New and Continuing F-1 Students
NEW AND TRANSFER INTERNATIONAL F-1 STUDENTS
- Getting Academic Acceptance
Please contact undergraduate enrollment management office in order to complete your admission application. If you need to contact them, you may email them at: email@example.com or by calling them at: (269) 471 6343.
Please contact graduate enrollment management office in order to complete your admission application. If you need assistance from them, they may be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: (269) 471 6321.
- Obtain Financial Clearance
Please contact Ms. Jackie Yates in the International Student Financial Services (isfs) department after you have been admitted to Andrews University to establish your financial responsibilty and show evidence of financial resources to pay for your schooling here. You may contact her via email at: email@example.com or by calling her at: 1(269) 471 3834.
- Receiving the I-20 Form from Andrews University
Once you have been admitted to Andrews University and have financially cleared with isfs, we will receive notification to issue you an I-20 form. At your request, the I-20 will be sent to you either by regular mail or by express courier (we use UPS). The postal fee will be charged to your Andrews University student account. [Back to top]
- The $200 SEVIS 1-901 Fee
A $200 SEVIS fee is required of all international students, including citizens of Canada. You may pay this required fee online at: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.jsp. Once you pay the SEVIS fee, you will receive a receipt which must be presented at the American Consulate as you apply for a student visa (citizens of Canada must present the SEVIS receipt at the border). [Back to top]
- Applying for an F-1 Visa at a U.S. Consulate
(not applicable to citizens of Bahamas, Bermuda and Canada) [Back to top]
Step 1 - Request an Interview.
Request and secure a date for an inverview with an officer at the American Consulate in your country. [Back to top]
Step 2 - Take the Proper Documents.
Take the following documents with you to the interview: [Back to top]
- A legal passport valid for at least six months (preferably 4-5 years).
- Your original I-20 form.
- The $200 SEVIS receipt.
- American Consulates normally request financial documentation as evidence of ability to financially support yourself while studying in the U.S.
- You must also present documentation of strong ties that require you to return to your home country after completing studies.
- Contact the local U.S. consulate to inquire if any additional documents are required as this may vary from country to country. [Back to top]
Step 3 - Obtain Your Visa and Come to Andrews.
Once you receive a visa, you are ready to come to Andrews University. The earliest date you may arrive is indicated on your visa. Government regulations allow you to come 30 days prior to the reporting date on your I-20 (item number 5). All International students are required to attend the new international student orientation which takes place one week before classes begin. [Back to top]
POST - ARRIVAL CHECKLIST
At the Port of Entry
An international airport in the U.S. is the port of entry to most international students (except students from Canada). Before you pick up your luggage, an immigration officer will check your documents (passport, visa and I-20 ). The I-94 is no longer given to you in paper form. It is not enter electronically by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at the time of your entry into their system. You have access to this information and you will need to print a copy of the "Admission I-94 number" and present it to us. This information is accessible to you online at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html. After examining your documents the officer will stamp all your documents including your I-20 and your passport. The Officer must return all these documents to you because they are your personal property and should be kept by you at all times. [Back to top]
Arriving at Andrews
Andrews University is located in Berrien Springs, Michigan, about 2 hours (100mi/160km) northeast of Chicago. If you fly into Chicago-O'Hare or Midway Airports, you may take the Coach USA bus (just outside of either of these airports) which brings you to the South Bend (Indiana) regional airport. If you do not have a friend to pick you up, you may arrange with the transportation department at Andrews University (firstname.lastname@example.org) for pick up (there is a charge for this service). [Back to top]. Please contact the Office of International services if you have any questions regarding this.
Note: If you wish to rent a car once in the U.S., you must present a valid driver's license at the time of service.
Once you arrive at Andrews University, please come to the Office of International Student Services Office, in the Campus Center. We must make copies of your immigration documents (and your family's, if applicable). [Back to top]
If you are planning to arrive early to campus and have made accomodation arrangements, please contact the person that assigned your accomodation arrangement to inform of the approximate time of your arrival to campus and where to go upon your arrival onto campus for obtaining the keys to your accomodation.
You are strongly encouraged to attend the International Student Orientation on August 18th, 2013 in the Lincoln room of dining services that introduces you to important immigration rules and regulations, as well as to the different services that Andrews University offers. Subsequently, we will be able to report to SEVIS (the government system) that you have arrived and are in legal status. [Back to top]. If you are unable to make it to this orientation, please know that it is your responsibility to obtain this important information from our offices.
