International Student Services

How to Stay Legal in the US

How to Stay Legal in the US (F-1 / J-1):

  •  Always keep documentation in a safe place.
  •  Complete 12 hours each semester if undergraduate; 8-9 hours if graduate, unless you have prior International Student Advisor approval for fewer.
  •  You may only take one online course each semester.
  •  ALWAYS visit with your International Student Advisor BEFORE dropping any classes.
  •  Request an extension PRIOR to current I-20/ DS2019 expiration.
  • Tell your International Student Advisor if you plan to transfer to another college or university.
  •  Get a new I-20/DS2019 for any change in major or degree level.
  •  After  you finish your degree, leave the U.S. within 60 days (F-1) or 30 days (J-1).
  • Do NOT work off campus without prior authorization.
  • Do NOT work on campus more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.
  •   Report any change in local address to your International Student Advisor.
  •  Have the International Student Advisor sign your I-20/DS2019 if traveling outside U.S.
  • Follow special Registration requirements, if applicable, and ALWAYS read e-mails from International Student Services.

If You are Traveling Outside of The U.S. for The Holidays

With the upcoming holiday season, it is important that school officials remind students to travel with their important documents. Students who travel back to their home country are responsible for carrying documents that are necessary for re-entry into the United States. To avoid any issues with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at ports of entry, it is important for students to hand-carry the following documents:
  • A valid passport;
  • A signed Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status;”
  • Financial support documents, which are typically the same as those provided during the original visa interview with the U.S. Department of State;
  • An acceptance letter or recent tuition payment receipt; and A designated school official’s name and contact information.

If any information cannot be verified, the student may be directed to go through a secondary inspection for supplemental CBP research. If further verification is necessary after a secondary inspection, CBP officers may issue the student a Form I-515A, Notice to Student or Exchange Visitor.” This means the student has 30 days to submit missing information to the Student and exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). To ensure a safe and easy return to the United States, students should keep all necessary documents with them at all times. For more holiday travel tips, visit Study in the States.

If you have any questions, ask the International Student Advisors

  • Amy Kotwani                                 Blum 210                    816 – 271 – 5998

Ask Amy first!!

  • Steve Potter                                 Eder 203                    816 – 271 – 5859

If Amy or Steve are not available, contact Tina if there is an emergency

  • Tina Washburn                             Eder 101                  816 – 271 – 4182
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