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January 20, 2012

IMMIGRATION AND POLICY: Timing is Everything: Getting Your Driver's Licens...

IMMIGRATION AND POLICY: Timing is Everything: Getting Your Driver's Licens...: [Source: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bm1112-05-dmv-timing.pdf ] To: All SEVIS Users Date: January 17, 2012 Re: Timing is Everyth...

Timing is Everything: Getting Your Driver's License or Social Security Number

[Source: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bm1112-05-dmv-timing.pdf]

To: All SEVIS

Users Date: January 17, 2012 Re: Timing is Everything: Getting Your Driver’s License or Social Security Number Number 1112-05

Background

New F, M and J nonimmigrants often apply for a driver’s license or Social Security number (SSN) either too early after entering the United States or without the proper documentation. The purpose of the following information is to highlight best practices for incoming F, M and J nonimmigrants.1

Purpose

One of the first things a new F, M or J nonimmigrant typically wants to do after entering the United States is get a driver’s license or, where appropriate, an SSN. Like many things, however, correct timing is everything. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program wants all F, M or J nonimmigrants eligible for a driver’s license or an SSN to have the easiest experience possible. Following these six simple tips makes the process go much smoother and saves a lot of time in the end:

1. Wait 10 days after you arrive in the United States. You may want to apply for a driver’s license or SSN right away, but be patient. The 10-day wait allows time for all the government databases to update with your arrival information.

2. Know what you are applying for and if you are eligible. While you are waiting, talk with your school’s designated school official (DSO) or sponsor’s responsible officer (RO) or alternate responsible officer (ARO) to learn more about your state’s driving rules and regulations. If you want an SSN, have your DSO or RO/ARO confirm that you are eligible before you apply.

3.Make sure your record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is up-to-date and in Active status. SEVIS is the database that contains information for all F, M and J nonimmigrants in the United States. A DSO manages an F or M nonimmigrant’s SEVIS record. An RO/ARO manages an exchange visitor’s SEVIS record. The DSO or RO/ARO (whichever applies to you) must place your record in Active status when you report to the school or program. Talk with your DSO or RO/ARO before you apply for a license or SSN to make sure your record is Active in SEVIS. If your record is not Active when you apply, your application will be rejected.

F-1 and M-1 students, J-1 exchange visitors, and accompanying F-2, M-2 or J-2 dependents

4. Check your forms. Check all your forms to make sure your information is correct. This
is data integrity. Data integrity is very important because if you have different
information on different forms, it will cause delays. Specifically, check your Form I-94,
“Arrival/Departure Record,” for handwritten information. If the information on your
Form I-94 is different than on your passport or Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for
Nonimmigrant Student Status,” or Form DS-2019, “Certificate of Eligibility for
Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status,” please see the DMV Fact Sheet for more information.

5. Wait two days after your DSO or RO/ARO activates your record in SEVIS. After
your DSO or RO/ARO activates your record in SEVIS, you should wait at least two
federal business days before you apply for a driver’s license or SSN. This gives all the
databases time to update with your new information.

6. Bring all your paperwork. When you go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) –
the common name for a state government office that issues driver’s licenses – or to the
Social Security office, remember to bring all your paperwork. For most states, the
paperwork includes these documents:

 Form I-20 or Form DS-2019

 Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record”

 Passport (with visa, if applicable)

 Proof of legal presence or residence (ask your DSO or RO/ARO what your state

requires)

For an SSN, you must also bring a letter of employment and an endorsed Form I-20 (for
F students). Exchange visitors should consult with their RO/ARO first to make sure the
Social Security Administration requires a letter of employment for the J category.

These six tips should help you get your driver’s license or SSN without having any major
problems. If you are interested in specific details about F-2, M-2 or J-2 dependents, please see
page 8 of the DMV Fact Sheet. Always talk with your DSO or RO/ARO before you try to apply.

Your DSO or RO/ARO may have more information about your particular state. Safe travels!

Learn More

Driving in the United States
http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students/resources/driving/

Obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN)
http://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students/resources/social-security-number/

DMV Fact Sheet
http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/dmv_factsheet.pdf

January 17, 2012

STATE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES TO REDUCE VISA INTERVIEW WAIT TIMES

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/01/180628.htm

YEAR-ON-YEAR DEMAND UP IN CHINA AND BRAZIL: STATE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES TO REDUCE VISA INTERVIEW WAIT TIMES

Visa processing in Brazil and China jumped more than 50 percent in the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 from the same period in 2011. At the same time, on our missions in China and Brazil decreased the wait for visa interviews. In China, visa interview wait times are only two days at any of our five - processing posts. In Brazil, wait times are down to 15 days in Rio de Janeiro and six days in Brasilia.