CONNECTIONS: INTERNATIONAL STUDENT NEWS
September, 2005 Volume 3, Number 4
Do You Have a Valid I-20
One of your most important non-immigrant documents is the Check Your I-20 (Page 3)
Form I-20AB Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Page 3 lists requests for authorized employment
Status. Review these keys for more information. off-campus work eligibility. Certain SEVIS
(Student Exchange Visitor Information System)
Check Your I-20 (Page 1)
actions are also recorded under the event history
Item 1 contains a student’s background information. If any of this section (such as registration). The four lines at
information changes, you will need to request a new I-20 (–ex. the bottom of the page are available for travel
marriage or other legal name change). confirmation. If the date listed next to your
most recent signature is more than five months
Item 2 lists the institution you are authorized to attend. All Strayer
old, submit your original I-20 for signature by a
University students must have an I-20 issued by Strayer University. If
DSO at least one week prior to travel.
your home campus changes, check with your Designated School
Official (DSO) to see if a new I-20 is needed.
Item 3 indicates the type of I-20 you have been issued.
Social Security Eligibility
Item 4 indicates the level of degree you are pursuing at Strayer Most students are not eligible for a Social
University. If you are changing your degree level at Strayer University, Security Card immediately upon entering the
you will need to complete a Strayer Change of Status Form, and United States. In order to qualify for a Social
request a new I-20. Security card, students must present Form I-20
AB, Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record, and
Item 5 lists your program length and area of study. If you change proof of employment as cited below:
your major, you will need to request a new I-20 to match the new
program. If you need additional time to complete your studies, USCIS On-Campus Employment
recommends that you request an extension 45 days prior to I-20
expiration (see your Campus Dean). If requesting or completing 1. Letter from a Designated School Official
authorized Optional Practical Training (OPT), your program end date (DSO) verifying on-campus employment
will match your last date of attendance. (request from Admissions).
2. A recently issued pay slip or pay stub or a
Item 6 indicates whether or not you need to submit proof of TOEFL letter from your employer on letterhead that
(Test of English as a Foreign Language) prior to registering for classes.
provides employment verification/information.
Item 7 lists the cost of attendance for one year at Strayer University Off-Campus Employment
(and any additional dependents).
If you have been approved for Optional Practical
Item 8 lists your source(s) of financial funding. Training or Economic Hardship, your
Item 9 lists your student ID at Strayer University and any comments Employment Authorization Document (EAD
concerning your study. Transfer students should have a “transfer card) will be used as verification.
completed” date listed in the comments section. Reinstatement and Not Employed
Change of Status I-20’s will have a request to USCIS indicated there.
If you are not employed in the United States,
Item 10 provides the signature of a DSO at Strayer University. then you are not eligible for a new Social
Item 11 student signature indicates your confirmation and under- Security card. Banks and apartment complexes
standing of all information contained on the I-20, and a release of should be aware of this new policy. However, if
liability in accordance with 8CFR214.3(g). You should read this state- you are having difficulty opening a bank account
ment carefully and review your I-20 each time a new form is issued. or renting an apartment without a Social Security
number, please contact your campus director for
Check Your I-20 (Page 2) a letter of explanation.
Review the “Instructions to Students, Items 1–12” for specific *F-1 students must also have an active SEVIS
guidelines on how to maintain your status while in the United States. record (for a minimum of 48 hours) and have
You are responsible for this information and strongly encouraged to been inside the U.S. for a minimum of 10 days
review page 2 of your Form I-20AB frequently. prior to applying.
Internet Resources for F-1 How to Maintain Your
Students F-1 Status
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SECTION Maintaining valid F-1 status requires a combina-
http://studentserver.strayer.edu – (click on the International link, tion of up-to-date documents and attendance at
left hand side, then Important Information) the institution listed on your I-20. It can be a
complicated process. Please review the tips listed
VA DRIVER’S LICENSE below to help you maintain your status.
http://dmvnow.com/legalpresence – VA residents must prove legal
presence when applying for a new/expired/revoked license. Or call • Inform USCIS (via your campus) of a change of
1-866-DMV-LINE. address within 10 days of the change.
USCIS FORMS • Undergraduate students must carry a minimum
http://uscis.gov/graphics of 13.5 credit hours each quarter. Graduate stu-
dents must carry a minimum of nine credit hours
• Only enroll in one online course per quarter as
applied towards full-time status.
