What do I do if I lost my I-20?
Contact the CIP office and fill out the “Action Request Form” so a new I-20 can be issued.
What do I do if I need to extend the time period for my program of study?
In order to receive an extension on your program, you will need to seek permission from your academic advisor and the CIP Office. Your academic advisor needs to sign the “Program Extension Form.”
What do I do if my I-20 is about to expire?
If your I-20 is about to expire and you need more time to complete your program of study, you are responsible for notifying an International Student Advisor within 30 days of your program completion date. DO NOT LET YOUR I-20 EXPIRE!
What do I do if I change my major area of study?
You must report any change of major to your International Student Advisor after you have been accepted into a new program. A NEW I-20 will need to be generated to reflect this major change. After you submit the Request for Change of Major form for graduate students (available in the graduate office) or your academic advisor’s office (for undergraduate students) and are accepted into the new area of study, you need to contact the CIP office to request a change of major on your I-20. This also requires you fill out an “Action Request Form.” Please bring your acceptance letter with you.
How do I change my visa status?
See an International Student Advisor in the CIP Office.
Can I drop a course?
As an F-1 student, you are required to study full-time: graduate student (9 hours); undergraduate student (12 hours); LEAP student (18 hours). However, there are exceptions to the full-time study regulation, but only in certain medical or academic circumstances. International students MUST have permission from the CIP Office BEFORE they drop a course during a semester that will result in being below full-time. Permission from your academic advisor is not enough. You MUST get permission from your International Student Advisor!
What do I do if I move to another address?
You will need to notify the USCIS within 10 days of moving to a new address. Please fill out form “AR-11” (available in the CIP Office or go to www.USCIS.gov and download the form. Return the form to the CIP office so it is sure to be updated in SEVIS and we will mail the form to USCIS for you.
Can I work on-campus?
F-1 students may work on-campus part-time (20 hours/week) when classes are in session and full-time (21-40 hours/week) during semester and summer breaks. You are required to contact an International Student Advisor if you have been offered on-campus employment. You will need to provide the International Student Advisor a letter from your employer stating job description, location, and number of hours worked per week. This information is needed so you can then apply for a Social Security Card.
Can I work off-campus?
F-1 students are eligible to work off-campus in certain circumstances as long as they have maintained their immigration status. YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO WORK OFF-CAMPUS WITH PERMISSION FROM AN INTERNATIOANL ADVISOR IN THE CIP OFFICE.
Can I get a Social Security Card?
A social security number may be applied for IF you have secured legal employment.
How do I get a Social Security Card?
First, you must have a job or an offer of a job. You will need to bring a letter from your employer stating your job description, location of employment, and number of hours you will work per week. Your International Student Advisor will issue you a letter that you will take along with the letter from your employer, a Social Security application form (available in the CIP Office), passport, visa, I-94, and I-20 to the Social Security Office. Consult an International Student Advisor for additional information.
What can I do if I need a number for tax purposes?
If you need a number for tax purposes and you are not authorized to work in the U.S., you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Visit IRS in person or call the IRS toll-free number, 1-800-TAXFORM (1-800-829-3676), and request Form W-7, Application For An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
How do I get a WV Driver’s License?
F-1 students are eligible to apply for a WV driver’s license. You will need a letter issued by an International Student Advisor stating you are currently studying at Marshall University. To request a letter, you must fill out the “Action Request Form” and return to the CIP Office. If you are applying for a driver’s license, you will need to take a written exam and will also need to complete a driving test. For more information, please go to the WV DMV website.
Am I required to have health insurance?
YES, each semester a HOLD is placed on your Marshall University record that will PREVENT you from registering for classes until you provide PROOF of health insurance. There is an” insurance waiver” form that is available, however, please understand that this waiver is not insurance, it is a temporary waiver that allows you to register temporarily, but you MUST provide proof of insurance within 7 days. For information on how to obtain insurance, please go here
Can I transfer to another school?
