International students at Naropa must hold F-1 student status. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need information on other visas, or for information about other immigration matters.
The F-1 student visa is issued by a United States consular officer upon receipt of an I-20 Form issued by a university. The I-20 Form certifies that the student has been admitted to the university and has documented financial support. An F-1 student is admitted to the United States for the purpose of attending a specific school. In order to maintain F-1 status, the student must continue to attend that school, carry a full program of study, and make normal progress toward a degree or the completion of an educational objective. A spouse or child accompanying an F-1 student is designated F-2. F-2 dependents are not allowed to work; F-2 children may attend school, but an F-1 spouse may not attend school full time or pursue a degree in the United States.
Your passport is the basic travel document issued by your home country to identify you as a citizen or national of that country, and which permits you to return to your country. For purposes of U.S. immigration law, your passport must be valid for six months beyond the period of your approved stay in the United States. Many (94) countries have agreements with the United States providing that their passports are actually valid for six months beyond the date indicated in the passport. In those cases, the approved stay in the United States can be valid up to the expiration date on the passport. The International Student Advisor has a list of these countries.
When your passport needs to be extended, contact your home country's embassy to apply for a new one. Information on foreign embassies in the U.S. can be found at www.embassy.org.
The international student advisor can provide you with a letter stating that you are a registered student if such a document is necessary for passport extension. Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirements, so they only need the I-20, current passport, proof of SEVIS fee payment and financial documentation.
VISA AND SEVIS FEE
International students at Naropa must hold F-1 student status. Your United States visa is the stamp placed on a page of your passport by a U.S. consular officer. The visa stamp, if presented with supporting documents (Form I-20 and financial documentation), gives you permission to apply for entry to the United States. It is not to be confused with your permission to remain in the United States, and, in fact, it has no relation to the period of time of your approved stay in the United States. The visa must be valid at the time of entry to the United States; it need not be valid for you to remain in the United States. For information on visa application requirements and procedures at U.S. consulates, see http://travel.state.gov.
NOTE: Prior to applying for the visa, students must pay the SEVIS fee and must present proof of this payment at the time of visa application. For information on paying this fee, please consult the SEVIS Fee FAQ site.
The I-94 is your only evidence that you have properly entered the United States. Therefore, it is important that you make sure all the information reported on the I-94 is correct each time you enter. If the information is not reported correctly, you could have tedious immigration problems later.
You will want to keep a hard copy of your most recent I-94 with your passport. Furthermore, it is recommended that you keep a copy of each I-94 issued to you in case the information from them is ever requested in the future (such as applying for legal permanent residence).
Where do I obtain it? https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
For an F-1 student, the expiration date on Form I-94 will be "D/S." This stands for "duration of status." It means that permission to remain in the U.S. in F-1 student status is granted for an indefinite period, as long as the student has a valid I-20 (see below) and continues as a full-time student. F-1 students who complete their studies have 60 days to depart the United States or apply for a change of status. Students who drop out of school without completing their educational program are immediately considered to be out of status, and should leave the United States or apply for a change of status at once.
The Form I-20 is issued by the Admissions Office of a school or university after a student has met all requirements for admission, including documentation of financial support. When an F-1 student enters the United States for the first time, an immigration officer at the U.S. port of entry will examine the student's Form I-20. The inspecting officer should stamp the first sheet of the form, enter the necessary data into the electronic Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and return the stamped I-20 to the student. This form, pages 1-3, along with the I-94 (see above) is a student's primary proof of legal status and should be kept with the passport in a safe place.
You may use your I-20 to apply for initial entry into the U.S. up to 30 days before the expected date of arrival indicated in section 5. You should plan to arrive in the U.S. on or before the date in section 5. If you are delayed and must enter after the date in section 5, you may request a letter authorizing a later entry from the International Student Advisor. You will be expected to complete your studies by the 2nd date indicated in Section 5. If you do not complete your studies and wish to continue as a full-time student after this date, you must request a new I-20 for extension of your F-1 stay from the International Student Advisor before the completion date passes. Extensions cannot be done after this date.
The Form I-20 is also used for re-entering the United States after travel to another country. Please refer to Re-entry After Temporary Absence for more information about traveling outside the United States and re-entering in F-1 nonimmigrant status.
DURATION AND MAINTENANCE OF STATUS
F-1 students and their F-2 dependents are admitted to the United States for "duration of status." This is indicated on Form I-94 and Form I-20 as D/S. Duration of status means the period of time during which an F-1 student is pursuing a full-time course of study plus a grace period of 60 days to leave the United States or seek a change of status. Students who drop out of school or otherwise fail to maintain status lose this 60 day grace period.
To maintain status as an F-1 student you must carry a full-time course load each fall and spring semester; keep your passport valid for at least six months into the future; report address changes; complete your studies by the completion date on your I-20 or extend the I-20; you must not work without authorization; and you must attend the school USCIS authorized you to attend. A full-time program of study at Naropa University is defined as 12 credits or more of undergraduate courses; for graduate study it is defined by the department, but in most cases is 9 credits. Any deviation from this full-time program must be certified by your academic advisor as the equivalent of a full-time program of study and must be approved in advance by the international student advisor.
SEVIS NUMBER AND ADMISSION NUMBER
Your SEVIS number is the 11 digit combination of letters and numbers that appears in the right top corner of your I-20. This will be your permanent identifying number in SEVIS. Write it on the U.S. visa page of your passport so that you will have a permanent record of it.
Your admission/departure number is the 11-digit number printed on your original I-94. Before SEVIS, the electronic data tracking system, was instituted in July 2002, this was the student's permanent identifying number. Many immigration forms still request it, but please check with your international student advisor when filling out forms to determine which number (SEVIS or I-94) you should use in any particular situation. Do not confuse your SEVIS and I-94 numbers with your Social Security number or other numbers issued to you. The SEVIS and I-94 numbers are used only by immigration officials for identification of F-1 students.
