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To obtain a student Visa to the United States, the applicant must first be able to demonstrate that he or she is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study. The applicant must also demonstrate that he or she is seeking to enter the United states temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study at an established academic institution .

If admitted to the University, the applicant is issued either a Form I-20 or an DS-2019. This form should be taken together with a passport and PDF SEVIS Fee receipt to the nearest United States Consulate to apply for the F-1 and J-1 student visa. An international student entering the United States must also present either the I-20 or DS-2019 From to the immigration inspector at the port of entry to the United States.

Applicants must wait to receive the I-20 or DS-2019 From from Wright State and obtain the student visa before entering the United States with an I-20 or DS-2019 From .If you obtain a student visa by using an I-20 or DS-2019 From a university other than Wright State, you may be required to attend the other university for at least one academic term before being permitted to attend Wright State University.

For more information about visa issues please check "Visa Frequently Asked Questions" section.

Insurance

Visit the Insurance page for more information on student health services and health insurance.

J-1 Scholar Issues

Please visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1296.html for more information on 2-year home residency requirements and waivers

F-1 Students (New & Transfer)

    PDF F-1 Visa Immigration Regulations

  • Procedures for Incoming F-1 Students from Overseas

    The following procedures must be followed to enter the United States in valid F-1 student status:

    Read page two of the Form I-20AB carefully and complete section 11 on page one as instructed. Also read the information about the SEVIS fee in the web-links given: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm & http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/index.htm

    Take Form I-20AB and SEVIS Fee receipt to the American Consulate nearest you along with your passport, letter of admission and proof of financial support. At the Consulate, you will be asked to complete an application for a visa.

    Upon presentation of the Form I-20AB to the American Consulate an F-1 visa will be stamped into your passport, and your Form I-20AB will be returned to you. If you are interviewed by a Consular Official, you should be prepared to answer a few questions about why you chose Wright State University (mention unique interests) and what you plan to do after completing your degree. Your visa is likely to be rejected if the Consular Official believes you wish to stay in the U.S. permanently after graduating. Intentions to stay for temporary purposes/programs (like practical training etc.,) are acceptable but you should be able to explain how the practical training would help you when you return to your home country.

    At the port-of-entry, the Immigration official will request your passport and Form I-20AB. The official will issue a Form I-94 (white card) to you. The official will return the I-20 w/a stamp to you. This is your I-20ID copy and must be kept throughout your entire stay in the USA.

    Upon arrival at Wright State University, please bring your passport, I-94 and I-20ID to the University Center for International Education (UCIE) located in Room E-190 of the Wright State University Student Union Building.

    For more information, follow this link to the Bureau of Consular Affairs site.

  • Procedures for F-1 Transfer Students

    The following procedures must be followed if you are not leaving the United States prior to your transfer to Wright State University:

    Notify the Foreign Student Advisor at your current school of your intention to transfer and seek their assistance in identifying a "transfer release date". Have them complete and return to UCIE the Transfer-In Form received with your admission packet.

    Bring previous I-20 forms to the University Center for International Education Service in Room E-190 of the Wright State University Student Union Building along with your passport and I-94 as soon as you arrive at Wright State University. Attend mandatory orientation as shown on your admission letter.

    Enroll at Wright State University in the first term after leaving previous school or the first term after an authorized vacation period.

    Obtain your Wright State University I-20 form within 10 days of the academic quarter for which you were admitted.

Address Report Requirement

    The U.S. Patriot Act requires Wright State University students and scholars to report a change of address to the WSU Registrar via the "Wings" system or (for scholars) the UCIE office within 10 days of moving.

        • What exactly is the rule about address reporting?

    INA Section 265(a) reads, "Each alien required to be registered under this title who is within the United States shall notify the Attorney General in writing of each change of address and new address within ten days from the date of such change and furnish with such notice such additional information as the Attorney General may require by regulation." If you are an alien physically present within the U.S. then you are required to be registered (e.g. to have an I-94 card or similar document confirming status), and you are required to make address reports as specified in the law.

        • Who is an alien and why does CIS use that term?

    "The term 'alien' means any person not a citizen or national of the United States." That definition is very direct and clear. You acquire U.S. citizenship by being born in the U.S. or to U.S. parents or by naturalizing. You become a national of the U.S. by being born in one of the outlying possessions of the United States or to parents who are nationals of the U.S. If you have F, J, H, O, TN, or LPR ("green card") status or any other immigration document allowing you to be in the U.S., then you are considered to be an "alien" under the legal definition.

        • I know that I have filled in my address on lots of forms, but why haven't I heard about this direct reporting requirement before? If CIS has not been maintaining its address files and has not been enforcing the law, then why should I start reporting my address now?

    The law is the law, and even though CIS may not have enforced it in the past, Congress and law enforcement are now very interested in aliens in the U.S. It is a good idea to know your responsibilities and comply with the law.

        • How do I report my address? Where do I sent it?

    During an academic quarter, you can fulfill your address reporting obligation by completing the Change of Address procedure on the "Wings" system within 10 days of your move.

        • I do not like the idea of reporting my address to CIS. What happens if I just refuse to do it?

