Life University International Student Handbook - Page 3

Important Information for F-1 Students If you follow the guidelines below, you should have no problem maintaining your student immigration status. You should also make every effort to attend mandatory meetings scheduled by the Coordinator of International Programs at which important information will be conveyed. If you have any questions about any of the information in this handbook, you should seek the advice of the Coordinator of International Programs: You must possess a current, valid passport AT ALL TIMES—your passport must be valid at least six months into the future. You must maintain full-time enrollment (with only a few very limited exceptions)—full-time enrollment is defined as 12 credits per quarter or 9 for the master’s degree program. You may not accept paid employment off-campus without proper authorization—working without obtaining proper approval is considered by the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as the most serious violation of its regulations. Obtain extensions, as needed, of your permission to stay in the U.S. F-1 visa holders are granted permission to stay for the period of time reasonably required to pursue a full course of study in an educational program, plus 60 days in which to depart from the U.S or apply for a change of status. F-1 students must apply for a program extension within the 45-day period before the completion date on their initial I-20. Students requesting an extension must provide proof of financial support. Important Terms Related to Your International Student Status You should be familiar with the following documents/terms and be aware of their importance in relation to your F-1 student status: SEVIS: Student Exchange Visitor Information System. It is a secure, internet-based system that allows schools and the U.S immigration service to exchange data on the visa status of international students. USCIS: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, www.uscis. gov. DHS: Department of Homeland Security, www.dhs.gov. ICE: Immigration and Custom Enforcement, www.ice.gov. Passport: Your passport must be valid at least six months into the future at all times. You can apply for a renewal of your passport in your own country during a vacation abroad or through your country’s embassy, consulate or mission in the U.S. Regardless of your visa type, you should be sure to bring your passport to the International Programs office NO LATER than 10 Days after you arrival so that copies can be made for your file. Visa: When you go to the U.S Embassy or Consulate nearest you in your home country and present a new Form I-20, the consular official will place a visa stamp on a page inside your passport (except Canadian citizens). This visa gives you permission to apply for entry to the U.S. —1—