TRANSFER FROM ANOTHER SCHOOL
If you are coming directly to Naropa from another U.S. institution, you will need to follow these transfer procedures:
- Inform the international student advisor at the school you are attending that you will be transferring to Naropa University, and give the advisor the transfer form provided to you by the Admissions office at Naropa.
- The advisor at your current school will release you in SEVIS once you have completed your studies there.
- Obtain a new I-20 from Naropa University
- Check in with the international student advisor at Naropa as soon as you arrive on campus.
If you leave the U.S. before coming to Naropa, you must re-enter the U.S. using your new I-20 issued by Naropa. If you still have a valid F-1 visa stamp, you will not have to apply for a new visa at a U.S. Consulate. Re-entry with the Naropa I-20 will complete your transfer procedure.
PROGRAM STUDY REQUIREMENTS
F-1 students are required by immigration regulations to be enrolled in a full-time course of study each fall and spring semester (enrollment during summer sessions is not required) and to make normal progress toward a degree or other academic objective. At Naropa, this means that undergraduate students must carry at least 12 credit hours each semester. Graduate students must carry at least the number of credit hours required by their program (usually 9 credit hours). Some flexibility is allowed for advanced graduate students, whose program of study must be the equivalent of a full course of study as determined by the student's academic advisor. An F-1 student who carries less than a full program of study risks the loss of F-1 status. The international student advisor can, in some cases, authorize less than a full course of study. Permission to drop below full-time cannot be granted retroactively. Authorization to drop below full-time must be entered into SEVIS by the international student advisor before you officially withdraw from any classes if you wish to maintain F-1 status.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS
Students entering the U.S. must provide a U.S. address on the I-94 that they complete and submit to an immigration official at the port of entry. Any subsequent change of address must be reported to SEVIS within 10 days of the move. It is very important that you inform the international student advisor immediately if you change your address so that she can report this change for you. You can email email@example.com. You should also report your change of address to the Naropa Registration Office. The Registration Office needs your correct address in order to mail registration materials to you.
DOCUMENTS NEEDED FOR RE-ENTRY
The documents you need for re-entry to the United States after a temporary absence of five months or fewer are a valid passport, an unexpired visa stamp in your passport, a recently endorsed I-20 (see below), and financial documentation. (Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirements, so they only need the I-20, current passport, proof of SEVIS fee payment and financial documentation). The following paragraphs explain what to do about a visa and Form I-20.
Before traveling outside of the United States, bring your I-20 along with your I-94 and your passport to the International Student Office. If you are maintaining status and there have been no substantial changes in the information on the front of your I-20, the International Student Advisor will endorse page 2 of the form. Do not forget to get this endorsement. You may be refused re-admission into the U.S. if it is missing. Although the form states that an endorsement is valid for a period of one year, it is best to have your I-20 endorsed each time you leave the United States.
If there have been substantial changes in the information on your I-20, or if you have lost it, the International Student Advisor or the Admissions Office will issue you a new I-20 for your re-entry into the United States. A new bank statement with proof of financial support will be required for a new I-20.
If you plan to attend a school other than Naropa upon your re-entry, you must obtain a new I-20 from that school. See the International Student Advisor about this before you leave the country.
International students at Naropa must hold F-1 student status. If your present visa meets the above requirements, you may use it and your recently endorsed I-20 for re-entry, and you need not visit a consular office outside the United States.
If your present visa has expired, or if you have used up the number of entries stated on the visa, you must apply to a United States consular office abroad for a new or re-validated visa. You cannot do this in the United States.
If you have transferred schools since obtaining your visa, or if you will attend a new school upon re-entry, you may use the visa that is noted for your previous school. You need not have it re-validated for the school you will attend upon your re-entry, as long as you have a valid I-20 for the new school and the date on your visa stamp has not expired.
Automatic Revalidation of Visa
For brief trips to Canada, Mexico, or Caribbean islands other than Cuba, your expired visa may be considered automatically re-validated for your re-entry if:
You go only to Canada, Mexico, or Caribbean islands other than Cuba for a period of no more than 30 days; you re-enter the United States for the purpose of continuing your studies at the same school during the time your stay is valid (you must have Form I-94 and a recently endorsed Form I-20 to show this); and you do not have the notation 212 (d) (3) (A) on your Visa or Form I-94.
NAROPA UNIVERSITY'S OBLIGATIONS UNDER IMMIGRATION LAW
Immigration law requires the university to electronically report several items of information about each F-1 student when (s)he issues an I-20, and to update this information in SEVIS as changes occur. Failure to maintain these records can cause the university to lose its privilege of accepting international students.
The required information is:
- Immigration status
- Current street address (U.S.)
- Date and place of birth
- Country of citizenship
- Address in home country
- Date of commencement of studies
- Degree program and field of study
- Termination date and reason
- Number of credits enrolled in/completed each semester
- Whether the student has requested or been certified for practical training, and date
- Disciplinary action taken against the student as the result of conviction of a crime
FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment) protects the privacy of students by prohibiting the university from releasing information other than directory information (name, address, and similar information) to outside agencies, unless the student expressly authorizes the release of such information. The Immigration Service takes the position that the statement on page 1 of Form I-20 authorizing the release of information to them, which is signed by each F-1 student, constitutes an expressed authorization by each F-1 student for the school to release the information to SEVIS.
INFORMATION WE WILL AND WILL NOT RELEASE
We will comply with the regulations and will provide SEVIS/USCIS with the information listed above about any F-1 student to whom we have issued Form I-20, as required by the regulations. We will not report on any other matters having to do with the student, and we will not report on matters about which we may have personal information but which are not in the records and files of the university.