Immigration Information for F-1 Students


Maintaining Student Status

Travel Information

SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)

Transfer to Another College/University

Frequently Asked Questions 


Student Status

It is very important for a F-1 student to maintain his or her status while in the United States.   Failure to maintain the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant status (F-1) is a ground for removal from the United States (deportation) under the Immigration and Naturalization Act.

To maintain F-1 status:

  • You must be registered in SEVIS within 30 days of the program start date (for new students) or 30 days after returning for the next semester.  This is done at Intercultural and International Students Services.
  • You must pursue a full course of study (minimum 12 credits) at the school listed on the currently valid I-20 during every academic session or semester. Please contact the Director of Intercultural and International Student Services if you have any questions about the minimum number of credits.

  • Make normal progress towards completing your course of study, by completing studies before the program completion expiration date on your Form I-20.
  • Keep your Form I-20 valid by following the proper procedures for an extension of stay, transfer of schools, or change of major. If any of these situations arise, please contact the Director of Intercultural and International Student Services.
  • Report a change of address to the Director of Intercultural and International Student Services within 10 days of the change.
  • Abide by any special requirements, such as Special Registration requirement. This applies to a few countries only.
  • Do not work, either on or off campus, unless authorized. Most students are permitted to work on campus. Please contact the Director of Intercultural and International Student Services for information about off campus employment.
  • At least 2 weeks before travelling outside of the United States (US) have your documents checked and signed at Intercultural and International Student Services.
  • Remaining in the US for no longer than 60 days after completing the full course of study, unless prior to that time the student has followed procedures for applying for practical training or school transfer.

Travel

Travel Outide the U.S

Re-entry to the U.S

You need to bring the following documents when you want to re-enter the U.S. from traveling abroad:

  • Valid passport (valid for at least 6 months upon arrival)
  • Your valid F-1 student Visa
  • Valid I-20 signed by either Nichole Matuska , Alex Schleper, or Lisa Scott. The signature must be within the past 6 months.

For more information about how to renew your F-1 visa if it will expire while you are out of the U.S. Please follow this link:

Travel Outside the U.S but not inside your Home Country

Many countries require visitors to obtain visas before they enter the country. Visas are issued by the host country embassy or consulate. The following link has a list of all embassies in the U.S. http://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html. Click on the country you want and then read the link called Entry/Exit requirements. Here you can find information about the embassy or consulate you will want to contact. The information on this website is for US citizens. Please be sure to contact the embassy for information specifically to your country of citizenship.

Travel Inside the U.S

If you travel domestically within United States:

  • Have passport, insurance card, and/or driver license/state ID with you at all time.
  • Inform Intercultural and International Student Services or somebody in the school of your traveling plan.
  • Make sure that the ISP has your emergency contact by filling out the Emergency Contacts Form link we send to you at the beginning of the semester.

Transportation from the Airport

When travelling from the MSP airport the following services can be used:

Airport Shuttles:

Executive Express is a bus service available that picks up at CSB/SJU and drops off directly to the airport. When making reservations please note the following:

  • Put your cell phone number when you fill out the form so they can call you in case they are late. If you don't have a cell phone, please put CSB security's number 320-363-5000 or SJU Life Safety number 320-363-2144.
  • Remember you will need to calculate extra time in case of traffic and time to get through airport security.

Lakes Express is also a bus service available that picks up at CSB/SJU and drops off directly to the airport.

