted to stay in the U.S. on an F or J student status; it is the time it takes to complete an academic program.

F-1

The F-1 visa is used for nonimmigrants wishing to pursue academic studies and/or language training programs for a period of time in the United States.

F-2

A spouse or a child under 21 years of age of an F-1 student.

I-20

Certificate of eligibility for the F-1 student visa issued by Yale University

OPT

Optional Practical Training.  Work permission available to F-1 students during summer vacations or following graduation. Limited to 12 months per degree level.

STEM

Those studying Science, Technology, Engineering or Math are eligible to apply for a 17 month extension beyond the end date of the approved post-completion OPT.

J-1 Exchange Visitors

Academic Training

Work authorization for J-1 students that can be used both during an academic program and after completion of academic program.

Advisory Opinion

Government opinion whether a J-1 visa holder is subject to the two year foreign residency requirement.

AR-11

The change of address form that some visa holders must submit to the Department of Homeland Security.

D/S

Duration of status.  The length of time a student is permitted to stay in the U.S. on an F or J student status; it is the time it takes to complete an academic program.

DS-2019

Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa issued by a program sponsor.

DS-7002

A government form called “Training/Internship Placement Plan.” You need it only if you come to Yale as a Student Intern (see DS-2019 item #4).

Exchange Visitor

Another term for an individual who is participating in a J-1 program in the United States.

ISD

International Student Dossier.  Software used by Yale administrators when scholars are invited to come to Yale.

J-1

The nonimmigrant visa status provided to individuals participating in the Exchange Visitor Program administered by the U.S. Department of State.  J-1 visitors at Yale may be students or scholars.

J-2

The J-2 visa is used for an exchange visitor's spouse and unmarried children aged 21 or younger.

Two-Year Residence Requirement

Sometimes the J-1 visa carries with it a two-year home country residence requirement which obliges visa holders and their J-2 dependents to return to their home countries for two years before being eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant H or L visa.

Employment

Academic Training

Work authorization for J-1 students that can be used both during an academic program and after completion of academic program.

CPT

Curricular Practical Training.  Temporary employment authorization for F-1 students, integral to their field of study.

Dependent

The lawful spouse and/or unmarried minor children of a nonimmigrant. A dependent child is either a biological or adopted child under the age of 21.

DOL

The U.S. Department of Labor.

DOS

The U.S. Department of State.

E-Verify

E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.

EAD

Employment Authorization Document.  Document/card for work authorization in the U.S.

Employment

Exchange of services for monetary or non-monetary compensation.

FICA

FICA stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The FICA tax consists of both Social Security and Medicare taxes. Social Security and Medicare taxes are paid both by the employees and the employer.

H-1B

The H-1B temporary worker visa is designated for individuals coming temporarily to the United States to work in a specialty occupation.

I-9

The U.S. employment eligibility verification form that documents the verification of the identity and employment authorization of a new employee to work in the U.S.

OPT

Optional Practical Training.  Work permission available to F-1 students during summer vacations or following graduation. Limited to 12 months per degree level.

SSN

Social Security Number.  A government assigned number needed for those who have work authorization to work in the U.S.

STEM

Those studying Science, Technology, Engineering or Math are eligible to apply for a 17 month extension beyond the end date of the approved post-completion OPT.

USCIS

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  A government agency that is part of the Department of Homeland Security and is charged with the administration of immigration benefits and the adjudication of immigration petitions/applications.

Taxes

1042-S

A tax reporting document for those (1) paid by Yale and claimed tax treaty benefits, or (2) got fellowship/scholarship income to cover living expenses.

1040-NR

The IRS tax return filed by non-resident filers.  A shorter version is the 1040-NREZ.  If you prepare your tax return with FNTR, the software will select the correct form.

8843

The IRS tax return filed by non-resident filers who have NO U.S. source income.

FICA

FICA stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The FICA tax consists of both Social Security and Medicare taxes. Social Security and Medicare taxes are paid both by the employees and the employer.  Non-resident tax filers are exempt from FICA withholdings.

FNTR

Foreign National Tax Resource.  To assist our international population, OISS has purchased FNTR, tax preparation software created specifically for international students and scholars who are non-resident aliens for tax purposes.

Income

Wages and all other forms of earnings, including stipends, schoalrships or fellowships.

IRS

Internal Revenue Service.  A U.S. government agency responsible for the collection of taxes and enforcement of taxes laws.

