>>>F-1 Visa Guidelines
Guidelines in becoming a nonimmigrant student in EUCON International University CNMI, USA:
1. Determine whether you want to become a full-time student or part-time student. A full-time student requires a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. You will need an F-1 visa to study.
2. Apply for enrollment at the Business Office
3. If you are going to the U.S. primarily for tourism, but want to take a short course of study which is recreational, and the course is less than 18 hours per week, you may be able to do so on a visitor visa. If your course of study is 18 hours or more a week, you will need a student visa. When traveling to the U.S. to attend seminars or conferences for credit towards a degree, then you'll need a student visa.
4. College ESL is an academic ESL program that leads to regular program. Therefore, it requires a visa.
5. ESL camp during summer or winter that includes 17 hours of English training may not need an F-1 visa.
6. Students are encouraged to apply for their visa early to provide ample time for visa processing. Students may apply for their visa as soon as they are prepared to do so.
7. Students should note that Embassies and Consulates are able to issue your student visa 120 days or less, in advance of the course of study registration date. If you apply for your visa more than 120 days prior to your start date or registration date as provided on the Form I-20, the Embassy or Consulate will hold your application until it is able to issue the visa. Consular officials will use that extra time for application processing.
• Students are advised of the Department of Homeland Security regulation which requires that all initial or
beginning students enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the course of study start/report date as
shown on the Form I-20. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S. A
beginning student who wants an earlier entry into the U.S. (more than 30 days prior to the course start date),
must qualify for, and obtain a visitor visa. A prospective student notation will be shown on his/her visitor visa
and the traveler will need to make the intent to study clear to the U.S. immigration inspector at port of entry.
Before beginning any studies, he or she must obtain approval for a change to Exchange Visitor status, filing
Form I-539 , Application for Change of Nonimmigrant Status and pay the fee. Also you must submit the
required Form I-20 to the Department of Homeland Security office where the application is made. Please be
aware that one cannot begin studies until the change of classification is approved.
• Continuing students may apply for a new visa at any time, as long as they have been maintaining student
status and their SEVIS records are current. Continuing students may also enter the U.S. at any time before
their classes start.
8. All student applicants must have a SEVIS generated I-20 issued by an educational institution approved by DHS, which they submit when they are applying for their student visa.
9. Pay the SEVIS fee and other fees at the Business Office.
10. Check if you qualify for a student visa.
11. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet student visa requirements including:
a. Have a residence abroad, with no immediate intention of abandoning that residence;
b. Intend to depart from the United States upon completion of the course of study; and
c. Possess sufficient funds to pursue the proposed course of study.
12. Apply for a student visa at US Embassy or Consulate in your country. Visit http://usembassy.state.gov for instructions. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary, so early visa application is strongly encouraged.
13. Visa required documents:
a. Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student
b. Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more
about the DS-160 online process.
c. A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the
applicant's intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide
d. One (1) 2x2 photograph.
e. A MRV (bank) fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
f. The SEVIS I-901 fee receipt (from Business Office).
g. Transcripts and diplomas from previous institutions attended;
h. Financial evidence that shows you or your parents who are sponsoring you have sufficient funds to cover
your tuition and living expenses during the period of your intended study. For example, if you or your
sponsor is a salaried employee, please bring income tax documents and original bank books and/or
statements. If you or your sponsor owns a business, please bring business registration, licenses, etc., and
tax documents, as well as original bank books and/or statements.
14. Applicants with dependents must also provide:
a. Proof of the student's relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.);
b. It is preferred that families apply for F-1 and F-2 visas at the same time, but if the spouse and children
must apply separately at a later time, they should bring a copy of the student visa holder's passport and
visa, along with all other required documents.
15. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued.
16. Unless previously canceled, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, if the traveler has a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport, do not remove the visa page from the expired passport. You may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.
17. A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. Student visitors must have their Form I-20 in their possession each time they enter the United States. In advance of travel, students should review important information about Admissions/Entry requirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U.S., it's very important to keep in your passport.
18. Upon arrival report immediately to the Business Office. Copies of your visa, passport, and I-94 will be kept in your file.
Maintaining Student Status
Students need to:
• Enroll in a full course of study at the beginning of every session (excluding authorized break periods)
• Consult your Principal Designated School Official (PDSO), Ms. Toinette Smith and Acting Director of
Institutional Effectiveness (ADIE), Mrs. Vilma Reyes, and Acting Registrar Ms. Lucy Li before dropping below
a full course of study for any reason
• Report address changes to PDSO within 10 days of change
• Report any change in sources of financial support to PDSO
• Seek the approval of the PDSO/USCIS before engaging in employment or practical training
• Report any changes in program of study to PDSO and ADIE
• Report any change in academic status to PDSO and ADIE
• Notify PDSO and ADIE prior to traveling outside the United States
• Notify PDSO and ADIE upon applying for change of nonimmigrant status
• Notify PDSO and ADIE upon approval of an adjustment of status to an immigrant
• Consult PDSO and ADIE to extend your program
• Notify PDSO and ADIE if you intend to transfer
• Notify PDSO and ADIE about changes in dependent status
Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S. and Being Out of Status
• It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any
given trip, based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94
• Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the DHS causes you to be out-of-status in the United
States, which is a violation of U.S. immigration laws. This may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the
future for return travel to the U.S.
• Staying unlawfully in the United States beyond the date Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have
authorized, even by one day, results in your visa being automatically voided, in accordance with
immigration law, INA 222(g). In this situation, you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa,
generally in your country of nationality.
What Items Do Returning Students Need?
All applicants applying for renewals must submit:
• All items listed in the Required Documentation section and;
• A new I-20 or an I-20 that has been endorsed on the back by a school official within the past 12 months.
Students Away from Classes More Than Five Months
Students in or outside the U.S., who have been away from classes for more than five months, will likely need a new visa to enter the U.S.
How long may a student stay on F-1 student visa?
When you enter the United States on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. That means you may stay as long as you are a full time student, even if the F-1 visa in your passport expires while you are in America. For a student who has completed the course of studies shown on the I-20, and any authorized practical training, the student is allowed the following additional time in the U.S. before departure:
• F-1 student - An additional 60 days, to prepare for departure from the U.S. or to transfer to another school.
As an example regarding duration of status, if you have a visa that is valid for five years that will expire on January 1, 2012, and you are admitted into the U.S. for the duration of your studies (often abbreviated in your passport or on your I-94 card as "D/S"), you may stay in the U.S. as long as you are a full time student. Even if January 1, 2012 passes and your visa expires while in America, you will still be in legal student status. However, if you depart the U.S. with an expired visa, you will need to obtain a new one, applying at an Embassy abroad, before being able to return to America and resume your studies.