6. Is there anything that I should do before I return home to my country during a school break?
Before going home to your country during a school break, make sure that you have registered for classes. Classes can fill up fast, and if you register when you return, some of your class choices may be unavailable. It is also important that you have your I-20 signed by a DSO before you return home in order to make sure that you will have no problems reentering the U.S. Keep your I-20 with your passport at all times so that you do not lose it.
7. How can I get a job in the U.S.?
If you are on a student visa, you are normally only allowed to work at your school. You are able to apply for any on-campus position that is open for all students and that is not a work-study position. Work-study jobs are funded by the U.S. government and are not available to international students. If a campus job is available, you are able to work up to 20 hours per week. However, remember that non-work study jobs are limited and may not be available for 20 hours per week.
8. Can I only work at my university?
Any off-campus job must be approved by U.S. immigration. Without permission, you are not allowed to work off-campus in any job for which you will get paid. If you are caught working illegally, you could be sent back to your home country. University employees do not have the authority to permit you to have an off-campus job. As U.S. immigration wants you to mainly be a student, they only give international students permission to work off-campus in certain situations. In addition, you are only permitted to seek permission to work off-campus after studying in the U.S. for one academic year.
Contact a DSO if you have questions.
9. How do I receive approval from U.S. immigration to begin practical training (OPT)?
Students who have finished their degree in the U.S. are eligible to request permission to work off-campus for practical training. To obtain practical training, you will need to complete Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. You will also need to include a copy of Form I-94, your recently signed I-20, two passport pictures, and an application fee of $195. Once you have all of these items ready, bring them to the Registrar’s office to be completed. Apply a few months before you would like your practical training to begin as it takes time for U.S. immigration to process your request. Practical training is good for one year and is in your field of study. You need to have maintained your student status for a minimum of one academic year before being eligible for practical training.
10. My I-20 is about to expire. What should I do?
If you have not yet completed your degree and your I-20 is about to expire, it is important that you request a program extension. A program extension will ensure that your I-20 is current and that your immigration record is correct. The expiration date is located in section number 5 of your I-20. To request a program extension, please see a DSO.
I-20 Note: Remember that your I-20 needs to be current for as long as you are studying in the U.S. If you go home during a holiday, you will need your I-20 signed. Students who leave the U.S. for several months and then return will often need a new I-20. Failure to obtain a new I-20 may result in a loss of your student status. Check with ADSO if you have any questions regarding your I-20.
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