NEW AND CONTINUING INTERNATIONAL F-1 STUDENT
Entering the U.S. (I-20 and F-1 Visa)
You will need an Andrews University I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status, a valid F-1 visa (the visa stamp in your passport) issued by the U.S. embassy/consulate overseas, a valid passport, and your SEVIS fee receipt. To enter the U.S. as an F-1 student, (Canadian citizens do not need U.S. visas). Please be advised that you may not enter the U.S. more than 30 days prior to the start date in section 5 on your I-20. When you enter the U.S., you will receive either an admission stamp in your passport marked “F-1” and “D/S” (duration of status) or this would be recorded on I-94 electronically.
Mandatory Immigration Check-In at Andrews University
You are required to report to the Office of International Student services and programs no later than by the starting date on your I-20 or within 5 business days of your arrival. The immigration check-in is required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Failure to attend the mandatory immigration check-in program within this time frame will cause your academic program to be terminated automatically and end your lawful immigration status.
Maintaining Legal F-1 Status
As an F-1 student, you must meet certain obligations in order to maintain legal immigration status. Maintaining status is necessary in order to receive the benefits of F-1 status such as employment and program extension, and can be crucial to a successful application for a change or adjustment of visa status in the future. Failure to maintain your non-immigrant status can result in serious problems with immigration and could lead to deportation from the U.S. Due to the complexity of U.S. immigration regulations, we recommend that you consult with our office at anytime you need this assistance.
To maintain lawful status, an F-1 student must:
Attend the International Students orientation
Attend the university you are authorized to attend.
Complete immigration school transfer procedure when necessary.
Be in good academic standing and make progress towards an academic program.
Extend your I-20 prior to its expiration date if you are unable to complete your academic program by the original expiration date. Failure to extend would result in being out of status. Please refer to the section on "re-instatement" procedure to apply for re-consideration of restoring your status back to being active
In the event of change of academic program or level, update your I-20 in a timely fashion in accordance with immigration regulations.
Maintain full-time enrollment during the academic year.
Undergraduate students must enroll 12 credit hours per term while graduate students must enroll for 8 credit hours (or 9 credits for M.Div) per each semester.
NOTE: The courses you take for “audit” or “visit” do not count toward the full-time enrollment requirement for immigration purposes.
Suspension, dismissal, enrollment withheld, expulsion, or any other similar action which prevents enrollment may have effect on legal immigration status.
Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week during academic year.
Not accept unauthorized employment and not work off campus without authorization.
Keep your passport valid at all times. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future on the day you return to the U.S. from a trip abroad.
Maintain health insurance coverage.
Update your current and permanent address information with the records office (2nd floor of the Administration building) within 10 days of moving.
Health Insurance Requirement
All international students and their accompanying dependents at Andrews University are required to have health insurance coverage that meets the University's standards. You must enroll in an approved insurance program. If your government or program sponsor is providing you with health insurance, you will later have the opportunity to apply for a waiver of the mandatory health insurance via registration central. In order for a waiver to be granted, so take a copy of the insurance policy with you to the student insurance department (2nd floor of the Administration building in the Human Resources office).
Travel Outside the U.S. and Reentry
When traveling outside the United States while studying in the U.S., you need to have the proper documents to return. You may need a valid F-1 visa (the visa stamp in your passport) to re-enter the U.S. (for citizens of certain countries, may be covered by special regulations). In addition, the SEVIS I-20 (page 3) must be signed by a Designated School Official (DSO) at the Office of International Student services and programs. The signature is valid for one year following the signature date.
U.S. government regulations require F-1 students to be in the U.S. for the primary purpose of attending school. In general, employment in the U.S. is restricted. The following employment possibilities exist for F-1 students:
On-campus employment: Limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session and available as full time during school vacation and holidays. On-campus employment is defined as work done on the premises of the school who issued I-20.
Off-campus employment: Under certain conditions you may be eligible for off-campus employment either based on economic need or practical training. You may not begin the employment unless you have met with someone in the Office of international student services and programs and have received official authorization from them and/or USCIS notification that grants you permission to work off-campus.
Dependents are defined as spouse and minor children under 21 years old of the F-1 student. Please be aware that each of your dependents will need his/her own I-20 in order to obtain an F-2 visa at the U.S. embassy/consulate and to enter the United States. F-2 status holders may not accept employment or engage in business under any circumstances.
The F-2 spouse of an F-1 student may not engage in full time study, and the F-2 child may only engage in full-time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade). The F-2 spouse and child may engage in study that is avocational or recreational in nature. Please see us if any of this is unclear and/or you need further explanation.
When an F-1 student successfully completes his/her academic program or Optional Practical Training, there is a 60-day grace period during which the F-1 student and any F-2 dependents may stay in the U.S. but may not work or travel nor reenter in F-1 status.
In general, F-1 students must file federal tax forms every year that they are in the U.S. The deadlines to file the forms are April 15, if U.S. money is earned (this includes money earned from graduate student assistantships), and June 15, if no U.S. money is earned. For more information, refer to Taxes and Social Security.