The Office of International Student Services (OISS) provides international students with information about immigration laws. The staff at the OISS assists students in dealing with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The OISS does not enforce the laws nor does it act as a police agency. It does hold and maintain records in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
It is the responsibility of each F-1 student to understand and follow regulations of USCIS.
Students should also read page 2 of their I-20. For a copy of that document, please ask at the OISS.
Staff at the OISS will answer any questions you may have about these regulations and procedures. Regulations change from time to time. They are announced in the “From the OISS” e-letter, which is sent to each students’ ‘laverne.edu’ e-mail address. If you have questions about possible changes in laws that may affect you, please contact our office.
The Responsibility Of All Students on an F-1 Student Visa.
- COMPLETE YOUR TRANSFER TO LA VERNE. If you are Transferring from another school in the U.S.A., be certain to complete your transfer within 15 days of the first day of classes. You will need to sign the new I-20 issued to you by La Verne. If you don’t, you will fall out of status.
- KEEP YOUR I-20 CURRENT.Your I-20 is an important document so keep it with your passport and in a safe place. You will need this document when you:
- travel outside of the U.S.
- apply for campus employment or employment through practical training
- transfer to another school,
- apply for a social security card, a drivers license, or identification
- KEEP YOUR PASSPORT VALID AT ALL TIMES.
If your passport expires, you might not be able to travel to your home country. This is very important in cases of emergency.
Your passport can be renewed at the nearest consulate of your country. Addresses and phone numbers of many consulates are available on the web at the following site: http://www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/fco/
- KNOW WHEN YOUR VISA EXPIRES. (YOUR VISA IS THE STAMP IN YOUR PASSPORT, GIVEN YOU BY THE U.S. CONSULATE IN YOUR COUNTRY) Visas are for entry into the U.S. Students on an F-1 visa may remain in the U.S. if they are pursing a full-time course of studies. If your visa expires while you are studying, you will need to renew it the next time you return home or otherwise leave the U.S. To avoid difficulties in re-entering the U.S., discuss travel plans with an international student advisor.
REMEMBER … IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO RENEW YOUR VISA WHILE YOU ARE IN THE U.S. THE RENEWAL OF YOUR VISA MUST BE DONE AT A U.S. CONSULATE OUTSIDE THE U.S. THE BEST CHOICE IS THE CONSULATE IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY, AS THIS USUALLY PROVIDES FEWER COMPLICATIONS.
- ALWAYS ENROLL IN A FULL PROGRAM OF STUDY Undergraduate students must carry a minimum of 12 units each semester. Graduate students in semester programs must carry 8-9 units in each smester. Graduate students in term programs must carry at least 6 units for three terms per year.
SEVIS Registration– The OISS is required to Register each student in SEVIS every enrollment period, indicating the student is enrolled full-time or otherwise maintaining status.
- WHEN YOU LEAVE THE U.S., HAVE YOUR I-20 SIGNED BY THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ADVISOR.This is done on page 3 of the I-20 Student Copy. You also need an endorsed I-20 to cross the border into Canada or Mexico, even if you are going for a few hours. BRING YOUR I-20 AND PASSPORT TO THE ISAS AT LEAST 5 DAYS BEFORE YOU TRAVEL. I-20′s are not needed for travel within the U.S. However, if you travel to the San Diego area you should carry your I-20 as there are immigration checkpoints in the region.We recommend that you carry a copy of your passport, I-94 and I-20 with you at all times–to be safe.
- NOTIFY THE OISS IF YOU:
- Do not register for any reason, including health and financial problems
- Are in a term-based program and wish to take a Vacation
- Change your major and/or your graduation date
- Plan to transfer to another school
- Complete your program
- Move (Notify OISS of your new address within 10 days and update your address on MyLaVerne)
- Have an I-20 that is going to expire
- Plan to leave the U.S. for any reason
OTHER USEFUL IMMIGRATION INFORMATION
- I-94 ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE RECORD
This white card is stapled in your passport when you arrive in the U.S. Together with your I-20, it is your permit to reside in the U.S. and will be given to officials at the border when you depart the U.S., except when visiting Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days. Like the I-20, the I-94 will have D/S, or “duration of status” stamped. When it is stamped with D/S, the I-94 is good -as long as you are pursuing a “full course of study.” It remains valid for 60 days after program completion.
- WORK OPPORTUNITIES
See also the document “What employees should know about hiring International Students.” This document answers questions about working off campus. You may get a copy in the OISS.
International students in good academic standing who are pursuing a full course of study may work on campus up to 20 hours per week, or 40 hours per week during vacations. Students must receive a job offer from a La Verne Department and a letter of endorsement from the OISS. Students must have a social security number and all on campus work must terminate upon program completion.
Optional Practical Training
Optional practical training is granted to students who are in good standing and who have been studying in the U.S. for at least 9 months. An F-1 student may apply for OPT before program completion. OPT must relate directly to your field of study and for 12 months. An F-1 student may apply for post-completion optional practical training 90 days before completion of his/her program of study. Details are available at the OISS.
Curricular Practical Training
An F-1 student may also participate in academic internships, cooperative education, and similar programs when those programs are an integral part of their curriculum. Students may apply for CPT after having been in F-1 status and enrolled at La Verne for 9 months.