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General Guidelines for UC International Students

It is your responsibility to follow university guidelines, (as printed in the university student handbook and listed on the university website), and obey federal F-1 visa regulations or face loss of status and visa. Always consult the UC Office of International Relations with any questions or concerns you may have.  

  1. FULL-TIME STUDENT
    1. Be a full-time student for the fall and spring semester.
    2. International students must maintain a full course of study (12 credit hours per fall and spring semesters for undergraduate students).
    3. Follow university guidelines for chapel and class attendance.
    4. You are not required to enroll in classes during any summer session.
    5. During breaks, a student is not required to take a full course load.
    6. When a student does not remain in status the I-20, visa, and I-94 are no longer valid.
  2. CARRY HEALTH INSURANCE
    1. Health insurance is mandatory for international students in the U.S. Click here for information about UC’s Health Insurance.
    2. All students will be charged each semester for student insurance.
    3. The insurance will be effective only after the student completes the paperwork.
    4. Each student is responsible for filing his/her personal claims with the insurance company for reimbursement.
    5. Keep insurance and paperwork current each semester you are in the U.S.
  3. AUTHORIZATION FOR EMPLOYMENT & TRAINING
    1. On-Campus Employment
      1. A student’s eligibility for on-campus employment must be verified by the Office of International Relations.  A student with an F-1 visa is legally eligible for employment on campus when:
        • I-94, passport, and I-20 are valid
        • student carries a full course of study
        • student is in good academic standing
        • the employment will not displace a U.S. resident
        • The Office of International Relations has verified eligibility

        Students who fail to carry a full course of study or who fail to maintain legal status with U.S. Immigration will lose all F-1 visa benefits. (Employment is a benefit.)
    2. Off-Campus Employment
      Off-Campus Employment may only be granted by U.S. Immigration, under extreme financial circumstances, and through the appropriate application process through SEVIS.  An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is only issued by U.S. Immigration. The approval takes months to receive. There is a charge by U.S. Immigration for this service. If denied, there is no appeal. If you are granted a Social Security Number, you should never work off campus without current USCIS authorization. Even one day of work without authorization is a serious violation of U.S. law.
    3. General Rules
      Students with an F-1 visa may not work more than 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters.  F-1 students may work 40 hours per week during school breaks and summers.
      Intensive English Program students at DBU are not eligible for employment.
  4. KEEP DOCUMENTS CURRENT
    1. Keep passport valid at all times. Keep passport valid for at least six months into the future.
    2. Carry immigration documents (passport, I-94 card, I-20) with you at all times.
      1. Carry verified copies of your immigration documents with you at all times in the local area around campus.
      2. Carry original documents with you when you travel any significant distance outside of thearea, even if you are remaining in the U.S.  You can be fined $100 and/or sent to jail for up to 30 days if you do not have your documents with you.
    3. Apply for I-20 extensions 60 days prior to the completion date on your I-20.
      1. The extension can only be granted by the Registrar’s Office and the Office of International Relations.
  5. TRANSITIONS
    1. Report any change of address. Report a change of residence and/or mailing address to the Registrar's office or the Office of International Relations within 10 days, on the correct form.
    2. Post office boxes may not be used for U.S. Immigration regulations; only physical addresses may be used.
    3. Attend only the school listed on your I-20. Follow established U.S. Immigration procedures when changing from one educational level to another, transferring to another school, or changing an academic major. All changes must be made according to SEVIS regulations and UC guideline.
    4. Obtain a signature on your I-20 before leaving the U.S.  This will be needed if you want to reenter the U.S. It is not necessary if you are returning home permanently. An I-20 is not valid for reentry once you complete the degree listed on your I-20, even if the I-20 has not yet expired.
    5. Your visa must be current to reenter the U.S. Visa renewal is now a lengthy process and should be done in your home country.
    6. Make a transition within 60 days of graduation.
      1. When you finish your degree, you have 60 days to transition:
        • to apply for a new I-20 for a new degree program
        • to depart from the U.S.
        • to begin Optional Practical Training (must be applied for approx 3 months before graduation)
    7. Save copies of travel documents. When any new documents are given to you, retain outdated documents for future reference.
    8. All documents must be current and valid when you travel.
    9. Each time you enter the U.S. you will receive an I-94.
    10. All students must report to the Office of International Relations with their travel documents within 10 days of arrival.

  6. HINTS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR VISA STATUS
    1. SEVIS requires UC to report all events in the life of a student via the internet on a regular basis. 
      1. It is vital that you stay in status by following all U.S. immigration regulations, keeping in touch with the Office of International Relations to avoid unintentional violations, and consistently reading the USCIS Website.
      2. The government may change or add to F-1 regulations at any time.
  7. Immigration Rules and Regulations Regarding F-1 Status
    1. USCIS -  http://www.uscis.gov
    2. Government Forms - http://www.uscis.gov/forms
    3. Travel Advisories - http://travel.state.gov