The International Student Services Department staff in - Academic Records and Registration is available to help all international students understand and comply with student visa regulations. Additionally, the International Student Services Department serves as the resource/support center for all F-1 visa international students. The International Student Services Department is located in Main Hall, fourth floor, on Regis University's North Denver (Lowell) Campus. All mail or phone inquiries may be sent to Designated School Officials: Lisa Hertel Cathy Gorrell International Student Counselor International Student Services Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 303.458.4366 303.458.4117 While the tabs below include basic information, international students are encouraged to contact the International Student Services Department for any questions or concerns by appointment. The International Student Services Department strives to provide quality, personalized service to international students so that their study-abroad experience in the United States is both positive and productive. So that we may serve you better, please call for an appointment. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. *U.S immigration laws are complex; the following information is meant to be a guideline for Regis University international students. It is the students responsibility to ensure that they remain in status and abide by University and USCIS regulations while on a student visa. International Student Regulations General International Student Information Once you have been admitted to one of the three colleges that make up Regis University, either Regis College, Rueckert-Hartmen College for Health Professions or College for Professional Studies, you wil be asked by the Office of Admissions to provide some additional paperwork and documents. Once Admissions has received your documents, your file and information is sent to the International Student Services Department. Depending on whether you are a transfer student or coming in on an initial I-20, the University DSO will create an I-20 for you to attend Regis University. The DSO or the international student advisor will be in follow up contact with you. Immigration information for students: you will be required to comply with U.S government regulations to stay in status as a student while at Regis University. Most international students attending Regis are either F1 or J1 visa students. Please keep in mind that the International Department is the only department that understands all government regulations that a student must adhere to while on a student visa. We advise that although your academic advisors, professors and other international students may offer you information, you should contact the International Student Department concerning USCIS regulations. SEVIS fee: The U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a database called SEVIS or Student Exchange Visitor Information System that tracks all F and J visa holders. The University DSO is required to use this database to issue forms such as the I-20 and DS 2019 and report issues or events to DHS. DHS collects a SEVIS fee to cover costs of running the database. For an up-to-date cost of the SEVIS fee that must be paid to the USCIS, go to http://www.colorado.edu/isss/scholar-resources/visa-options-working-cu/j-1-overview/sevis-fee. It is the student’s responsibility to pay these fees as required by the USCIS. Mandatory Check-In and Orientation time: As a newly admitted Regis student, you are required to check-in with the University DSO upon arrival to Regis University. Failure to check-in will result in termination of your F1 status. At your orientation you will go over a checklist of regulations that you must maintain to stay in status with the USCIS. You are required to bring photocopies of the following documents to your check-in and orientation time. Front and back of your I-94 F1 Visa Valid passport. International Student Checklist: Each Regis international student goes through a regulations and policies checklist at orientation so you have a clear understanding of what is required to be in status. Address Reporting: In compliance with the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you are required to have a valid address recorded during your studies. DHS will terminate your immigration status automatically if you do not maintain your address information with Regis University. While you are holding a Regis-sponsored F1 visa, you are required to keep your address up to date with the University. Your mailing address for immigration purposes is your local U.S address. This is where you are residing while at Regis University. This address cannot be a P.O. Box, out-of-state address or your home country address. Enrollment: To maintain your F1 status you are required to pursue a full course of study and make normal academic progress towards completion of your degree program. Undergraduate students are required to complete 12 credit hours and graduate students are required to complete 6 credit hours each semester to be in status. Completion of Study: Upon completion of degree program or authorized practical training, you are allowed an additional 60-day grace period to prepare for your departure from the U.S., to transfer to another academic program, or to change status to another non-immigrant classification. It is suggested for more in depth international legal situations, when needed, to consult with an international lawyer who is a part of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Picking a lawyer from this association will protect our international students with lawyers who have their best interest in mind. Student Visa Regulations USCIS local service office 12484 East Weaver Place Centennial CO, 80111 U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services information Travel Documents