How can I obtain an official copy of my Middlebury transcript?
My visa has expired, what do I do?
Automatic Visa Revalidation: travel to Canada and Mexico on an expired visa.
Please also be aware that if you have entered one of these countries to apply for a U.S. visa and are denied, you cannot re-enter the U.S. using an expired visa.
When should I have my I-20 signed?
When ISSS signs page 3 of your Form I-20, they verify that you are maintaining status in your current program of study at Middlebury College. This travel signature is valid for up to one year. As a student in F-1 visa status, you are responsible for ensuring that you have a current travel signature at all times. ISSS encourages students to stop in each term to obtain a travel signature to avoid the serious implications of being outside of the U.S. with a lapsed signature. All you need to do is bring your current Form I-20 and passport to ISSS during drop-in hours. If you have recently updated your major or minor with the Registrar’s office, you should submit a major/minor update form prior to your visit to ISSS.
How often will I get a new I-20?
You will get a new I-20 when you make an update to your SEVIS record, which is reflected in the information posted on your I-20. Common updates which result in a new I-20 include:
- Declaring a primary major
- A change in your expected date of graduation
- Applying for OPT or CPT
Not all of the information in your SEVIS record is reflected on your I-20. Changes such as the following will be updated in your SEVIS record, but will not necessitate a new I-20:
- Declaring a second major field of study
- Declaring a minor
- Change of address
To update your SEVIS record, please see to the "SEVIS Updates" box on the ISSS homepage.
I've lost my I-20. Can I get a new one?
If you are currently in the United States, we will send the I-20 to you via regular mail, or you can come pick it up in person. Please bring your passport and I-94 card with you when to come to pick up your new I-20.
If you are currently outside the United States and need an I-20 to enter the U.S., we may be able to send you a new I-20 if time allows. If there is not sufficient time to send you a new I-20, you will need to enter the U.S. without it. This will create additional delay for you, as students in F-1 status are expected to have appropriate documents when entering the United States; a valid passport, a valid I-20 with a recent signature, and a valid F-1 visa. Students traveling without their I-20 will most likely receive an I-515 form, which grants temporary 30-day admission to the U.S. in F-1 status. If you are granted an I-515, you must come to International Student and Scholar Services immediately upon your arrival to campus. You must obtain a new I-20 from ISSS, and submit a series of documents to the U.S. Government within 30 days, or you will be out-of-status. Being out-of-status will have serious consequences on your immigration status.
If you are travelling without an I-20, the Border Official may suggest you enter the U.S. in tourist status, instead of granting the I-515. Under no circumstances should you enter the U.S. in tourist status. Tourist status does not allow enrollment in courses or employment. If you enter in tourist status and attend classes, you will be in violation of your immigration status. Changing from tourist status back to F-1 status is time-consuming and expensive.
My I-94 card was not taken when I left the U.S. What should I do?
- The original I-94 card. Complete the back of the I-94 card, listing the U.S. Port of Departure (Port), the date of departure (Date), the airline you traveled on (Carrier) and your Flight Number.
- A letter including these departure details, and explaining why the I-94 card was not surrendered as you departed the U.S.
- If possible, include proof that you have departed the U.S.; for example, a copy of your airline boarding pass or passport stamps.
**Please note that if you are going to Canada by land for a trip of less than 30 days, and plan to re-enter the U.S. in the same visa status that you departed, you should not surrender your I-94 card. You will need to present your I-94 card upon re-entry to the U.S.
I lost my I-94 card. How can I get a new one?
If you enter the U.S. via air or land, your I-94 record is created electronically and can be accessed online at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/. You should print this record and keep it with your passport and other immigration documents.
If you enter the U.S. via land, you will receive a physical I-94 card that should be stapled inside your passport.
Your I-94 record or card governs your status in the U.S. It is essential that you have an I-94 record or card that accurately displays your current immigration status and the expiration date of your status.
If you have a physical I-94 card from a land entry and lose that I-94 card, you can go to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website to print a record of your arrival to the U.S. at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/.
If you find that your I-94 record displays the incorrect U.S. immigration status, please contact ISSS immediately: email@example.com and we will guide you through the process of correcting this.
What documents do I need to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status?
- A valid passport (valid 6-months into the future)
- Your current I-20, which has been signed within the last term
- A valid F-1 visa*
*Canadian citizens do not require a visa stamp in their passport. If you are a Canadian citizen, you will only need to present a valid passport and current I-20 at the border.
*There is an exception to the requirement of a valid visa to enter the U.S. for trips of less than 30 days to Canada, Mexico, and the adjacent islands. This is called "Automatic Visa Revalidation".
How can I apply for a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN)?
Per the Social Security Administration, a Social Security Number (SSN) is generally assigned to individuals who are authorized to work in the United States. This number is used to report your wages to the government – it is not a form of work authorization. As an international student in F-1 or J-1 visa status, you are not eligible to apply for a SSN simply because you are enrolled as a student at Middlebury College. You must have a valid offer of employment and should discuss such plans with ISSS before taking action.
In order to obtain proof of employment, you will need to do one of the following:
- Secure on-campus employment at Middlebury College through the Student Employment Office (SEO). New students are eligible to begin working on campus right away. Once this has been confirmed, the SEO will be able to issue you an employment letter. You’ll want to then bring this letter to ISSS and request a support letter from our office.
- Meet the eligibility requirements for working off campus and obtain the appropriate work authorization. For F-1 students, this includes being in status for one full academic year. You must secure the proper work authorization, either Optional Practical Training or, when applicable, Curricular Practical Training, by meeting with ISSS before engaging in any off-campus employment that is directly related to your program of study. J-1 students should meet with ISSS to discuss Academic Training prior to pursuing this benefit.