ITIN

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.  A tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service to individuals who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN).

Non-Resident Tax Filer

A tax filing status that is different from an individual's immigration status.  F-1 students are generally non-resident tax filers for the first five calendar years; J-1 scholars for the first calendar years.  For details go to IRS publication 519.

Resident Tax Filer

A tax filing status that may be different from an individual's immigration status.  For details go to IRS publication 519.

SSN

Social Security Number.  A government assigned number needed for those who have work authorization to work in the U.S.

W-2

A tax reporting document to be filed with your tax return. You receive W-2 if you were authorized to work in the U.S. and received payments.

W-4

This IRS form,  Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, is used by employers to determine the correct amount of tax withholding to deduct from employees' wages.  Tax withholdings depend on employee's personal situation and ideally should be equal to the annual tax due. When filling out a Form W-4, an employee calculates the number of Form W-4 allowances he or she will claim, based on his or her expected tax filing situation for the year. 

W-7

Application form for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). ITINs is required for individuals who have US based income but do not qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN).

W-9

The Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, serves two purposes. First, it is used by third parties to collect identifying information to help file information returns with the IRS. It requests the name, address, and taxpayer identification information of a taxpayer (in the form of a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number). The second purpose is to help the payee avoid backup withholding.

Travel & Entry

CBP

Customs and Border Protection.

D/S

Duration of status.  The length of time a student is permitted to stay in the U.S. on an F or J student status; it is the time it takes to complete an academic program.

DHS

The Department of Homeland Security combined 22 different federal departments and agencies into a cabinet agency when it was established in 2002 as a response to the events of 9/11.

ESTA

Electronic System for Travel Authorization.  An automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP); individuals wishing to travel to the U.S. visa free must first apply for permission on-line using ESTA.

Exchange Visitor

Another term for an individual who is participating in a J-1 program in the United States.

I-515A

A form given to individuals who cannot provide all the required documents for entry to the U.S., those receiving I-515 get a 30 day admission period.

I-94

The I-94 is your official U.S. arrival and departure record.  Download or print your I-94 here.

MRZ

Machine Readable Zone.  This is the part of a passport that contains the name SEVIS requires to identify students and exchange visitors.

POE

Port of Entry.

SEVIS

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.  The system that the Department of Homeland Security uses to maintain information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools and the students and exchange visitors who come to the U.S.

Travel

Taking a temporary trip usually outside the U.S. with the intention of returning to the U.S. to continue an educational or professional objective.

USCIS

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  A government agency that is part of the Department of Homeland Security and is charged with the administration of immigration benefits and the adjudication of immigration petitions/applications.

Visa Status

Visa classification given to one by CBP or USCIS.

Visa

A U.S. visa is issued in an individual's passport by a U.S. consul in a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U.S. A visa is used solely for the purpose of entry and reentry to the U.S. The visa does not determine how long an individual may remain in the U.S.

VWP

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on the VWP.

Full List

1042-S

A tax reporting document for those (1) paid by Yale and claimed tax treaty benefits, or (2) got fellowship/scholarship income to cover living expenses.

Academic Training

Work authorization for J-1 students that can be used both during an academic program and after completion of academic program.

Advisory Opinion

Government opinion whether a J-1 visa holder is subject to the two year foreign residency requirement.

AR-11

The change of address form that some visa holders must submit to the Department of Homeland Security.

CBP

Customs and Border Protection.

CPT

Curricular Practical Training.  Temporary employment authorization for F-1 students, integral to their field of study.

D/S

Duration of status.  The length of time a student is permitted to stay in the U.S. on an F or J student status; it is the time it takes to complete an academic program.

Dependent

The lawful spouse and/or unmarried minor children of a nonimmigrant. A dependent child is either a biological or adopted child under the age of 21.

DHS

The Department of Homeland Security combined 22 different federal departments and agencies into a cabinet agency when it was established in 2002 as a response to the events of 9/11.

DOL

The U.S. Department of Labor.

DOS

The U.S. Department of State.

DS-2019

Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa issued by a program sponsor.

DS-7002

A government form called “Training/Internship Placement Plan.” You need it only if you come to Yale as a Student Intern (see DS-2019 item #4).

E-3

For Australian nationals with specialized skills and higher education working in the U.S. in a job related to their expertise.

E-Verify

E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.

