Admit: A student who has been offered admission to a college.

Applicant: A student who has submitted an application for enrollment which is pending at the college.

CPT (Curricular Practical Training): A type of employment that allows F-1 students to work in their field of study as part of their course requirement.

DHS (Department of Homeland Security): The U.S. federal government agency that deals with the country’s national security.

Department of State (DOS): The foreign affairs agency of the U.S. federal government that oversees the issuance of U.S. visas at the American Embassies and Consulates in foreign countries. This agency also governs the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.

DSO (Designated School Official): Designated School Official is a college/university official who is answerable to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the administration of the designated F-1 student program. Principal Designated School Officials (PDSO) and DSOs are also designated to undertake certain functions of the DHS such as status extensions, certain employment authorizations, etc. They are also responsible for SEVIS reporting to the Department of Homeland Security.

Duration of Status (D/S): A notation on the I-94 stamp indicating that the F-1/J-1 students are authorized to stay in the U.S. for a period it takes to complete their studies. However, students must maintain their immigration status by enrolling in a full-time course of study for each academic term while they remain in the U.S. This includes students on Optional Practical Training and Academic Training.

EAD (Employment Authorization Document): Is the I-766 immigration form that authorizes bearer to work legally in the United States.

Electronic I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record): An admission stamp placed in the passport of a non-immigrant visitor by a Custom and Border Protection officer upon entry into the U.S. The stamp indicates a visitor’s status, purpose, and length of stay permitted to remain in the U.S. International students, scholars and their dependents in the F and J non-immigrant categories are admitted for the period of time it takes to complete their studies; referred to as duration of status (D/S).

Enrolled: A student who is (a) registered in a degree program and (b) registered in a course.

F-1: A status for an international student pursuing a full-course of study in a degree, English as a Second Language (ESL), or certificate program of study at a CUNY College through the issuance of a SEVIS Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20).

F-2: Dependent – spouse or child (under the age of 21 years old) of an F-1 student.

ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement): The agency under the Department of Homeland Security that enforces U.S. immigration regulations and oversees the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

I-20/ DS-2019 (SEVIS Certificate of Eligibility): A federal immigration document issued by accredited educational institutions in the United States that describes the primary purpose of the non-immigrant’s temporary visit to the U.S. (e.g. F-1, J-1).

International Student Advisor (ISA): A university/college official in charge of providing information and guidance to international students on government regulations, visas, academic policies, language, housing, travel plans, insurance, legal, and personal matters. ISA’s provide immigration workshops, orientation, and other initiatives that inform students about immigration issues and services. In most but not all colleges/universities, the ISA is also as the Designated School Official (DSO).

J-1: A status for an exchange visitor in a student category participating in an academic course of study at a CUNY College through the issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (Form DS-2019).

J-2: Dependent – spouse or child of a J-1 student or Exchange Visitor.

Off-Campus: Locations outside of all the CUNY colleges and the Central Office.

On-Campus: Locations within a school’s primary location, including all CUNY colleges and the Central Office

OPT (Optional Practical Training): A work program that allows F-1 students, who have been in status for at least one year to work either before or after graduation in a field related to their studies.

RO/ARO (Responsible Officer/Alternate Responsible Officer): College/university’s primary official who is answerable to the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for administration of the designated J-1 Exchange Visitor Program at the individual college. The RO/AROs are also designated to undertake certain functions of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) such as status extensions, certain employment authorizations etc. They are also responsible for the SEVIS reporting to the DHS

SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System): An internet based federal government information system designed to track and monitor compliance of international students and exchange visitors studying in the U.S.

SEVP (Student Exchange Visitor Program): Program under the U.S. Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security that administers and monitors the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Status: A United States immigration term that defines the category, the purpose of stay, and the authorized period of stay of a non-immigrant visitor in the United Status.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics): Degree programs designated by the Department of Homeland Security that allows F-1 students on post-complete optional practical training to request extensions of work in their fields.

USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services): The government bureau under the Department of Homeland Security that deals with citizenship and immigration issues.

Visa: A stamp placed in a student’s passport. The visa indicates the immigration status that the student requested at a U.S. Consular Visa Office overseas. The visa allows the student to seek entry, or re-entry to the United States at a U.S. Port of Entry, no later than the expiration date on the visa. Upon completion of entry, the visa becomes irrelevant for all aspects of the student’s continuing status inside the U.S.