All foreign individuals that enter the U.S. are given an immigration status, such as F-1, H-1, or J-1. There are specified benefits and responsibilities connected to each classification. The United States Constitution guarantees certain rights to all individuals who are living within its borders. While non-immigrants in the US may enjoy the same constitutional protections as citizens do, they are subject to immigration laws that do not apply to citizens.
It is very important that students are aware of their immigration responsibilities and follow them accurately. Consequences of failing to maintain legal status have become increasingly severe. The following guidelines will assist you in maintaining valid student status.
You may remain legally in the U.S. as long as you maintain your status and are engaged in a valid full course of study, plus any authorized practical training.
How Should I Prepare for Arrival?
Once you have been accepted to attend Le Moyne and the College has issued your Form I-20, you will be emailed a lot of additional information. This outlines the immigration process that you will undergo in obtaining a US student visa. It is very important that you read this information carefully prior to obtaining an interview with the US consulate or embassy.
Like all other countries of the world, the US has regulations governing the stay of foreigners within its boundaries. These rules are complex and change regularly. Le Moyne College international students are responsible for knowing the regulations regarding their particular immigration status. However the office assists students in understanding immigration guidelines and maintaining records of all F-1 non-immigrant students at the college in order to monitor immigration compliance. It is crucial that you maintain a strong working relationship with the office staff. All new students studying at Le Moyne with an F-1 visa must check-in with the Office Global Education during the first week of each semester. In addition, students will also be required to submit their online SEVIS registration every semester. Failure to do so may cause you to fall out of status. Questions regarding visa status can be directed to the Office of Global Education at [email protected].
Upon arriving to Le Moyne, you will be welcomed to campus and assisted throughout many steps to aid you in your transition. Most college offices are open Monday-Friday from 8:30 am -4:30 pm when classes are in session. Please contact the Office of Global Education to give them information detailing your anticipated arrival. If you need assistance when the offices are closed, please contact Le Moyne’s Security Office at 315-445-4444.
- Office ofGlobal Education- Once you have had an opportunity to get settled in, you should go to the Office of Global Education in the second floor of the Campus Center to notify them of your safe arrival. At that time, the office staff will make photocopies of your I-20, passport, visa and I-94.
- Campus Life and Leadership- After visiting the Office of Global Education, you will visit the Office of Campus Life and Leadership in the Campus Center to obtain your new college ID card. The ID card will be used to access your campus housing, get meals if you purchase a meal plan, check out library books, and many other things.
What if I hope to work in the US following my graduation?
International students that have studied in the US for at least one academic year can apply for optional practical training (OPT) following their studies. This gives them an opportunity to stay in the US for one additional year and seek employment that supplements their academic experience. Students must submit their OPT applications prior to their graduation or else it will be forfeited. Once the OPT has ended, individuals will need to apply for a change of status, transfer institutions, or depart the US. This is an invaluable opportunity that can provide students with an excellent opportunity.
What if I need to drop or withdraw from a class?
First, determine if this will reduce you to part-time status, that is give you less than 12 undergraduate credits or 9 graduate credits. If you will be less than full-time, you MUST get prior permission from the Office for Academic Advising and Support BEFORE dropping the class. Second, ask your academic advisor if this will delay your graduation. All international students must complete their degree by the end date listed on the Form I-20.
If your F-1 visa expires while you are in the US then you do not need to do anything until you make travel plans. It is OK to be in the US with an expired visa, however if you plan to depart the country you will need to renew it before reentering. If you plan to travel home, you will need to apply or and receive a new US visa before you can return. You cannot apply for a new visa while you are in the US. This can take time so make sure you plan ahead.
What if I want to participate in an internship?
If you are considering an internship, contact the Office of Global Education to discuss your eligibility for curricular practical training (CPT). If you will be participating in an internship then you will need to register for an intership course. You MUST get permission before your start date. This process takes several days so you should plan ahead. Please note that you need to have been enrolled for one academic year before being eligible for curricular practical training.
What if I want to study abroad?
If you are considering a study abroad experience, attend one of the study abroad informational meetings one year prior to departure. Much of the process will be the same as all other students. But, you will need to begin this process early. While abroad, you must continue checking with the Office of Global Education periodically so that the SEVIS can be maintained accurately.
What if I plan to travel during break?
All international students need travel authorization on their Form I-20 each semester for travel outside of the UnIted States. To do so, stop by the Office of Global Education to obtain a signature on the I-20's third page before departing. When you reenter the US, the immigration officials will verify if you obtained such authorization. In addition, you will also need to check that your visa is still valid. Double-check that the expiration date will not pass before your return date.
Any independent travel outside of Syracuse, NY should be reported in advance on the International Student Travel Form. Students traveling with Le Moyne College Athletics or campus groups do not need to complete this form.
What if I want to visit Canada?
You will need to find out if you need a Canadian visitor visa.
If so, you will need to apply for the visa at the nearest Canadian Embassy, such as the one in Buffalo. They allow most applicants to either mail or deliver their application in person. The Web site will help you understand the process. If you do not need a Canadian visa to travel there, you should make sure to bring your passport, Form I-20, course schedule and financial support documents with you.