    INA Section 266(b) states "Any alien or any parent or legal guardian in the United States of any alien who fails to give written notice to the Attorney General, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not to exceed $200 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both. Irrespective of whether an alien is convicted and punished as herein provided, an alien who fails to give written notice to the Attorney General, as required, shall be taken into custody and removed in the manner provided by chapter 4 of this title, unless such alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that such failure was reasonably excusable or was not willful." Willful failure to register is punishable by imprisonment not to exceed 6 months and a fine of not more than $1,000 or both.

    In short, if you make a choice or decision not to report, a willful act, then DHS-CIS has the authority to charge you with a crime, fine you, imprison you, and then deport you. In practice DHS-CIS has not used this violation alone to deport someone, but DHS-CIS can add this to a list of violations such as overstay or unauthorized work, when they are building a case for deportation.

        • What if I did not know about this rule and have not reported my address, or if I forgot and report late? What will CIS do?

    The CIS, through the office of the Attorney General, has the authority to forgive such failures provided the failure to report "was reasonably excusable or was not willful." That means that you need to report properly and promptly, but that DHS-CIS will generally not take an action against you just because you missed a deadline or didn't know you needed to report, provided that you act in good faith and send the report once you know you have to report or realize you have missed the deadline.

        • I may be moving around a lot. My box number is the most accurate address to reach me. Why does CIS want to know every time I move?

    Members of Congress and CIS and other government agencies have indicated to schools that they want to know where aliens live, including students and scholars, so that they can find them if necessary.

        • I am just a student or scholar. I study, I do my research, or I teach. I am not doing anything wrong. Why would CIS or any other law enforcement agent want to find me?

    There could be many reasons. The most common, of course have to do with events, such as the recent terrorist acts, that cause the government to launch investigations.

        • OK, now I am beginning to feel a little angry and uncomfortable about this. What has WSU done or is WSU doing about this address reporting and the general treatment of international students and scholars?

    WSU, along with many other colleges and universities, is doing all that it can to protect students' and scholars' rights in these very tense times with a very active Congress working to change the immigration laws. WSU - UCIE monitors proposed legislation and works with the Vice President for Government Affairs, the Office of the General Counsel and other WSU offices to offer or change legislative language so as to encourage international education and the free exchange of ideas.

        • But don't I have Constitutional rights? What about my civil liberties?

    Everyone in the U.S. and under its jurisdiction has certain rights, but aliens do not have all of the same rights as citizens. For more information on the Constitutional rights of aliens see "Constitutional Rights" at: http://www.aclu.org/PolicePractices/

    PDFKnow Your Rights

        • I still have questions about this. Who can answer my questions?

    Contact the UCIE by sending a message to steven.lyons@wright.edu or call the office at phone: (937) 775-5745.

Full-Time Enrollment Requirements

  • In order to comply with visa regulations, students on the F-1 or J-1 student visas must maintain full-time enrollment each term (excluding summer) during their studies at Wright State University.

    For Graduate Students: At Wright State University, full-time enrollment is the completion of a minimum of 8 credit hours of enrollment each term (excluding summer).

    For Undergraduate Students: Full-time enrollment is defined by the immigration regulations to be the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of enrollment each term (excluding summer).

    Special Notes:

    a) For both the above definitions, immigration regulations impose a limit for each academic period of enrollment that no more than one "on-line" or "distance education" course may be counted toward fulfilling the full-time enrollment requirements. WSU students are expected to comply with this regulation on their own and may be found in violation of their visa status if at any time during their studies, a routine audit of their transcript reveals that they have not complied with this regulation. Students in violation of this rule will be terminated in SEVIS and advised to leave the country or apply for reinstatement to student status. No prior warnings will be given.

    b) If recommended by the student's academic adviser, registration for CPE091 may be considered as full-time enrollment, thus excusing the student from the requirement to enroll in any other classes for the academic term during which the student enrolls for this co-op class.

    c) Students may attempt to justify for less than full-time enrollment through consulting with a UCIE adviser and presenting a completed "RCL" form (Reduced Course Load form) – click here for the form

Frequently Asked Questions

Immigration and Visa Matters: Quick Overview

  • F-1 Student Visa

    An F-1 visa may be granted at a U.S. consulate or embassy to an individual who is qualified to pursue a full course of study at an academic or language institution authorized to admit foreign students. At the embassy or consulate, the individual will be required to submit an I-20 form and proof of adequate funding for one year of study (or the length of the program if less than one year), along with the application for a nonimmigrant visa (OF-156). In addition, the individual must prove that he or she intends to enter the United States for educational purposes only and that the applicant has a permanent residence in a foreign country and strong family or business ties which he or she has no intention of abandoning.

    It is extremely important for a student on an F-1 visa to maintain legal status throughout the program of study in the U.S. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 places a particular emphasis on the need for students to take responsibility for maintaining F-1 student status. Please read Staying Legal section to review the basic immigration regulations governing F-1 students.