There are four primary travel documents with which international students need to be familiar: Passport I-20 A-B Visa I-94 The following is a brief introduction to each. PASSPORT The passport is the basic travel document issued by the international student's home country. It identifies the international student as a citizen of that country. The passport must be kept valid at all times. International students are cautioned to be aware of the expiration date on their passport as they are not permitted to travel once their passports have expired. A foreign student who needs to renew a passport should contact his/her embassy to determine what procedures are required. On occasion, the student's home country may require certification of the student's enrollment in school. This certification will be prepared upon request by the Office of Academic Records and Registration. VISA A United States visa is a stamped or affixed entry in the passport by a United States Consulate that entitles the international student to apply for entry into the United States. The stamp specifies the visa type, the number of approved entries into the United States, and the expiration date. The visa most commonly held by international students at Regis University is the F-1 (student) visa. Spouses and dependents of F-1 international students typically hold an F-2 (spouse/dependent) visa. The F-1 (student) visa is obtained on the basis of form I-20 A-B issued by the University to the international student. Issuance of an I-20 by the University confirms that the student has been admitted to the University and has met all requirements for I-20 issuance. The Department of Homeland Security implemented the SEVIS fee for any student seeking an I-20 after September 1, 2004. This fee can range from $180 for J visa students and approximately $200 for F visa students. No visa will be issued until the student has paid the fee and has shown the embassy official a receipt. Students who are changing status to F-1 or J-1 or are applying for reinstatement will be subject to the SEVIS fee as well. See http://www.fmjfee.com for more details and up to date fee costs. F1 Visa Students: An F1 visa student is defined in the Adviser's Manual of Federal Regulations Affecting Foreign Students and Scholars as an alien who is a "bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study" at an academic or language institution authorized to admit foreign students. An F-1 student is a nonimmigrant who wishes to enter the United States solely and temporarily for the purpose of study. He/she must have no intention of abandoning his/her permanent residence in a foreign country. Information on how to properly maintain F-1 status will be addressed in the Maintenance of F-1 status section. J1 Visa Student: A J1 visa student is defined as a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange. I-94 (ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE RECORD) The I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) is the small white card, generally stapled inside the passport, which is issued to the international student at the time of entry into the United States. It is considered to be the international student's permit to remain in the United States while pursuing his/her studies. The form I-94 contains the following information: The student's Admission Number (also referred to as the student's permanent USCIS ID number) The port at which the student entered the United States Date of entry into the United States Type of visa Permitted length of stay The I-94 is a very important document. It is the official record of an international student's current status in the United States. If the I-94 document is lost, the student should contact the International Student Services Department for replacement procedures. The I-20 A-B is the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status for Academic and Language Students. It is issued to the international student once he/she has met all appropriate conditions as listed in the Regis University Bulletin. The I-20 ID (student copy) is a permanent record of an international student's status in the United Status as an F-1 student. An international student must keep all I-20 ID (student copy) forms that have ever been issued to him/her. Maintenance F-1 Visa (Student Status) Since the F-1 student has been permitted entry into the United Status temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study, there are specific regulations that the international student must follow in order to properly maintain F-1 status. Full-Time Requirements F-1 students at Regis University must be full time two out of three semesters every year. Full time requirements are as follows: Undergraduate Students = at least 12 credit hours a semester. Graduate Students = at least 6 credit hours a semester. Only one online course may be taken each semester to count towards full-time enrollment. If for any reason a deviation from the full course of study requirement occurs, the student should contact the International Student Services Department immediately. An international student’s failure to be full time will be reported to the USCIS resulting in falling out of status. Duration of Status When the F-1 student is admitted to the United States for "Duration of Status" (as indicated on the I-94 and I-20 A-B by the abbreviation "D/S"), it means that the student is admitted for the period during which the student is pursuing a full course of study, or participating in authorized practical training plus an additional sixty days allowed to prepare for departure. The date of completion of studies indicated on the I-20 A-B dictates how long the student has to complete his/her degree while he/she is maintaining a full course of study and is making acceptable progress toward a degree or a specific educational objective. Extension of Stay In the event that the student must