F-1 students are eligible to transfer to any DHS certified school within the United States. You are eligible to transfer as long as you have maintained your status at MU. In order to transfer to another school, you must first apply to and be accepted at the school you wish to transfer to and contact the international student advisor at that school and ask them for a Transfer Release Form. Once you have received the acceptance letter and transfer release form, please stop in the CIP Office to discuss your transfer with an international student advisor at MU.
I plan on traveling outside the United States, may I?
If you are planning on traveling outside the United States for LESS THAN 5 MONTHS, you will need the following documents to re-enter the U.S.
1) A passport valid for 6 months beyond your date of entry
2) A valid visa
3) Current I-20 or DS-2019 signed by an international advisor in the CIP Office
4) Financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses
5) I-94 Arrival/Departure card
If you will travel outside the U.S. for MORE THAN 5 MONTHS, you will need to apply for a new visa and be issued a new I-20 or DS-2019 from your school.
May I travel to Mexico, Canada, or an island near the U.S during MU Break IF my visa has expired?
You can travel to Mexico, Canada, or an island adjacent (except Cuba) to the United States for less than 30 days with an expired visa and re-enter the U.S. through automatic visa revalidation. BE SURE TO HAVE AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ADVISOR SIGN YOUR I-20 OR DS-2019 BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE U.S. Go to United States Visa website for more information.
An F-1 student may wish to engage in temporary employment to gain practical experience in his/her field of study. There are two kinds of employment an F-1 student can seek authorization for, CPT or OPT.
- What is CPT?
CPT is Curricular Practical Training and students must have been enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year before being eligible for CPT.
Students may engage in CPT only for the specific employer, location, and period of time approved. The duration depends on the specific period granted by the DSO in increments of no more than one year, or until expected date of employment completion, whichever is shorter.
- How much can I work on CPT? You can be approved for part-time (20 hours or less) or full-time (over 20 hours).
- What Field/level of work? Your work must be an integral part of an established curriculum, in your course/field of study. You must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as curricular practical training.
- Does CPT affect OPT later? Use of full-time CPT for one year or more eliminates eligibility for Optional Practical Training. Use of part-time CPT does not affect eligibility for OPT.
- Who approves my CPT? A DSO in the CIP Office will authorize in SEVIS and issue SEVIS I-20 with notation, before your work can begin. USCIS approval is not required.
- What is OPT?
OPT is Optional Practical Training and is “temporary employment for practical training directly related to your major area of study.” OPT can be authorized at the following times:
- During annual vacation and other times school is not is session
- While school is in session, provided that it does not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session
- After completion of all course requirements for the degree, excluding thesis or equivalent, if you are in a bachelor, master, or doctoral degree program
- After completion of your course of study
Unlike CPT, the work does not have to be an “integral part of an established curriculum.” Its optional nature allows it to be used for any employment that is directly related to your major area of study, and which is a level commensurate with your degree level.
- How much can I work on OPT? A cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level. Part-time OPT is deducted from the 12 month limit at 50%
- What Field/level of work? Must be directly related to and commensurate with the level of your course of study. No offer of employment is required, but you are expected to work or be actively seeking employment after the OPT EAD is issued. You may engage in OPT for any employer for the duration of OPT authorization, as long as the employment qualifies under OPT standards
- Who approves my OPT? You must apply for and receive an EAD from USCIS with the assistance of a DSO (in CIP Office) before work begins. EAD application must be properly filed with USCIS BEFORE your program completion date. You must begin the application procedures sufficiently (90-120 days is suggested)in advance to allow the DSO to update the SEVIS record with the recommendation, and to ensure that I-765 is accepted by USCIS prior to your program completion date.
- Can I reenter if my request for OPT is pending?
Yes, you may reenter to search for employment.
- Can I reenter if I left while on OPT?
If your OPT has been approved and you depart before you get a job, your OPT ends and you cannot reenter unless you have a written job offer.
If you have a job, you may travel and reenter to resume work at the same job or you have a written offer for another job.