    J-1 Student Visa

    A J-1 visa is issued to a participant in an Exchange Visitor Program approved by the U.S. Department of State. Participants can be in one of the following categories: student, research scholar, professor or short-term scholar. To obtain a J-1 visa, an individual must be accepted by a U.S. institution that has an approved Exchange Visitor Program. At Wright State University, the UCIE office issues the Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) to students who qualify to enter the U.S. under the Wright State University J-1 exchange program.

    At the embassy or consulate, the exchange visitor will be required to submit a DS-2019 Form along with the application for a nonimmigrant visa (OF-156). In addition, the individual must prove intent to enter the United States for educational purposes only and that the applicant has a permanent residence in a foreign country and strong family or business ties which he or she has no intention of abandoning.

    It is extremely important for a student on a J-1 visa to maintain legal status throughout the program of study in the U.S. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 places particular emphasis on the need for students to take responsibility for maintaining J-1 student status. Please read Staying Legal section to review the basic federal regulations governing J-1 students.

    Tourist Visa

    An individual who enters the U.S. in B-2 visitor status should be engaged in the following types of activities: visits with friends or relatives, travel, sightseeing or medical treatment. A B-2 visitor will be admitted for a minimum period of six months, and may be eligible to apply to the INS for extensions of stay in increments no longer than six months each.

    A student who plans to study at Wright State University should not attempt to enter on a tourist visa. The immigration officer at the port of entry will refuse entry if he or she determines that an alien is entering on a B-2 visa for purposes other than those of a tourist nature.

    We strongly recommend that a new student contact the UCIE if he or she is having trouble obtaining an F-1 or J-1 student visa. To enter the U.S. on a tourist visa is not a viable solution.

    Visa Waiver Program (WT)

    An Individual may be eligible to enter the U.S. in B visitor status without a visa, provided he or she has a valid passport issued by a designated country, a round trip airline ticket, and the intent to stay in the U.S. for a period not to exceed 90 days. The following 25 countries participate in the visa waiver program: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.

    A visitor who applies for entry under the visa waiver program is not eligible for an extension beyond the 90 days, and can not work, study or change to another nonimmigrant visa status.

    We strongly recommend that a new student contact UCIE staff if he or she is having trouble obtaining an F-1 or J-1 student visa. To enter the U.S. on the visa waiver program is not a viable solution.

    Staying Legal

    There are basic requirements for maintaining student status in the United States. If you are an international student it is very important to follow the guidelines below to ensure that you remain in good standing with the INS:

        • Keep your passport valid at all times.

        • Attend the school noted on your I-20 or DS-2019.

        • Maintain full-time enrollment each term (except summer)

        • Do not engage in studies beyond the completion date listed on the I-20 or DS-2019. If more time is needed, obtain a Program Extension before the completion date has passed.

        • Report a change of address or phone number to the WSU Registrar through the Wings facility within 10 days of a change.

    F-1 Students

        • If you have changed your major or degree level, obtain a new I-20 which reflects this program of study from the UCIE office.

        • If you commence studies at another school, make sure that the transfer process is completed by first obtaining a "transfer release date" from WSU-UCIE. Visit the international student office at your new school to obtain a new I- 20, and tell the adviser that you are a transfer student. The new school should take care of the rest.

        • Do not work without obtaining proper employment permission from WSU-UCIE and in some cases immigration. Limit on-campus employment to a total of 20 hours per week (even if you have more than one job) while school is in session.

    J-1 Students

        • Do not change your major or degree program without consulting your sponsor (listed on your DS-2019).

        • Do not begin a new program at another school without consulting your WSU sponsor.

        • Do not work without permission from your sponsor.

        • You and your dependents are required to buy WSU Student Health Insurance.

    Websites to Visit

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)

    U.S. Department of State

    Foreign Consulates in the United States

    Foreign Embassies in the United States

Applying for a Student Visa

  • Students Currently Overseas

    Apply for your student entry visa at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your country. Take with you:
        • Valid passport (Canadian citizens excepted)
        • Health clearance documents if necessary
        • Certificate of Eligibility (either I-20 issued by the Wright State University or DS-2019 issued by a sponsoring organization)
        • Proof of financial support
        • Any other document which could be useful (such as admissions letter, TOEFL, GRE/GMAT scores)
        • Contact the consular section and ask about the application procedures and fees.
        • You will find it informative to review the department of state web-site about student visas below:- http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html

    DO NOT ENTER THE UNITED STATES USING A TOURIST (B-1/2) VISA OR ON THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAM!

    Note: Canadian Citizens and Landed Immigrants

    A visa is not necessary for you to enter the United States. Go to the port of entry with the documents listed above.

    All Students

    1) You must register at WSU as full-time students each quarter:

        a) 8 credit hours for graduate students

        b) 12 credit hours for undergraduates

    2) In some cases graduate students may enroll as "full-time research students."

    Students Currently in the United States

    You must complete the Citizenship and Immigration Services school transfer process within 15 days of enrollment at Wright State University.

    Consult with the Foreign Student Advisor or Responsible Officer regarding the appropriate transfer procedure.

