Visa and immigration information
Applying for a Visa
You must apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa through a U.S. consular office in your home country. Your application must include your Form I-20 or DS-2019; evidence of financial ability to meet expenses; evidence of English ability sufficient for course of study; evidence of intent to depart the U.S. after completion of studies/ties to your home country; valid passport; nonimmigrant visa application; and required fees.
For information on applying for a student visa, please visit the U.S. Department of State website http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html
Federal immigration law says that you are maintaining your student status if:
- Your passport is valid (has not expired);
- You are attending the school full-time;
- You do not stay in the U.S. longer than permitted on your I-20 or DS-2019;
- You attend the school you are authorized to attend;
- You obtain permission to continue from one educational level to another (ESL to degree);
- You follow the necessary procedures if you transfer schools;
- You are not employed off-campus or, if you want off-campus work, you obtain permission from the International Student and Scholar Services Office;
- You inform the International Student and Scholar Services Office within 10 days of a change in your address.
If you have any questions about maintaining status, please consult the staff at International Student and Scholar Services.
Leaving the United States and re-entering
Many international students leave the U.S. temporarily during their studies. To re-enter the U.S. after such an absence, you must have a valid passport, a valid F-1 or J-1 visa stamp; and an I-20 or DS-2019 that has been endorsed by a Designated School Official. Before departing the U.S., stop by the International Student and Scholar Services Office or the ESL Institute to have your I-20 or DS-2019 signed.
Generally, no special permission is required for an international student to work on-campus. Just remember that the immigration laws limit you to 20 hours per week while school is in session. You may work more than 20 hours per week during school breaks.