Information for Non-immigrant Students
- If you have any questions or problems regarding your visa, passport or other immigration documents (e.g., I-94 or I-20), see the Office of International Student Services (ISS). You can also speak with the AEC cross-cultural advisors in the AEC office.
- If you were admitted to the United States on a student visa (F-1) or an exchange visitor’s visa (J-1), you are required to be enrolled as a full-time student during the fall and spring semesters. Full-time study means at least twelve (12) hours of credit for undergraduates and nine (9) hours of credit for graduate students. EXCEPTIONS: 1. If you are a graduate student, but are only enrolled in AEC classes, then you must enroll in twelve (12) credit hours. 2. Some students who have not completed their English language requirements must be enrolled in 15 credit hours. Although students who have been enrolled during the spring semester are not required to enroll in any summer classes, study of English at the AEC in the summer session is recommended so that English requirements can be completed as soon as possible. If you choose to enroll in summer courses at KU, you must enroll in any AEC courses that are required. Of course, students who have been admitted to the AEC or KU for the summer session OR who are completing their program of study in the summer session are expected to enroll for that term.
- You should keep your passport current at all times. You should apply to renew your passport at least 6 months before it expires. You will need to contact your home country embassy or consulate for details on how to do this if you do not plan to travel home and get a new one in your home country.
Expiration of Visa
- You may have a single-entry or multiple-entry visa for the United States. It does not matter if this visa expires while you are in the U.S., but if you plan to leave this country and then return, you will need to obtain a new visa if yours has expired.
Form I-20 (if you are in F-1 or F-2 status)
- If you entered the U.S. on an F-1 student visa, you were sent a Form I-20 by the AEC or the University; if you have dependents who came on an F-2 visa, they will have a Dependent I-20. The Form I-20, like the visa stamp, is used for entry into the United States. At various times each year, universities must report to the Department of Homeland Security whether or not students who were given I‑20s are enrolled in full-time study.
- The I-20 is a document of eligibility to attend the institution that sent it to you. It shows your SEVIS number, which is the number of your personal record in the SEVIS database; this database is a permanent record of all your transactions under the immigration laws and regulations. You must have your I-20 for any re-entry into the U.S. after a temporary absence while you are a student. If you transfer to another university or change your course of study at the University of Kansas, you will need a new I-20 and other information, which ISS can provide.
Form DS-2019 (if you are in J-1 or J-2 status)
- The same information given above for Form I-20 also applies to Form DS-2019 which is issued for J-1 exchange visitors/students and their J-2 dependents EXCEPT the DS-2019 is issued for participation in a program by the program sponsor rather than to attend a specific university. The program sponsor may be an agency, a US government department, or the school that you are attending.
- You were granted a student visa on the basis that you have sufficient money to study in the United States.
- F-1 Students: F-1 students are permitted to work on campus without any special permission. Off-campus employment options are limited and ALWAYS require special permission from either ISS or the US government. F-1 students must have completed a minimum of one full academic year (fall and spring semesters) before they are eligible to work off campus.
- F-2 Dependents: F-2 dependents are not allowed to work.
- J-1 Exchange Visitors/Students: J-1 exchange visitors/students may work only if they have written permission from their program sponsor.
- J-2 Dependents: J-2 dependents may apply to the US government for permission to work; forms are available from ISS.
Form I-94 Card / Entry Stamp
- When you entered the U.S. you received 1) an entry stamp without a white card or 2) a small white card with an entry stamp.
- Entry Stamp (no white card) - Most common
This means your arrival and departure information is stored electronically. You should go to www.cbp.gov/i94 and print out a copy of your I-94 entry information. You should carry the printout with you at all times. It is your proof of legal presence in the USA. If you lose it, you can reprint another copy. If you have trouble printing the I-94 information, go to the Office of International Student Services and talk with an ISS immigration advisor.
- Small White Card
The white card that you were given when you entered the United States records your arrival and departure. When you leave, it should be surrendered (given) to the appropriate authorities. This card should be carried with you at all times. It is your proof of legal presence in the USA. However, if it is lost, it may be quite expensive to replace ($300). If you lose your Form I-94, go to the Office of International Student Services and talk with an ISS immigration advisor.
- If you wish to leave the AEC or KU and go to another college or university, you must process the transfer through ISS. Whether you transfer to a new school to continue the same educational program (to finish English training you started at the AEC, for example), or transfer to a new school and begin a new educational program (such as a new bachelor’s degree or master’s degree), the first part of the transfer must be done at ISS and then completed with the Foreign Student Adviser at your new school.
Change of Major or Degree Program at KU
- It is good for your SEVIS records to show your actual major and degree program at all times. Talk to an ISS advisor any time you make a change to your major or degree program so they can update your records:
- if you change your major
- if you want to change your degree program (e.g., bachelors to masters, or masters to doctorate)
- if you are now admitted to the AEC only but will be admitted to KU degree program
Travel Outside the United States
- When you plan to travel outside the United States and re-enter, you must obtain a signature on your I-20 or DS-2019:
- F-1 and F-2: Get a signature from an ISS advisor on your Form I-20.
- J-1 and J-2: Get a signature from your program sponsor on your Form DS-2019.
- If your visa (stamped in your passport) has expired or will expire before you plan to re-enter the US, please consult an ISS advisor before leaving regarding re-entry into the United States.
Social Security Numbers (SSN)
- A Social Security Number (SSN) is a US government issued number for payment of payroll taxes. It is not a federal identification number.
- F-1 Student: F-1 students can get a SSN ONLY if they have a written job offer for on- or off-campus work. You will also need verification of eligibility for a Social Security Number from ISS. Contact ISS for details.
- F-2 Dependent: F-2 dependents are not eligible for a SSN because they are not allowed to work in the USA.
- J-1 Exchange Visitor: J-1 exchange visitors must have written work authorization from their program sponsor before they can apply for a SSN. Contact ISS for details.
- J-2 Dependent: J-2 dependents who have received a work permit may apply for a SSN.