Train (Amtrak)

The train leaves and comes back from St. Cloud to St. Paul daily. Cost depends on day of week and seat preference. Cost ranges is $8.00-$18.00 for one way. Reservation required. Please make reservations by phone 1-800-872-7245 or at http://tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak. When making reservations please note the following:

  • The train does not drop directly at the airport. You will need to then take a taxi or the city bus to the airport. The train drops off at Midway Station 730 Transfer Road St. Paul, MN 55114
  • Cab Fare from the Amtrak station in St. Paul to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport is approximately $14.00 or more.
  • Metro Bus (public transit) also runs from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport to Amtrak. For general information try the Metro Transit web page at http://www.metrotransit.org/ For specific bus and route information try the Metro Transit Trip Planner at http://www.metrotransit.org/tripplanner/

  • There are many shuttle services/cab services that run from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport to various locations in the Twin Cities Metro area (including Amtrak). For a complete listing of these try the internet at http://www.mspairport.com/MSP/Travelers_Guide/Ground_Transportation/

Taxi

Broadway Limousine

  • Flexible schedule
  • By reservation only. Contact Broadway Limousine at (320)-255-5466

Yellow Cab (St. Cloud)

  • Flexible schedule. Reservation required. Contact Yellow Cab at (320)-251-5050.

Bus (Greyhound)

Departs from St. Cloud METRO BUS  510 1ST ST S St Cloud, MN 56301 and arrives at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (enter Minnstp Arpt as location).  Reservation required.  Contact Greyhound at (320)251-5411.  To make reservations please visit website: http://www.greyhound.com/home.asp


Travel Tips

If you travel internationally, please see travel warnings issued by the U.S. Department. Please check the facebook group CSBSJU RideShare if you want to carpool with other people.

List of low cost airlines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_low-cost_airlines


SEVIS

What is SEVIS?

Is SEVIS new?

What should CSB/SJU international students kno about SEVIS?

How does SEVIS work?

What data does SEVIS collect?

What does "fail to maintain status mean?

Can a student who is "out of" status regain legal status?

How will CSB/SJU help students comply with the immigration laws?

What happens if CSB/SJU fail to comply with SEVIS regulations?

Does SEVIS benefit students in any way?

What should students do to prepare for SEVIS?


What is SEVIS?

SEVIS is an internet-based system that allows schools and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to exchange data on the visa status of international students. Accurate and current information is transmitted electronically throughout an F-1 or J-1 student's academic career in the United States. U.S. embassies and consulates also have access to SEVIS.

After the College of Saint Benedict/St. John's University admits an international student, SEVIS is notified. The USCIS approves the University's request to issue an I-20. The University mails the new bar-coded I-20 form to the student.

The student visits the U.S. consulate abroad, and the consulate issues a visa after they confirm through SEVIS that the I-20 the student is carrying is a valid document.  The student's entry into the U.S. is reported in SEVIS at the airport when the student arrives in the U.S.

When the student arrives on campus, he/she will report to Intercultural and International Student Services, and the school confirms through SEVIS the student's enrollment. CSB/SJU continues to provide regular electronic reports to INS throughout the student's academic career.

Finally, SEVIS records the student's departure from the United States.

What data does SEVIS collect?

CSB/SJU must report:

  • Whether the student has enrolled at the school, or failed to enroll
  • A change of the student's or dependent's legal name or address
  • Any student who graduates prior to the end date listed on the I-20
  • Academic or disciplinary actions taken due to criminal conviction
  • Whether the student drops below a full course of study without prior authorization from the designated official
  • Termination date and reason for termination
  • Other data generated by standard procedures such as program extensions, school transfers, changes in level of study, employment authorizations, and reinstatement
  • Any student who fails to maintain status or complete his/her program.

What does "fail to maintain status mean"?

Some examples of failure to maintain status include:

  • dropping from full-time to part-time enrollment without prior approval from the DSO,
  • attending a school other than the one a student is authorized to attend,
  • failure to apply for a timely transfer or I-20 extension or
  • change in level of study,
  • unauthorized employment, and
  • failure to report a change of address.

Can a student who is "out of" status regain legal status?

If a student drops below a full course of study without prior approval from the DSO, that "event" would be reported via SEVIS, and he or she would be out of status. The student may apply for reinstatement if the violation resulted from circumstances beyond his or her control. Reinstatement is intended to be a rare benefit for exceptional cases. The student may not apply for reinstatement under any circumstances if he or she is out of status longer than five months. If INS does not reinstate the student, he or she may not appeal that decision.