    Have the Foreign Student Advisor or Responsible Officer at your current school send the International Student Advisor's Report, also called "Transfer Form", which identifies your requested transfer release date

    tudents must bring their I-20, DS-2019, I-94 Forms and passport to the University Center for International Education upon their arrival.

    IF YOU ARE NOT ENROLLING AT WSU PLEASE RETURN YOUR I-20 OR DS-2019 IMMEDIATELY.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

  • The staff of the University Center for International Education provides information and guidance to the members of the University international community about matters related to non-immigrant visa status. The Immigration and Naturalization Service sets all regulations pertaining to such status. The UCIE staff provides assistance to international students so that they will understand their legal position during their stay in the U.S. particularly as it relates to what is commonly called "immigration status".

    The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (CIS)


    This division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security specifies - and frequently changes - the legal requirements for your stay here. We urge our visitors from overseas to stay in close contact with the UCIE for current information and advice. Action taken outside this office which may result in difficulties becomes the visitor's responsibility. There is no CIS office located in Dayton. The CIS District Office with jurisdiction over this University is located in Cincinnati at:

    J.W. Peck Federal Building
    550 Main Street, Room 8511
    Cincinnati, OH 45202

    For more information visit the CIS Office web page.

    INS "Ask Immigration" line: 1-800-375-5283

    This is the CIS Information Line of recorded messages. By answering a series of questions, you may receive the information you desire or receive access to an CIS officer. We do not recommend that you go to the CIS office to seek advice on making applications. The CIS officers are prepared to receive specific applications but normally are not prepared to review your personal situation and offer advice on planning your future. CIS "Information Service Line": 1-800-755-0777

    Other information on U.S. citizenship, greencard application, asylum, visa lottery program, etc. can be obtained by calling this number: "CIS Forms Line": 1-800-870-3676.

    To request an CIS Form, such as the I-134 (Affidavit of Support) or I-539 (Application to Extend a non-immigrant Visa), click here to access the CIS Web Page or you can call directly the toll-free CIS forms-line. CIS will mail you the forms you request in one week.

    Do I need an Immigration Attorney?

    Most student and scholar visa concerns can be handled by the adviser in the UCIE office, however, for particularly complicated situations, or for personal plans unrelated to your University studies or appointment, you may wish to seek advice from a qualified immigration attorney. You should ask an attorney if she/he regularly practices immigration law and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). We cannot recommend that you seek advice from other attorneys since this is a particularly specialized and complicated area of the U.S. law. Be sure to ask any attorney how much they charge for their services and what they guarantee in return.

    Routine applications related to F-1 and J-1 status do not need an attorney's assistance. You should consult with the UCIE advisors on any matter related to F-1 or J-1 status. If you are uncertain, ask the UCIE staff and we will advise you if your situation appears to require the services of an attorney.

What is Immigration Status?

  • This term refers to the legal condition of non-U.S. citizens (that is, foreign nationals) who are present in the U.S., in the eyes of U.S. immigration law. Immigration status is determined by the kind of activity a foreign national wants to undertake while in the U.S. Immigration status is further described by laws which limit what may or may not be done while the individual is in the U.S.

    The concept "maintenance of status" is very important, more so since the passage of the immigration reform legislation in the Patriot Act, 1996.

    One of this law's most essential aspects is that of "maintaining status." Failure to maintain status could result in future denials of entry visas by the U.S. consular officer as well as voidance of your current entry visa.

    It is not hard to maintain your status, but you will need to be mindful of the expiration of all your travel documents. Also, the following reminders will help you to keep your immigration status valid while in the U.S.:

        &bull: Students: always register for full-time studies.
        &bull: Students: observe limitations on employment.
        &bull: Keep your I-20 or DS-2019 current and accurate.
        &bull: Keep your passport renewed before it expires.
        &bull: Keep your medical insurance up to date.
        &bull: Inform the University Registrar or UCIE Office of your address within 10 days of a change

Future Visa Applications

  • When you make an application for a new entry visa, the consular officer will request that you provide evidence that you maintained your legal immigration status while in the U.S. (for more information on this matter please see "How to Stay Legal Section". So have available your expired I-20s and DS-2019 forms as well as photocopies of I-94s, transcripts and employment authorizations.

    In addition, the consulate will verify that you have not received any federal public benefits while in the U.S. - such as assistance through Medicaid, AFDC, and public housing ("Public Charge Ineligibility").

Types of Visas: Immigration Classifications Chart

  • The following chart is based upon a publication distributed by NAFSA: Association of International Educators entitled, Immigration Classifications & Legal Employment of Foreign Nationals in the United States, by Gail Rawson. The complete chart may be ordered by contacting NAFSA. The following condensed adaptation provides a concise description of each visa classification.

    Visa Classification

    Description

    A-1 / A-2
    Foreign Diplomatic Personnel: Individuals in the U.S. as employees of a foreign government (e.g., ambassador, minister, diplomat, or consular officer).

    Dependent of A-1 / A-2 Visa Holder: Immediate family members of foreign government official (NOTE: Dependents also carry A-1 / A-2 status). May engage in full-time or part-time study. All work (on-campus or off-campus) must be approved by the U.S. Department of State by using Form I-566. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card from the INS is required.

