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USCIS Policy Update: Student Visa Holders may be eligible for Drivers Licenses; By Danielle Beach-Oswald

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

Driverslicenses


USCIS has recently provided new guidelines for F Visa-holders (full time students), M Visa-holders (vocational training students), and J-Visa holders (exchange student visitors) to qualify for driver's license or state identification cards. If you are currently on an F, M, or J visa, you would be eligible for a driver's license or state ID card if:



  • Your record in Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS) is in active status and you waited at least two business days from the activation date;

  • You wait at least 10 calendar days from the date of entry into the US to apply for the driver's license or state ID card; and

  • Depending on state regulations, you may need to have at least six months left on your eligibility for nonimmigrant status.


States are expected to verify this information through the SAVE program. The SAVE program is an intergovernmental database that will allow various state authorities to check a benefit's immigration status against DHS databases.


If an individual on an F, M, or J visa wishes to apply for a driver's license or state identification card they should bring the following things with them to the DMV:



  • Their valid passport with visa

  • Their I-94, "Arrival/Departure Record"

  • Form I-20 for an F or M immigrant

  • Form DS-2019 for a J nonimmigrant

  • Form I-766 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if applicable

  • Form I-797 or I-797A Notice of Action if there was a change of status

  • Their Social Security Number or if they lack a Social Security Number Form SSA-L676 Refusal to Process SSN Application


Additionally, accompanying dependents are also eligible for driver's licenses or state ID if they present supporting personal status documentation and the status documentation of the primary visa holder.

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Comments

  1. mutiz refugee's Avatar
    This does not address an issue where one (J-1) does not have a current passport due to political asylum application in progress. The home government refuses to grant updated passport. Old passport has visa stamp. There is documentation to prove status adjustment (approved I-797). Any thoughts? Seems to be a problem in New Jersey DMV.
  2. Fahrschule Buss's Avatar
    I every time spent my half an hour to read this website's articles every day along with a cup of coffee.
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