How will CSB/SJU help students comply with the immigration laws?

CSB/SJU is committed to assist students in ways that prevent status violations from ever occurring. Accordingly, effective Spring semester 2003, three Registration changes will take effect.

  • F-1 students new to CSB/SJU must physically check in with Intercultural and International Student Services prior to registering for classes. Our office will review the student's visa documents, confirm to SEVIS that the student has arrived on campus.
  • All F-1 students who register for less than a full course of study (other than Summer Break) without a waiver of the full-time requirement will have their registration cancelled by the 4th day of classes.
  • International students will not be able to drop below a full course of study without prior authorization from Intercultural and International Student Services. "Full-time" means 12 credits per semester for undergraduates. Acceptable reasons for reduced credit load include:
  • Students who experience academic difficulties (for example, unfamiliarity with American teaching methods) may take a reduced credit load.
  • Students in their final term of study need only the credits required to complete the degree.
  • Students who have a medical problem can reduce their credit load or take the semester off.
Remember, only the Designated School Officials in the ISPO have authority to authorize a reduced credit load for F-1 students!

What should students do to prepare for SEVIS?

  • Read any e-mail updates from the CSB/SJU or Intercultural and International Student Services, and periodically check for updates on our office website. Changes in immigration or visa procedures sometimes happen quickly. Information is posted as soon as we have reliable facts.
  • Understand the immigration regulation and learn how to maintain lawful status in the U.S., and refer any questions or problems immediately to Intercultural and International Student Services.
  • Students should plan their course schedules carefully so that they maintain full-time enrollment. Contact Lisa Scott, int he Academic Advising.
  • Make travel arrangements early, and anticipate delays at the consulates and border crossings.
  • Keep all documents up -to-date. Changes in degree level, extensions, and travel validations must be done in a timely manner and on SEVIS documents.
  • Allow time for processing new forms,
  • Notify Alex Schleper within 10 days if you change address

Transfer to Another College/University

Students may transfer to a different school to pursue a new degree or continue in the same degree level or higher degree level by doing the following procedure:

  • Inform the Director of Intercultural and International Student Services, Brandyn Woodard, of your intention to transfer and transfer date.
  • Complete a transfer form from the new school and submit it to the Director of Intercultural and International Student Services.
  • The Director of Intercultural and International Student Services will transfer your record to the new school if you have maintained status.
  • Notify your Resident Director or Faculty Resident of your intent to transfer and complete forms for Campus Life or Residential Life office.

To transfer from another school to CSB/SJU please contact:

Alex Schleper

mailto:aschleper@csbsju.edu

Director of International Student Admissions


Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if my visa expires?

Do not worry. If you are in the U.S. and your visa expires, you are fine. You just cannot let your I-20 or Passport expire. You can only obtain a new visa outside of the U.S. For more information on the process contact the Director of Intercultural and International Student Services.

What do I do if I leave the country and want to come back?

Make sure that you have your I-20 signed by the Director of Intercultural and International Student Services BEFORE leaving the U.S. Also carry your valid passport and visa to reenter the U.S.

How do I do an internship off campus?

If the internship is required of your degree, you may qualify for Curricular Practical Training. This opportunity is job specific and time specific. It must be integral part of an established curriculum, in your courses of study. You must have an offer of employment from an employer offering work that qualifies as curriculum practical training. This authorization is handled by Intercultural and International Student Services.

How do I work off campus?

International students are not allowed to work off or on campus without authorization. To work off-campus a student must qualify for one of three programs. Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training or Economic Hardship


Feel free to come to the IISS for assistance. CSB/SJU is a better place because you are here, and we are committed to your success!

The information contained in the Intercultural and International Student Services website is for the use of the CSB/SJU community. Some of the information is very general and some is specific to the CSB/SJU. Information contained herein should not be used as the sole source of information for making decisions that may affect one's legal status in the U.S. or one's right to study, teach, conduct research, or work.

How does SEVIS work?

What should CSB/SJU international students know about SEVIS?

Is SEVIS new?