    A-3
    Employee of Foreign Government Official: Attendants, servants, or personal employees of foreign government officials.
    B-1
    Visitor for Business: Individuals in the U.S. for a short period of time to engage in business activities such as negotiating contracts for overseas employees, consulting with business associates, attending professional conferences, or conducting independent research. May not engage in any employment in the U.S., including salaried work or services performed on an independent basis. Incidental part-time study is allowed.
    B-2
    Visitor for Tourism: Individuals in the U.S. for travel, tourism, or recreation. No employment is allowed. Reimbursement of expenses is prohibited. Incidental part-time study is allowed. May also enroll in short-term English language courses as long as the course of study is under 18 hours per week (part-time) and of "short duration."

    Prospective Student or Prospective Scholar: Individuals who enter the U.S. indicating a clear intent to study here or to change to J-1 Exchange Visitor Status. Consulate notation on visa page indicates "Prospective" status. Individual must apply for a change of status before the expiration date on the I-94. May engage in full-time study. May not work, including during the time in which the application for a change of status is pending.

    Visa Waiver
    Waiver for Business (VWB) and Tourism (VWT): Individuals permitted to enter the U.S. without a visa for a stay limited to 90 days. Available only to citizens of countries designated by the U.S. Department of State. No extension or change of status is allowed for this category. Work and study restrictions are the same as B-1/B-2 counterparts.
    C-1
    Aliens in Transit: Individuals in transit from one country to another "stopping over" in the U.S.
    D-1 / D-2 Alien Crewman: Crew members employed on a vessel or aircraft who are in the U.S. on "stopovers."
    E-1 Treaty Trader: Individuals in the U.S. to conduct trade under a treaty between their country and the U.S., and key employees of companies trading under such treaty. E-1 dependents may engage in part-time or full-time study. No employment is allowed for dependents.
    E-2 Treaty Investor: Individuals in the U.S. to develop or direct the operations of an enterprise in which they have invested substantial investments. Must be based on a treaty between visa holder's country and the U.S. E-2 dependents may engage in part-time or full-time study. No employment is allowed for dependents.
    F-1 Student: Individuals in the U.S. engaging in a full course of academic or language study in an accredited educational programs. For information about employment authorization, read about the F-1 Student Employment Options. For more detailed information about maintaining legal F-1 status within the U.S., go to Maintaining Your Legal F-1 Status.
    F-2 Dependent of F-1 Visa Holder: Spouse and/or children of an F-1 student. May not engage in part-time or full-time study. No employment is allowed.
    G-1
    G-2
    G-3
    G-4
    Representative of International Organization: Individuals in the U.S. as representatives of an international organization (e.g., the United Nations) and their dependents. Dependents may engage in part-time or full-time study. All work (on-campus or off-campus) for dependents must first be approved by the U.S. Department of State using Form I-566. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card from INS is required.
    G-5 Personal Employee of G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 Visa Holder: May engage in part-time study.
    H-1A Registered Nurse: Individuals in the U.S. to perform professional nursing services for a specific employer for a fixed period of time. May engage in part-time study while maintaining H visa status.
    H-1B Temporary Worker in a Specialty Occupation: Individuals in the U.S. to perform professional services in a specific position for a fixed period of time. Employment authorization is granted for an initial period of up to 3 years. Extensions for an additional 3 years are possible. May engage in part-time study while maintaining H visa status.
    H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker: May engage in part-time study while maintaining H visa status.
    H-2B Skilled or Unskilled Worker: Individuals in the U.S. in a temporary position for which a shortage of U.S. workers exists, working for a specific employer for a fixed period of time. May engage in part-time study while maintaining H visa status.
    H-3 Trainee: Individuals in the U.S. for a temporary period to participate in a training program provided by a specific employer. May engage in part-time study while maintaining H visa status.
    H-4 Dependent of H Visa Holder: May engage in full-time or part-time study. No employment is allowed.
    I Representative of Foreign Information Media: Individuals in the U.S. as journalists or representatives of international media and their dependents.
    J-1 Exchange Visitor (Student): Individuals in the U.S. as exchange visitors for the primary purpose of studying at an academic institution under the auspices of the United States Department of State and a Designated Program Sponsor. For information about employment authorization, read more about J-1 Student Employment Options. For more detailed information about maintaining legal J-1 student status within the U.S., read more about Maintaining Your Legal J-1 Status.

    Exchange Visitor (Short-term Scholar, Professor, Researcher, or Specialist): Individuals in the U.S. as visiting researchers or professors under the auspices of the United States Information Agency and a Designated Program Sponsor. For more detailed information about maintaining legal J-1 exchange visitor status within the U.S., read more about Maintaining Your Legal J-1 Status.