remain in the United States longer that the estimated time for completion of his/her studies (as indicated on the I-20 A-B), the student must contact the International Student Services Department no later than thirty days before the expiration of stay and apply for an extension of stay in order to properly maintain F-1 status. If the student is eligible for an extension, the International Student Services Department will assist the student in complying with extension requirements. Authorized Break An F-1 student attending an academic institution is permitted to take less than a full course of study during authorized vacation or break periods as long as he/she is eligible and plans to register full time for the subsequent semester. Students must contact the International Student Services Department for information on other options for authorized vacation periods. Regis students are eligible for a semeser of vacation or break after attending two concurrent semesters at Regis University. Each student must contact the International Student Department when they plan ot take a break period. Students may not save up their break time to use in one big sum at the end of a school year. If the international student fails to comply with the F-1 regulations, he/she is considered to be out of status and must apply to the USCIS for reinstatement of his/her (F-1) status. An international student's failure to properly maintain F-1 status can prevent the student from completing his/her studies and participating in optional practical training. Travel Abroad Exiting and Entering the United States To re-enter the United States after a temporary absence outside the country, the following documents must be in the international student's possession and presented at the port of entry: A valid passport A valid visa A validated (properly endorsed) I-20 ID. Prior to the international student's departure from the United States, he/she must obtain the signature on page three of the I-20 ID from the appropriate Designated School Official (DSO) in the Office of the Academic Records and Registration. The DSO is the official at Regis who has authority to sign immigration forms and documents for F-1 students. (See the Introduction for a listing of Regis University's Designated School Officials.) The DSO's signature permits the student to re-enter the United States after traveling outside the United States. Without the DSO's signature, it is likely that the F-1 student will be denied re-entry into the United States. Students should contact the International Student Services Department before exiting the United States to ensure that all necessary travel documents are in order. Note: If the spouse and/or dependents of an F-1 student plan to travel separately from the F-1 student, they will also need to have a validated (endorsed) I-20 ID to re-enter the United States. Transfer of Schools An F-1 student who is lawfully maintaining F-1 status is eligible to transfer to another USCIS-approved school. A student does not have to obtain permission from the USCIS to transfer, but he/she is required to notify USCIS of any and all transfers. To notify the USCIS of a school transfer, the student must inform the international student adviser at the new school to which he/she is transferring. The international student adviser will need to see the I-20 ID (student copy) from the previous institution. Attendance at the previous institution will be verified by the international student adviser at the new school. The international student adviser at the new school will send the appropriate documents to the USCIS to notify them that the student has successfully transferred. The international student must be actively maintaining F-1 status in order to be eligible to transfer. The F-1 student must enroll in the new school in the first term after leaving the previous school or in the first term following the annual or authorized vacation period. Students intending to transfer from Regis University must inform the International Student Services Department of their decision. Dependent Status (F-2) If the spouse and unmarried children of an F-1 student wish to accompany the international student to the United States, it is important for the student to be aware of the additional living and travel expenses incurred by having the family in the United States. In order for the family to be granted F-2 (spouse/dependent status), they must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to cover expenses during their stay in the United States. The expenses per year for a spouse are $5,000 and for each child is $3,200. These financials are shown in addition to the finances shown for each student. These cost additions must be shown in the financial documents required by admissions before an I-20 can be issued. An international student who intends to bring an accompanying spouse/dependent into the United States must notify the International Student Service Department of his/her intentions at the time the student is requesting the I-20 A-B. If the spouse/dependent intends to follow later to join the F-1 student, the student must contact the International Student Services Department well in advance of their anticipated arrival date for instructions on how the spouse/dependents may apply for an F-2 visa. Individuals holding F-2 status may not accept employment or engage in business under any circumstances. Once the F-1 student's status is terminated, the accompanying spouse/dependents holding F-2 status must also depart the United States. The F-2 visa holder's status is directly related to the F-1 student's status. Employment One requirement for each international student seeking F-1 status is that the student provide certification that he/she has adequate financial resources to support all expenses associated with studying in the United States. This includes: tuition, living expenses, books, fees, transportation