EAD

Employment Authorization Document.  Document/card for work authorization in the U.S.

Employment

Exchange of services for monetary or non-monetary compensation.

ESTA

Electronic System for Travel Authorization.  An automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP); individuals wishing to travel to the U.S. visa free must first apply for permission on-line using ESTA.

Exchange Visitor

Another term for an individual who is participating in a J-1 program in the United States.

F-1

The F-1 visa is used for nonimmigrants wishing to pursue academic studies and/or language training programs for a period of time in the United States.

F-2

A spouse or a child under 21 years of age of an F-1 student.

FICA

FICA stands for the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. The FICA tax consists of both Social Security and Medicare taxes. Social Security and Medicare taxes are paid both by the employees and the employer.

FNTR

Foreign National Tax Resource.  To assist our international population, OISS has purchased FNTR, tax preparation software created specifically for international students and scholars who are non-resident aliens for tax purposes.

H-1B

The H-1B temporary worker visa is designated for individuals coming temporarily to the United States to work in a specialty occupation.

I-20

Certificate of eligibility for the F-1 student visa issued by Yale University

I-515A

A form given to individuals who cannot provide all the required documents for entry to the U.S., those receiving I-515 get a 30 day admission period.

I-9

The U.S. employment eligibility verification form that documents the verification of the identity and employment authorization of a new employee to work in the U.S.

I-901

A form used by ICE to process fee remittances for certain F,  J and M nonimmigrants.

I-94

The I-94 is your official U.S. arrival and departure record.  Download or print your I-94 here.

Income

Wages and all other forms of earnings received in a period of time.

IRS

Internal Revenue Service.  A U.S. government agency responsible for the collection and enforcement of taxes.

ISD

International Student Dossier.  Software used by Yale administrators when scholars are invited to come to Yale.

ITIN

Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.  A tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service to individuals who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN).

J-1

The nonimmigrant visa status provided to individuals participating in the Exchange Visitor Program administered by the U.S. Department of State.  J-1 visitors at Yale may be students or scholars.

J-2

The J-2 visa is used for an exchange visitor's spouse and unmarried children aged 21 or younger.

LPR

Lawful Permanent Resident.  Person allowed to indefinitely live and work in the United States (green card holder).

MRZ

Machine Readable Zone.  This is the part of a passport that contains the name SEVIS requires to identify students and exchange visitors.

O-1

The O-1 visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.

OISS

Yale Office of International Students & Scholars.

OPT

Optional Practical Training.  Work permission available to F-1 students during summer vacations or following graduation. Limited to 12 months per degree level.

POE

Port of Entry.

SEVIS

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.  The system that the Department of Homeland Security uses to maintain information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools and the students and exchange visitors who come to the U.S.

SSN

Social Security Number.  A government assigned number needed for those who have work authorization to work in the U.S.

STEM

Those studying Science, Technology, Engineering or Math are eligible to apply for a 17 month extension beyond the end date of the approved post-completion OPT.

TN

Temporary nonimmigrant visa which is governed by the North American Free Trade Agreement.

TPS

Temporary Protected Status.  Residents/citizens of designated countries deemed unsafe by U.S. Immigration can remain temporarily until the situation has improved.

Travel

Taking a temporary trip usually outside the U.S. with the intention of returning to the U.S. to continue an educational or professional objective.

Two-Year Residence Requirement

Sometimes the J-1 visa carries with it a two-year home country residence requirement which obliges visa holders and their J-2 dependents to return to their home countries for two years before being eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant H or L visa.

USCIS

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  A government agency that is part of the Department of Homeland Security and is charged with the administration of immigration benefits and the adjudication of immigration petitions/applications.

Visa Status

Visa classification given to one by CBP or USCIS.

Visa

A U.S. visa is issued in an individual's passport by a U.S. consul in a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U.S. A visa is used solely for the purpose of entry and reentry to the U.S. The visa does not determine how long an individual may remain in the U.S.

VWP

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on the VWP.

W-2

A tax reporting document to be filed with your tax return. You receive W-2 if you were authorized to work in the U.S. and received payments.

W-7

Application form for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). ITINs is required for individuals who have US based income but do not qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN).

W-9

The Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, serves two purposes. First, it is used by third parties to collect identifying information to help file information returns with the IRS. It requests the name, address, and taxpayer identification information of a taxpayer (in the form of a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number). The second purpose is to help the payee avoid backup withholding.