    J-1 Au Pair: Individuals in the U.S. under the auspices of the United States Information Agency and a Designated Program Sponsor to serve as a live-in child-care provider for a host family.
    J-2 Dependent of J-1 Visa Holder: May engage in part-time or full-time study. Eligible to apply for INS for work authorization. Once the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card is issued by INS, the J-2 may work for any employer for the dates indicated on the card. Employment cannot be needed for the financial support of the J-1 visa holder.
    L-1 Intracompany Transferee: Individuals in the U.S. who have been transferred from a subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office overseas to the U.S. to work in an executive, managerial, or specialist capacity. May engage in part-time study.
    L-2 Dependent of L-1 Visa Holder: May engage in part-time or full-time study. No employment is allowed.
    M-1 Vocational Student: Individuals in the U.S. enrolled in a vocational school or program. Must study full-time unless otherwise authorized by a Designated School Official (DSO). May be employed for practical training in the field related to major following completion of studies for a maximum of 6 months. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card from INS is required.
    M-2 Dependent of M-1 Visa Holder: May engage in part-time or full-time study. No employment is allowed.
    NATO 1-6 NATO Personnel: Individuals in the U.S. as members of the armed services of the nations of NATO, staff members, attendants, servants, and personal employees of NATO personnel.
    O-1 Person of Extraordinary Ability: Individual of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics who are in the U.S. to work for a sponsoring employer or organization. May engage in part-time study while maintaining O status.
    O-2 Accompanying Personnel of O-1 Visa Holder: May engage in part-time study while maintaining O status.
    O-3 Dependent of O-1 and O-2 Visa Holder: May engage in part-time or full-time study. No employment is allowed.
    P-1 Internationally Recognized Athlete, Entertainment Group, or Essential Support Personnel: May engage in part-time study while maintaining P status.
    P-2 Artist or Entertainer Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program: May engage in part-time study while maintain P status.
    P-3 Artist or Entertainer in a Culturally Unique Program: May engage in part-time study while marinating P status.
    P-4 Dependents of P-1, P-2, or P-3 Visa Holder: May engage in part-time or full-time study. No employment is allowed.
    Q Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program
    R-1 Religious Worker: May engage in part-time study. May be employed and compensated only by the religious organization through which the status was obtained.
    R-2 Dependent of a R-1 Visa Holder: May engage in part-time or full-time study. No employment allowed.
    TN Trade NAFTA: Professional from Canada or Mexico who enter the U.S. under the NAFTA agreements. May engage in part-time study.
    TD Dependents of TN Visa Holder: May engage in part-time or full-time study. No employment is allowed.

Maintaining Your Legal Status

  • As an F-1 student, you were admitted to the United States for "duration of status" (D/S). This means you are permitted to be present in the U.S. as long as you maintain your status by complying with the rules and regulations pertaining to F-1 students as set forth by the United States Department of Homeland Security Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).

    Please keep in mind that there is an important difference between an F-1 visa and F-1 status. An F-1 visa is the stamped page in your passport placed there by a U.S. Consular Officer for entry purposes only. F-1 status is granted once you enter the U.S. and is regulated by the CIS. Even if your visa in your passport is valid, you can still lose your legal F-1 status if you do not comply with the applicable immigration laws regulating your stay in the U.S. If you fail to maintain your legal F-1 student status, you will need to apply for reinstatement, or in some cases, be forced to leave the country. With the recent changes in immigration law brought about by the U.S. Patriot Act, it is extremely important that all non-immigrants remain in close contact with the University Center for International Education (UCIE) in order to ensure they are maintaining their status.

    Government Regulations You Must Follow in Order to Maintain Your Legal F-1 Status

        • Maintain a valid passport at all times (unless exempt from passport requirements).

        • Attend the college/university CIS has authorized you to attend (NOTE: This is indicated in Section 2 of your I-20 Form or DS-2019 Form).

        • Complete an official transfer whenever you change educational institutions. An immigration transfer must be completed prior to days of the beginning of classes during your first quarter/semester at the new school (NOTE: An immigration transfer is a completely separate process from transferring academic credit from one school to another. An immigration transfer is not complete until a Designated School Official/International Student Advisor, from the school to which you are transferring, endorses your I-20 authorizing the transfer).

        • Complete a full course of study during normal enrollment periods. You are not required by CIS to enroll in classes during the summer sessions; however, you may want to check with your department to see if they have any requirements for summer enrollment.

        • Apply for an extension of your program of study if you cannot complete your degree by the ending date listed in Section 5 of your I-20 Form or section three of DS-2019 Form. You can apply for an extension up to 60 days in advance. Please note that if you do not extend in a timely manner, you will be "out-of-status"/"illegal" in the United States. Subsequently, you will need to submit an application for reinstatement to Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)

        • Obtain a new I-20 Form whenever you make a change in degree levels. This includes changing from bachelor's degree to master's degree, from master's degree to a doctorate degree, from Optional Practical Training to a new degree, from one major to another major within the same degree level (e.g., Master of Science in Engineering to Master of Science in Computer Science), etc.

        • Do NOT work off-campus UNLESS you have first received authorization from a Designated School Official/International Student Advisor and/or INS. On-campus work does not require authorization, but is limited to part-time (20 hours or less per week) during normal enrollment periods. On-campus employment may be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) during the summer and official school breaks. When you work on-campus during normal enrollment periods, you MUST maintain your full-time student status or your employment will be considered illegal. Please notify the UCIE Office of if/when you accept on-campus employment.

