As of August 10, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) no longer provides admission stamps on Forms I-20/ DS-2019 for prospective and returning international students and scholars (traveling on F, M, and J visas) seeking admission to the United States. CBP said this change makes CBP processes consistent with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) recent change to stop stamping Forms I-20/DS-2019.

USCIS implemented this change as part of the launch of the USCIS Electronic Immigration System.

CBP noted that placing an admission stamp on Forms I-20/DS-2019 has been a longstanding practice at CBP, but it is not required. Although the admission stamps on Forms I-20/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. State requirements vary.

If a state benefit-granting agency rejects an unstamped Form I-20/DS-2019, applicants may make an appointment with USCIS online through InfoPass and take their I-20/DS-2019 to their local USCIS office to be stamped. This transitional step will end on November 21, 2012.

The notice is available here.