School of Public Health International Students Orientation

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1 School of Public Health International Students Orientation For New International Students on Non-Immigrant Visas Spring 2012 Presented by Office of International Affairs Maria C. Arevalo-Sanchez, Director Kristina Brown - International Visitor Advisor January 5, 2012

2 International Students on Non-Immigrant Visas Contents: SEVIS Change of Address Enrollment Employment Social Security Travel US Visit Graduation Emergency Preparations Student Governance Contact Us

3 SEVIS Student & Exchange Visitor Information System DHS SEVP- SEVIS: electronic tracking system of all international students, exchange visitors, and their dependents on F, M, and J visas to ensure that they are in the U.S. for the purposes stated. SEVIS monitors over a million visitors throughout the duration of approved participation within the U.S. education system Arrival in U.S. Full-time/part-time/no enrollment Employment authorization Dependent(s) Extensions Transfer Completion of Program/Departure Violation of status

4 Change of Address All F and J Students MUST report a change of address to the Office of International Affairs (OIA) within 10 days of the move, by submitting OIA Change of Address Form Non-U.S. citizens must report a change of address within 10 days of the move to the U.S. Government by completing and submitting the appropriate AR-11 or AR-11SR Change of Address Form, which is available on-line at: ( Also report address change to: School or program sponsor where you study or work Registrar s Office (UTLINK) Other program offices (e.g. Institute of International Education IIE, VEF, etc) Payroll, if applicable OIA does not have access to UTLINK. Notify your change of address to OIA separately.

5 F-1 Enrollment F-1 Students The F-1 student category applies to students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program of study which successful completion leads to the attainment of a specific educational or professional objective. This category applies to degree seeking and non-degree students provided specific requirements are met: F-1 students must be enrolled full-time for every Fall and Spring semesters throughout their program. Full-time enrollment for graduate students is 9 credit hours and undergraduate is 12 credit hours. Individual programs/schools may require summer enrollment.

6 F-1 Enrollment On-Line & Distance Education Courses No more than one class or three credit hours per semester may count towards the full-time enrollment requirement. Failing a course is considered completion for SEVIS enrollmentreporting purposes. Incomplete grades must be completed by the end of the next semester, or next available semester the course is offered. Audit courses offer 0 credit hours and consequently do not meet the immigration requirement of full-time enrollment. F-2 visa holders may only engage in recreational or vocational studies.

7 F-1 Enrollment F-1 Failure to Comply with Full-Time Enrollment Mandatory reporting in SEVIS resulting in: Termination of F-1 and F-2 SEVIS record Inability to continue studies Loss of employment benefit Inability to change visa status Potential Removal from the U.S.

8 J-1 Enrollment J-1 Students The J-1 college or university student category applies to students admitted by an accredited educational institution to a degree academic program for a full course of study or to a nondegree academic program for a prescribed course of study with a specific educational objective. J-1 Students must be enrolled full-time and make normal progress toward their academic objective, as set forth at 22 C.F.R (e), and further defined at 22 C.F.R **Note: The enrollment requirement is for J-1 Student Category only

9 J-1 Enrollment J-1 Failure to Comply with Full-Time Enrollment Mandatory reporting in SEVIS resulting in: Termination of J-1 and J-2 SEVIS record Inability to continue studies Loss of employment benefit Inability to change visa status Potential Removal from the U.S.

10 Other Visa Status Enrollment Students in visa status other than F and J Students in a valid immigration status that is not tied to enrollment (e.g. J-1 Research, H-1B, L-1, O-1, R-1, and TN) may enroll in incidental study. H-4, L-2, TD, Permanent Resident, and Pending Immigrant students have no restrictions on enrollment. Students in a visa status other than F or J must still checkin with the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and obtain OIA clearance prior to beginning their program.

11 F-1 Employment All employment (paid or unpaid, on or off-campus) must be cleared with OIA BEFORE the begin date of appointment. Restricted to part-time no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during vacation periods. NO EMPLOYMENT (PAID OR UNPAID, ON OR OFF- CAMPUS) MAY TAKE PLACE WITHOUT PRIOR OIA WRITTEN APPROVAL- this includes volunteer positions and practicums.

12 F-1 Employment Types of potential F-1 employment: On-campus: Includes all of UTHealth-Houston and UTHealth Regional Campuses. Does not have to be an integral part of your program. On-campus off-site: Site of employment must be educationally affiliated with the school and be an integral part of the student's educational program. Typically includes M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and other institutions on a case by case basis. Curricular Practical Training (CPT) : Must be an integral part of the student s education program. Typically will be used for Practicum. Authorized on a semester basis & must reapply every semester if it s an ongoing project. Students who have received one year or more of full time CPT are ineligible for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).