        • Before traveling outside the U.S. with the intention of re-entering, you must have a Designated School Official/International Student Advisor sign page three of your current I-20 Form or page one of your DS-2019 authorizing you to re-enter the United States.

    Please Note:The information outlined above is not intended to be exhaustive. If you have any questions or need additional information about maintaining your F-1 status, please contact the UCIE staff.

Special Visa Requirements

  • Length of Stay/Program Extension

    Duration of Status for F-1 students (D/S)

    F-1 students are normally admitted into the U.S. for the entire period of one academic program plus authorized post-completion practical training plus a 60 day grace period. This is noted on the I-94 as D/S (Duration of Status). To be "in status" means that 1) you are pursuing a fulltime course of study and that 2) you are making normal, reasonable progress toward your degree objective. Please note on your I-20 in item 5 the anticipated date of "program completion." Status may be extended 1) by moving into a higher level of studies and receiving a new I-20 for the new program, 2) by making a timely application for post-completion practical training following completion of all program requirements, and 3) by applying to UCIE for additional time to complete the current program, if required. At the final conclusion of your studies in the U.S., you have 60 days to remain on the F-1 status in order to arrange for your travels back to your home country.

    Please note that program completion is not always the same as graduation, especially for graduate level students preparing a thesis or dissertation.

    Period of Stay for J-1 Exchange Visitors

    Examine your Form DS - 2019, item 3. This is the length of time of your program of research, teaching, or studying. This length of time may be extended by the sponsor if the same program continues. J-1 status for visiting professors and scholars is limited to a maximum of 5 years/professor and research scholar categories, 6 months/short-term scholar category, and 1 year/specialist category (see item 4 of the IAP-66 or DS-2019). Extension of stay requests must be initiated by the WSU department 90 days prior to the expiration of the date noted in item 3 of the IAP-66 or DS-2019. At the conclusion of the program, you may remain in the U.S. as a tourist for 30 days grace period. In extraordinary circumstances, J-1 research scholars may receive permission to extend beyond 3 years in order to bring critical research to conclusion. A special request such as this requires at least 4 months lead time.

    Program transfer

    School Transfer

    If F-1 students transfer to Wright State University from another school or intend to transfer elsewhere from here, they must seek contact with International Student Advisors at both institutions to effect the transfer. The new school must issue an I-20, the old school must release the student from its program by submitting an "FSA" report to the new school and assigning a "release date" in SEVIS. CIS approval is not required.

    Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor Transfer

    To pursue research, teaching, or studies at another institution, you must receive an DS-2019 issued by the new program sponsor. Ask Wright State University UCIE Responsible Officer to assign a transfer date. You also have to know the "program Number" of the school to which you are transferring. Follow instructions provided by the new program sponsor regarding release from your current program. Do not move to another Exchange Visitor Program before you receive a new DS-2019 from that sponsor and written release from the previous sponsor, or confirm in writing from the current sponsor your new plans. All changes must be approved in advance by the Exchange Visitor Program's "Responsible Officer," that is, the individual who initially signed your IAP-66 or DS-2019.

    Travel

    Whenever you plan to travel outside the U.S. and then return to continue at WSU, you must have your Form DS-2019 endorsed by UCIE staff. Please bring your document to the UCIE staff at least one to two weeks prior to your date of departure from Dayton. Bring your current hospitalization and medical insurance I.D. card with you to demonstrate that you are in compliance with health insurance requirements.

    Remember that you may need to apply for a new visa while on your travels. Examine the visa stamp in your passport to determine if it will be valid on the day you plan to return to the U.S. If not, be sure to consider the additional time you may require to make the visa application at a U.S. consular office overseas. Carry with you evidence that you have been maintaining your immigration status while in the U.S.

    Student Employment (while in F-1 or J-1 status)

    F-1 and J-1 students in good academic standing and maintaining student visa status may be eligible for certain forms of employment, training, academic internships and professional externships. The following introduces the various categories of this student visa benefit. These are not "work visas."

    Always consult with UCIE advisors if you have questions about employment opportunities or plans.

Assisting Family Abroad to Obtain a B-2 Tourist Visa and Extension of B-2 Status


  • International students and scholars in the U.S. often ask UCIE staff whether there are any steps they might take to assist family members when their family applies for a B-2 tourist Visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country.

    First and foremost, it is incumbent upon family members to prove to U.S. Visa officers that they have no intention to emigrate to the United States, that their stay in the U.S. will be temporary. Your family will be asked to provide to U.S. Visa officers proof of family, income, and property to show a closer and abiding connection to their home country.

    If you believe your assistance would be desired and helpful in your family's petition for the Tourist Visa, you may consider drafting a letter addressed to your family formally inviting them to visit you which states the following:

        • the inclusive dates of the invitation;
        • the purpose of the visit;
        • that you will provide food, lodging, and other necessaries;
        • a bank statement confirming that you have the funds on hand to support your family while in the U.S.; NOTE: The INS Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, is not designed to serve as an attestation of support for a B-2 visa application, and is therefore not recommended for such use by this Office. A bank statement will be far more effective as a supporting document.
        • if the purpose of your family's visit is to attend your Graduation, a letter on WSU stationary from the UCIE office can accompany your letter of invitation confirming when graduation will occur, and that you will be participating.

