Here are the government agencies and tools you will find most helpful during your time in the United States. If there are any special details or websites associated with that agency, you will find them in that agency’s section below.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
CBP the largest governmental agency under the Department of Homeland Security. CBP is responsible for regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs, and immigration.

  • I-94 Record – This is where you can retrieve your I-94 record.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
The Department of Homeland Security is charged with the primary responsibilities of protecting the United States from and responding to terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters. The Department of Homeland Security is equivalent to the Interior ministries of other countries.

  • Study in the U.S. Guide – This is a guide prepared by DHS to help all international students coming into the United States.
  • Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) – TRIP is a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation hubs—like airports and train stations—or crossing U.S. borders.

Department of Labor (DOL)
The Department of Homeland Security is charged with the primary responsibilities of occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics; many U.S. states also have such departments.

  • Internship Programs – This is a fact sheet to help define the Fair Labor Standards around internships.
  • Trainee Programs – Here are the Fair Labor regulations and language regarding trainee positions.
  • Volunteering – Here are the Fair Labor regulations and language regarding volunteering.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
This is the website for the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, the agency in which you can obtain a driver’s license, state identification card, vehicle registration, and more.

Department of State (DOS)
The United States Department of State (DOS) often referred to as the State Department, is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministry of other countries. The Department of State is also responsible for sponsoring the Exchange Visitor program for J visa statuses.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS is the revenue service of the United States federal government and is responsible for collecting taxes as well as the administration of the Internal Revenue Code.

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is a part of the National Security Investigations Division and acts as a bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on nonimmigrants whose primary reason for coming to the United States is to be students. SEVP uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) as their database to track and monitor non-immigrants in these categories.

  • SEVIS Fee – Before students and exchange visitors obtaining F and J status can apply for a visa stamp to enter the United States, they must pay the SEVIS fee. This fee is payment for the administrative processing of SEVIS documents and monitoring.
  • Travel Information – General questions and answers related to travel while on an F visa.

Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration is an independent agency of the United States federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors’ benefits. If you are hired for employment in the United States, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) from this office.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
The Department of Homeland Security is charged with the primary responsibilities of occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics; many U.S. states also have such departments.

  • Case Status – If you have a pending case with USCIS, you can enter your receipt number here to check on your case’s status.
  • E-Verify – E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. If you are interested in searching for an E-Verify company, USCIS has created the E-Verify Search Tool to assist you.
  • Processing Times – On this page you can find an estimate of how much time the office handling your case currently takes to process your type of application, petition, or request.