13 F-1 Employment Types of potential F-1 employment (continued): Optional Practical Training (OPT): Student must be lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year before being eligible for OPT. Is requested to begin after graduation. Employment on OPT must be directly related to the student s major area of study. Standard OPT is available for a cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level. Processing time at USCIS is approximately 90 days. Plan ahead! Optional Practical Training STEM Extension: A one-time extension of 17 months (for a total of 29 months) is available to certain STEM degree recipients. SPH students with concentrations in Biostatistics or Epidemiology may be eligible for the STEM extension.

14 Social Security Administration (SSA) Social Security number application requirements for F-1 students: Original SEVIS Form I-20, passport, visa, I-94 Letter from the Office of International Affairs verifying employment authorization Letter from employer establishing terms of employment SSA cannot process application for social security number if employment begin date is more than 30 days from date of application Applications for a SSN should be submitted to SSA no earlier than 10 days upon initial arrival into the U.S.

15 Social Security Administration (SSA) For more information visit SSA can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and can provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day.

16 J-1 Employment Restricted and must be cleared by OIA. Types of potential J-1 employment: On-Campus J-1 Academic Training NO EMPLOYMENT (PAID OR UNPAID, ON OR OFF- CAMPUS) MAY TAKE PLACE WITHOUT PRIOR OIA WRITTEN APPROVAL.

17 Other Visa Status Employment Must be cleared with OIA. Pending Immigrants, L-2, J-2 must present an unexpired Employment Authorization Document (EAD). TN, H-1B, or J-1 other category should consult with your sponsor. NO EMPLOYMENT (PAID OR UNPAID, ON OR OFF- CAMPUS) MAY TAKE PLACE WITHOUT PRIOR OIA WRITTEN APPROVAL

18 Travel Outside the U.S. F and J visa holders must read, complete, and sign Travel Instructions and Travel Request Form. Instructions and Forms may be accessed through the OIA web page at: F-1 Travel Endorsement Instructions F-1 Travel Endorsement Request Form J-1 Travel Endorsement Instructions J-1 Travel Endorsement Request Form It is mandatory that F and J visa holders call OIA front desk and schedule an appointment at least five business days before traveling abroad to receive the proper travel endorsement. In the case of an emergency, contact your International Visitor Advisor (IVA) immediately.

19 Travel Instructions Documents required: Passport (must be valid six months into the future) Current visa stamp (If not valid, student must renew visa before returning to U.S.) Current signature from IVA on I-20 or DS-2019 for travel purposes All previous immigration documents Evidence of maintenance of full-time enrollment (transcript, letter from academic advisor) Evidence of financial verification dated within last six months Evidence of strong ties to home country

20 Travel Instructions In addition to the above, F-1 OPT students must have a valid EAD card and a letter verifying employment before departing the U.S., or the student could be denied a return to the U.S. Travel while on F-1 OPT can be risky if the student does not have a valid F-1 visa stamp.

21 U.S. Visit U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program that collects biometric fingerprints & biographic data from visitors entering the U.S. Every non-u.s. Citizen (except U.S. Permanent Residents) are subject to the U.S.VISIT upon each entry into the U.S.

22 Graduation F-1/J-1 students need to make an appointment with their IVA at least one semester prior to graduation to discuss options and benefits: Optional Practical Training (OPT) and/or Academic Training Transfer to another institution Change in education level at the same institution Change of visa status Departure from the U.S. Failure to meet with OIA prior to graduation and process a request could result in a loss of benefits

23 Emergency Preparations in the Event of a Natural Disaster Secure all valuable documents (e.g. SEVIS Form I-20, passport, visa, I-94 card, EAD card, Social Security Card, financial records, plane tickets, checks, and credit cards) in a plastic bag and keep in safe location. Always have the contact number or addresses of Office of International Affairs Advisors. F and J visa holders In the event you cannot get in touch with your International Visitor Advisor (IVA), contact the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and let them know where you are and how your IVA can reach you. SEVP SEVP Toll-free phone number: SEVP Alternate phone number:

24 Student Governance Student InterCouncil (SIC) is the recognized forum of student opinion & the primary vehicle for student participation in school governance. SIC contributes to the quality of student life. Representatives from each of the six schools & from the minority & international student constituencies. School of Dentistry, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Medical School, School of Biomedical Informatics, School of Nursing School of Public Health Contact SIC at: Student InterCouncil 6901 Bertner, SON-SCC Rm FAX

25 Office of International Affairs Contact Us University Center Tower 7000 Fannin, Suite 130 Houston, Texas (fax) General OIA website address: Office hours: Monday - Friday from 8am to 5pm except on Thursdays Appointments are required for meeting with International Visitor Advisors and can be made by calling the main phone line Click here to identify individual staff members alpha workload distribution and contact information

26 International Student Advisors Monica Pinon International Visitor Advisor (A-Hn) / Kristina Brown International Visitor Advisor (Ho-O) Thank you! / Mario Sanchez International Visitor Advisor (Ho-O) / Karen Oandasan Sr. International Visitor Advisor (P-Y) / Maria C. Arevalo-Sanchez Director (Z) /

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