    It should be emphasized that a letter of invitation is not required for family to make application for a B-2 Visa.

    The University Center for International Education does not suggest the use of the I-134 to support a B-2 entry visa application, and does not provide that form.

    While in the U.S., a person on a B-2/Tourist visa status can apply for an extension of stay by making an application to the INS. You can obtain a Form I-539 from the INS for this purpose.

    Call the toll-free "Forms Request" telephone number to request forms: 1-800-870-3676 CIS will mail you the forms in about 1 week.

Clarification of Terminology

  • Foreign national: A person who holds citizenship in any country other than the U.S.

    Non-Immigrant: A foreign national who enters the U.S. for a specific purpose, such as study or research, and who intends to return to his/her home country or last country of residence when the purpose is completed.

    CIS: Citizenship and Immigration Services

    IRS: The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (annual federal income tax assessment and collection)

    FORM I-9: The employment eligibility verification document an employer requires within 3 days of beginning work. This procedure verifies your identity and authorization to be employed on that specific job. Note: The I-94 does not record employment authorization.

    EAD (Form I-766): "Employment Authorization Document" - a small plastic card issued by the INS when it approves an application for employment such as: F-1 Practical Training, F-1 "economic hardship," and J-2 employment provision.

    EVP (J-1 visa status): Exchange Visitor Program, authorized through the United States Department of State and administered at WSU by the Program Responsible Officer, Steve Lyons. Allows for temporary visits for research, teaching, consultation, observation, lecturing and conference participation as well as sponsored studies; J-1 visa supports this program.

    Exchange Visitor: A participant in the Exchange Visitor Program, holder of J visa.

    "Green Card": The INS document issued to permanent residents and immigrants which grants unconditional work authorization and the right to reside in the U.S. for an indefininte length of time; normally it is necessary to have a qualifying family member or employer as a sponsor.

    Travel Documents: Your passport, entry visa stamp in the passport, Certificate of Eligibility (I-20, DS-2019), and I-94. These are important documents. Please do not lose them. Bring them to the UCIE office when you have questions or concerns. You also must carry them with you when you travel out of the United States.

    I-20 / Certificate of Eligibility for F-1 status: The travel document issued by the UCIE office for your F-1 visa application and entry/reentry into the U.S. for fulltime study in a recognized degree program (or for your F-2 visa application as a dependent of a student). The I-20 expires 60 days after you conclude all requirements for your degree program or on the date indicated in item 5 of the I-20, whichever comes first.

    DS-2019 / Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 status: The travel document issued by the UCIE office or other sponsoring agency for your J-1 visa application and entry/reentry into the U.S. for research, teaching, or fulltime study (or for your J-2 visa application as a dependent of an Exchange Visitor). The DS-2019 expires 30 days after you conclude your program or on the date indicated in item 3 of the The DS-2019, whichever comes first.

    Visa (Entry Visa): A stamp issued at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and placed in your passport. It specifies a non-immigrant classification (F, J, etc.), the number of allowed entries into the U.S. (1, 2, multiple) and the dates of visa validity. The visa allows you to request entry into the U.S. for a specific purpose. It needs to be valid until the day you intend to enter the U.S. and may expire while you are here. If you plan to reenter the U.S. at a later date, you need to apply for a new visa when abroad. An exception is travel to Canada, Mexico and contiguous islands for less than 30 days as a tourist.

    I-94 / Arrival and Departure Record: A small card stamped by the Immigration officer at your U.S. port-of-entry and normally stapled inside your passport. It specifies your authorized length of stay in the U.S. F-1 students and F-2 dependents receive "D/S", meaning that their stay is authorized for the Duration of their Status in one academic program as noted in item 5 of the I-20 document. J-1 Exchange Visitors and J-2 dependents receive "D/S" also, meaning the stay is valid for the period of time shown in item 3 of the IAP-66. At the conclusion of the program of study, teaching, or research, a grace period of 60 days (F-1/F-2) or of 30 days (J-1/J-2) is allowed for the purpose of tourism and finalizing arrangements for the return home.

    Social Security Number: The "taxpayer I.D. number" issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration. This number does not authorize employment. However, the number is used to record payments from an employer to an employee for income tax purposes. The number is also frequently used simply as an identification number, for example on an Ohio driver's license and as the University student I.D. number.

    Visa Waiver Program: The Visa Waiver Program is available to citizens of some countries. It permits entry into the U.S. with no visa stamp in the passport. There are limitations on stay in the U.S. of 90 days for tourism (WT) or business (WB) only. No extension or change to a different immigration classification is permitted.

Contact information

You can contact us by using the information below.

  • Wright State University
    University Center for International Education
    E190 Student Union
    3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
    Dayton, OH 45435-0001
  • Phone: 937-775-5745
  • Fax: 937-775-5776
  • Email: askucie@wright.edu
  • Hours: 8:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

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