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Current Students

Your I-20/DS-2019 and your visa are two entirely different documents, but both are required to enter the United States. Your I-20/DS-2019 will be issued by the ISSS team once you have been admitted to Loyola University Chicago and you've submitted the required documents. You will use the I-20/DS-2019 to apply for your visa.

Within two weeks of a change, you will need to notify the ISSS team to update your I-20/DS-2019 if you:
- Change your major
- Change your name or address
- Require a program extension
- Move from degree to degree (e.g. bachelor's to master's)

While your I-20/DS-2019 needs to remain valid while studying in the United States, your visa does not. Your visa is an entry document to the US and does not need to be renewed as long as you remain in the US.

Upon completing your program of study, F-1 students have 60 days to legally remain in the US beyond the expiration date of your I-20, (or beyond the completion date of your program, whichever is earlier). This 60-day period is known as your "grace period." During the grace period, you can change to a new degree program, transfer to a new school, or prepare to depart the US. J-1 students have a 30-day grace period upon completing their program of study. 
U.S. immigration regulations require you to report any change in your U.S. local address within 10 days of the change.

You may satisfy this requirement by updating your profile in the Mailing Address section of LOCUS within 10 days of the change. ISSS will receive the information from LOCUS and electronically notify SEVP of the change within 21 days, as required by immigration regulations.
If you are an international student with dependents who need a visa to come with you to the United States, you must submit this request to receive their documents.
I. Illinois Driver’s License:
​​​​​​​​​​​​If you plan to drive or own a vehicle while studying in the United States, you are legally required to have a state-issued Driver’s License. A state-issued driver’s license serves as both a license to drive and a form of identification. In order to obtain a driver’s license, you must pass a written exam and a road test. If you are under 21 years old, please refer to the steps for Graduated Drivers Licenses.
II. Illinois State I.D.
Although a local State I.D. is not required, it can be very useful to carry for purposes such as banking, traveling domestically, etc. However, a State I.D. serves as a form of identification ONLY and does not authorize you to drive. There is no minimum age to obtain a State I.D.
For the most updated and detailed instructions on how to attain the State I.D., Drivers’ License, or Temporary Visitors Driver’s License, please refer to the Secretary of State Website. Illinois Driver’s Licenses and State I.D.s are processed directly at a local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You must wait at least 10 days after your Immigration Check-In at Loyola University Chicago to be able to apply for a Driver’s License or State I.D. As international students, your Driver’s License or State I.D. will be valid up to three years, or up to your program end date stated in your I-20 (whichever is sooner). Please note that if you are pending any changes to your immigration status, it may be difficult to obtain or renew a driver’s license.

To apply at the DMV, you must present:
  • Your most current and signed I-20,
  • Your most current I-94 Arrival/Departure Record,
  • A form of payment (cash or check) for processing fees, and
  • Documents that satisfy each of classified groups (see chart below)
Please see the complete list of required documents issued by the Secretary of State. The chart below is a summarized list of documents that may be applicable to international students. One document may satisfy more than one group.
Group A:
Written Signature
(one document)
Group B:
Date of Birth
(one document)
Group C:
Social Security
(one document)
Group D:
(two documents)
  • Valid passport
  • I-94
  • SSN Card
  • Credit Card/debit Card (major US bank)
  • Driver Education Certificate
  • I-766 Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Current Driver’s License or State I.D. (for renewal only)
  • Valid passport
  • U.S. Visa
  • I-94
  • Birth certificate
  • Certified School Transcripts
  • SSN Card
  • If you do not have a social security card, please call 217-524-0879 or visit the Secretary of State website to determine your eligibility for a temporary driver’s license.
  • Certified School Transcripts
  • Bank statement (issued within the last 90 days)
  • Rental or lease agreement, insurance policy, medical claim
  • Official mail from school, letter of support from ISSS, tuition invoice, official mail received from state, county, city, federal agency, (issued within the last 90 days.
  • Mailed bills (electric, utilities, telephone, cable, gas, etc. – issued within the last 90 days)
To request a Letter of Support, click the button below.
According to US immigration regulations, the primary purpose of the F-1/J-1 classification is for full-time study in pursuit of an educational objective. F-1/J-1 students should expect to be enrolled full-time for the duration of their program of study.