Once you’ve obtained proof of employment, you will need to apply for an SSN at any Social Security Administration (SSA) office. The closest SSA office is located in Burlington at 58 Pearl Street. Their office hours vary throughout the week, so you’re encouraged to call them at 877-840-5776 prior to visiting. When you arrive at the SSA office, service is provided on a first come, first serve basis. There will be an electronic kiosk where you’ll enter your reason for visiting and be issued a ticket. Please wait patiently in the lounge until your number is called.
You will need to have the following documents with you to present at your visit:
- Completed Social Security Card application: this form, along with instructions, can be found online at http://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf
- Valid passport with visa sticker (or stamp for Canadian citizens)
- Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
- I-94 Arrival/Departure Record: this system has become automated for visitors entering the U.S. via airplane. To obtain your record, please visit https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/consent.html
- Proof of employment: for student workers, this will be the letter provided to you from the SEO
- Letter of support from ISSS
Your card will be issued and mailed to you within 7 to 10 business days. You are not required to have an SSN before you start working. However, your employer will need this information as soon as it is received. Student workers should take their Social Security Card to the SEO so that a copy can be made for their files.
For more information, please visit http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/.
Can I apply for a U.S. visa outside my country of citizenship?
There are risks in applying for a visa in a country other than your own. Since the F-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, the Embassy Official must determine if you are planning to immigrate to the U.S. and judge the likelihood of your returning to your home country once your program in the U.S. is complete. Officials in other countries will probably not be familiar with your country of citizenship and may not be comfortable in making this determination. Also, if for any reason you are denied a visa, you would not be able to re-enter the U.S., even if your current F-1 visa had not expired. (The visa denial would in effect invalidate your current visa.) Therefore, we advise students not to apply for a new visa as a Third Country National unless there is a real need to do so.
Can I apply for a new U.S. visa before my old visa has expired?
Can I apply for a new U.S. visa while I'm in the U.S.?
What do I do if I am stopped by a police officer, a U.S. immigration agent, or a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) officer?
Always make sure to stay calm, ask the officer/agent for identification, and know your rights when you find yourself in this situation. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) maintains a detailed guide for individuals who find themselves in this situation. You can access it at: http://www.aclu.org/drug-law-reform-immigrants-rights-racial-justice/know-your-rights-what-do-if-you. It is also available in an easy to carry wallet card format: http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/bustcard_eng_20100630.pdf.
Do I need a visa to enter Canada?
How do I apply for a visa to Canada?
The Canadian tourist visa is called a "Temporary Resident Visa". To obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to Canada, you must submit an application to the Canadian Embassy in New York. The visa application process is done by mail.
To determine if you need a visa to enter Canada, and to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa if necessary, click here.
How do I apply for a visa to Mexico?
(Click on "Visas" on the left hand side of the page, then on "Tourism")
The application process requires an in-person visit to the Boston Consulate. Please contact the Mexican Consulate directly if you have questions regarding the visa process.
How do I apply for a Driver's License?
1. a written test
2. a driving test
3. a vision test
(Canadian Citizens may turn in their Canadian license for a Vermont license with only the eye test.)
You will need access to a car to take the driving test; if you do not own a car you will need to borrow one.
Please be aware that you cannot take the written test and the driving test on the same day, so you will need to visit the DMV twice to take all of the required tests. You should therefore plan to allow at least two weeks to obtain your Vermont Driver's License.
You should call or email the DMV to schedule an appointment for a written and driving test. Contact information, hours and location for the DMV in Middlebury are listed at:
You access online services, click here.
When you go to the DMV, you will need to present your Middlebury Student ID Card, I-20, passport, and I-94 card. You should be sure that you have had your I-20 signed for this semester!
It is not necessary to have a Social Security Number (SSN) to apply for a Drivers License, however, if you do not have an SSN, the DMV may request that you obtain a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that you are not eligible for an SSN. If you need a letter to this effect, please contact ISSS, and we will help you to obtain the letter from the Social Security Administration.
Seniors, please note:
When you apply for a driver's license, the expiration date will be listed as the expiration date of your I-20. If you have applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT), you are able to use your new I-20 from the OPT application to get a driver's license that is valid beyond your graduation date. You can go through this process before your OPT has been approved by USCIS.
Can I use an International Driving Permit in Vermont?
As an international student or scholar, you may legally drive on the roads of the State of Vermont for up to one year from your date of arrival if you have an International Driving Permit AND a valid home country license AND if you are from one of the designated countries or territories. A valid home country license is limited to a licensed driver who is at least 18 years old and limited to a vehicle of the type covered by the license. For detailed information and to access the list of designated countries, please visit http://dmv.vermont.gov/licenses/Drivers/Foreign.
I'm coming the U.S. for a short period of time. Do I need to use my I-20?
Yes. You should ALWAYS enter the U.S. as a student (using your I-20 and in F-1 status) throughout your entire program at Middlebury College, even if you are only entering the US for a few days.
If you enter the U.S. in any other status (tourist, for example), your F-1 status is “broken”, and your student record ends. This creates a great deal of trouble; you then need to apply for a new SEVIS record, and go through the whole I-20 application process you went through as a First Year student (completing an I-20 application form, showing proof of funds, etc).
In addition, in order to be eligible for off-campus employment authorization (OPT), or to receive payment for a Winter Term Internship (CPT) within the U.S., students must be in continuous F-1 status for an academic year. If your F-1 status is broken, the clock starts over and you are not eligible for off-campus employment or a paid internship until you have been in F-1 status for another year.