costs, and miscellaneous expenses. Therefore, it is understood that the student will not need to seek employment while studying in the United States. There are, however, a few employment opportunities for F-1 students with on campus employment. ON-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT An F-1 student (graduate or undergraduate) may accept employment on-campus without USCIS approval. The student must first contact the International Student Service Department and apply for permission to accept on-campus employment. The student must continue to maintain a full course of study. On-campus employment is limited to twenty hours per week while school is in session. During vacation periods, students may work full time (forty hours per week). Since work-study employment is generally funded by the United States Federal Government, international students typically are not eligible for work-study employment. However, students should contact the Office of Financial Aid (303.458.4066) to determine if any non-federally funded work-study positions are available. OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING The Immigration and Naturalization Service defines Optional Practical Training (OPT) as training which provides the international student an opportunity to gain actual employment experience in his/her major field of study. This is an employment opportunity for an F-1 student at the point of graduation and must be directly related to the student's major field of study. A student can partake in one year of authorized employment after receiving his or her degree at Regis University. One must apply for OPT no more than 90 days prior to the completion of courses, but less than 60 days after graduation. Students who wish to participate in Optional Practical Training prior to completion of their studies should contact the International Student Services Department to begin the application/authorization process. The OPT 17-month extension is only available to those who earned a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree. To be in-status during a student's OPT period, the student cannot be unemployed for more than an aggregate of 90 days during their 12-month OPT period and 120 days aggregate during their 17-month extension. Participation in Optional Practical Training must be authorized by both the International Student Services Department and the USCIS. The International Student Services Department maintains detailed information on all forms of employment available to F-1 students. All F-1 students seeking any type of employment authorization must first contact the International Student Services Department. F-1 students who work without employment authorization violate the conditions of their F-1 status and risk losing their F-1 status. Social Security Numbers International students needing to obtain a social security card will be required to show proof of employment before a card will be issued. Students will need to provide a letter from the designated school official verifying the student's approval for work. In addition, the student must present a letter from the employer detailing that employment has been secured. To apply for a Social Security Number, students must appear in person at the Social Security Office. To find a location nearest you, go to: www.ssa.gov. International students must also bring with them to the Social Security Office their passport, and their I-94 and I-20 IDs. There is no application fee for a Social Security Number. It takes approximately three to four weeks after application for the student to receive the Social Security Number in the mail. Federal/State Income Taxes General Information The Internal Revenue Service requires all F-1 students to file a tax return. F-1 students must file an income tax return on Form 1040NR even if no income has been earned from the United States. F-1 visa holders are also required to file a statement with the income tax return detailing the basis of his/her claim to nonresident status. The statement must include: The individual's name, address, United States taxpayer identification number, if any, and United States visa number, if any Passport number and the country that issued the passport The taxable year for which the statement is to apply The total number of days of presence in the United States during the current year, during the preceding calendar year, and during the second preceding calendar year The name, address, and telephone number of the director of the academic or other specialized program that the individual participated in during that year The type of U.S. visa held by the individual during the preceding six years. Although information required on the 1040NR is very similar to the required statement, it does not substitute for the statement. The statement should be a piece of paper separate from the actual tax return and should be signed, dated, and must be verified by a declaration that the statement is made under penalty of perjury. Although no official form is required, some local IRS Taxpayer Service Offices have prepared a form to meet the requirement. F-1 students who earned taxable income in the current year must submit their tax return to the Internal Revenue Service by April 15th of the subsequent year. F-1 students who did not receive taxable income as an employee must file their tax return by June 15th. Check www.irs.gov for more information. Sailing Permit Before departing the United States, an international student is required to obtain a "sailing permit," which certifies that the student has complied with all federal income tax obligations. Most F-1 students and F-2 dependents are exempt from obtaining a sailing permit. However, F-1 students and dependents should consult with the Internal Revenue Service to be certain that they are exempt from this obligation before their departure from the United States.