Full-time is defined as:
- 18 credit hours for ELLP students
- 12 credit hours for undergraduate students
- 9 credit hours for graduate students
- 8 credit hours for law students
- 6 credit hours for Quinlan Business Graduate students
If you need a reprint of your I-20 or DS-2019 due to a change of major, change of funding source, or visa status change, please select the appropriate button below:  

Please use one request for each letter you need. To submit a request, please click on the button below.
Before you being the request process for Reduced Course Load, please read the following section.

To maintain lawful immigration status, F-1 & J-1 international students must be enrolled full-time each term.

Full time is defined as:
  • 18 credit hours for ESL students
  • 12 credit hours for undergraduate students
  • 9 credit hours for graduate students
  • 8 credit hours for law students
  • 6 credit hours for Quinlan Business Graduate students
DO NOT drop below full-time status until you receive approval from the Office for International Programs. 

Authorized reasons to drop below full-time are listed below:
  1. Academic Difficulties: Academic difficulties include overwhelming reading requirements, struggles with the English language, or difficulties in adjusting to American learning methodologies. Reduced Course Loads for academic difficulties may only be requested only within the first year of study, and only one time throughout a degree program.
  2. Improper Course Placement: Students who have been improperly placed in an unnecessary course may request to drop the course. Reduced Course Load for improper course placement may only be requested one time throughout a degree program.
  3. Final Term of Study: Students who are at their final term of study and do not have any more courses to meet the minimum course load may request a Reduced Course Load.
  4. Vacation Term: For Quinlan Business School Graduate Students ONLY.
  5. Medical Reasons: Students may be authorized to enroll part-time for medical reasons. Students requesting Medical Reduced Course Load must provide a letter from a licensed medical doctor or psychologist recommending the reduced course load. 
  6. Other: Academic advisors should indicate in the recommendation if any other extenuating circumstances warrant a reduced course load and provide details using the space provided. The International Student and Scholar Services team will then review these extenuating circumstances and determine if a Reduced Course Load is warranted.

It is very important that the program dates on your I-20/DS-2019 are accurate. The program date is listed on your current I-20 (see item #5) or DS-2019 (see item #3). If you will complete your degree requirements earlier or later than this date, the correct date must be reported to SEVIS and a new document will be issued.

If you are shortening your program end date, you must finish your program of study by the new program end date, and you are not allowed to extend it. You are not required to submit this form if: 1) you have already submitted an Reduced Course Load for final term, and/or 2) you have applied for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
To submit a request to shorten your program, please select your visa type below.


If you are extending your program end date, you must have continually maintained your student status and provided proof that the extension is necessary for compelling academic or medical reasons. A request to extend your program end date must be submitted at least 2 weeks before your current end date as stated on your I-20/DS-2019 and no earlier than 6 months prior to your current end date. You will need to submit financial documents that support the extended study period. To submit a request, click on the button that corresponds to your visa type below.

If you need to request a travel signature, please drop off your I-20/DS-2019 to our office along with the Travel Signature Request Form. Travel signatures must be requested in person.

Documents Required for Re-entry to the United States

Have the following documents available (not packed in checked luggage) when you arrive at the port of entry to the US:

- A passport that is valid at least six months past return to the United States
- A valid F-1 or J-1 entry visa stamp - Canadian citizens do not need entry visas to enter the United States
- A valid Form I-20 or DS-2019 with a recent signature from ISSS - please be sure to have your I-20/DS-2019 signed at least one week prior to your travel outside of the United States 
- Any previously issued I-797 Approval Notices from USCIS (if you changed your status to F-1 or J-1 after arriving in the United States)
- Your current EAD (if you are on OPT)

Additional documentation recommended by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) includes evidence of your financial resources, your letter of acceptance, and the contact information of your ISSS team (, 773-508-3899).

Any F-2/J-2 dependents will also need to have their I-20/DS-2019 endorsed for travel prior to departure from the country.