• Attend Strayer University for nine months
TRACK YOUR USCIS APPLICATION ONLINE
(three consecutive terms) before applying for off-
https://egov.immigration.gov/cris/jsps/index.jsp – Requires receipt
campus work authorization. This nine month
from USCIS of an EAC or tracking number. It is not possible to
clock begins anew for transfer students and those
track Reinstatement requests via this Web site.
who have reentered the U.S. on an initial
VISA RENEWAL INFORMATION Reinstatement via Travel request.
http://usembassy.state.gov/ – Web site of U.S. Embassies &
• Undergraduate students must maintain at least
a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA), and
USCIS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0
http://uscis.gov/graphics/howdoi/academic.htm cumulative GPA per quarter in accordance with
TRAVEL TIPS FROM USCIS Strayer University’s probation and suspension pol-
OTHER QUESTIONS – EMAIL YOUR DSO • Do not accept off-campus employment without
Email: email@example.com proper work authorization.
• If working on-campus, do not work more than
20 hours per week during enrolled terms.
• Request authorization from the campus dean
prior to taking an enrollment break for any rea-
TRIVIA QUESTION son.
Which of the languages spoken prior to • Insufficient funds are not an authorized reason
for failure to enroll in required courses.
Columbus discovering the Americas is most
prevalently spoken today?
F-1 International Student
Submit your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Open House
The first student to provide the correct response will win
a prize. The response deadline is October 31, 2005. When: Saturday, October 22, 2005
Responses must include a valid student name, ID Time: 1:00 p.m.
and contact information to be eligible.
Location: Arlington Campus (students from
Answer to June’s trivia question: all campuses welcome)
Brazzaville to Kinshasa (only four miles apart) RSVP to email@example.com by
October 15, 2005
Working in the United States – Employment is a Privilege
Work authorization is not a guarantee of F-1 status. Students must • Economic Hardship is renewable
be maintaining valid F-1 status to qualify for and retain employ- annually based on a subsequent application
ment. If you violate your F-1 status, you must stop working. with USCIS and may only continue if a
Unauthorized employment is a violation of 8CFR 214; therefore, valid EAD card is received.
please review the employment restrictions outlined below prior to
• Full-time enrollment must continue
accepting work offers of any kind.
during periods of authorized Economic
On-Campus Employment Hardship.
• F-1 students are authorized to work on-campus only at the insti-
tution listed on their Form I-20. *Strayer University does not provide
• F-1 students may work a maximum of twenty hours per week Curricular Practical Training (CPT) at this
during terms of required attendance. Students may work full-time time and students interested in work authori-
during authorized breaks. zation Sponsorship of Certain International
Organizations should contact the sponsoring
• Initial students may begin work no earlier than thirty days prior agency to begin the application process and
to the start of a term. confirm eligibility.
• Transfer students may not begin work until a transfer Form I-20
has been issued by Strayer University.
• Students between academic levels at the same school may con-
tinue on-campus employment (with confirmation of enrollment in
the next academic term).
• Students may not engage in on-campus employment during the Health Insurance
60-day grace period following completion of a course of study
unless already approved for OPT and a valid EAD card received. Strayer University has an agreement with
*For Winter graduates, this date is December 18, 2005. a good and affordable heath insurance
company called Healthcare Advantage. For
Optional Practical Training (OPT) approximately $35 each month you can
receive health insurance that will help pay
• F-1 students who have applied for OPT may not begin work
hospital bills. All international students
until an EAD card is received. Upon receipt, the EAD card indi-
should be aware that health care costs in
cates the only dates of authorized employment.
the U.S. are quite expensive in comparison
• Students in possession of a valid EAD card for OPT may work with prices abroad. You are strongly urged
full-time during their approved period of practical training. to purchase health insurance throughout
• Students may work on-campus or off-campus during their your attendance at Strayer University.
approved period of practical training. Visit www.StudentBenefitsInternational.org
• OPT effective dates are cancelled at the time of transfer/regis- for more information or to register for
tration at a new institution, or declaration and registration in a international student health insurance.
new degree program.
• F-1 students who have applied for Economic Hardship may not
begin work until an EAD card is received indicating dates of
• With a valid EAD card, students may work a maximum of
twenty hours per week during terms of full-time attendance.
There is no restriction during authorized breaks.
<<Indicia to be
filled in by
International Student Affairs Office
P.O. Box 1310
Newington, VA 22122
insurance – Details
inside this issue!
F-1 STUDENT OPEN HOUSE :
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2005
NEW STUDENTS: TURN IN COPIES OF YOUR
STAMPED I-94/I-20, PASSPORT, AND VISA TO
ADMISSIONS WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ARRIVAL TO
FINALIZE YOUR SEVIS REGISTRATION.