CBP no longer provides admission stamps on Forms I-20 and DS-2019 for prospective and returning international students and scholars (traveling with F, M or J visas) seeking admission to the US as of August 10, 2012.
This change makes CBP processes consistent with USCIS’s recent change to stop stamping Forms I-20 and DS-2019. USCIS implemented this change as part of the launch of its online immigration benefits system, USCIS Electronic Immigration System, as it transforms the agency from a paper-based system to an online environment.
Although placing an admission stamp on Forms I-20 and DS-2019 has been a longstanding CBP practice, it is not required. While admission stamps on Forms I-20 and DS-2019 are not indicators of lawful status or academic program duration, some state and federal benefit granting agencies have required international students and scholars to present stamped versions of these forms. Requirements for this vary from state to state.
If a state benefit agency rejects an unstamped Form I-20 or DS-2019, applicants may make an appointment with USCIS online through InfoPass and take their Forms I-20 and DS-2019 to their local USCIS office to be stamped. This transitional step will end November 21, 2012.
International students and scholars who encounter issues with their state or federal benefit applications should continue to contact the ICE Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
For more information, please see: