International Student Services

The International Student Services Office

The International Student Services Office provides information and services to students concerning international F-1 and J-1 student status and immigration regulations. In addition, the office is here to support international students in adjusting to college life at LIM College, as well as life in New York City, one of the fastest moving cities in the world. 

International Student Services Office Information

Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location: 545 Fifth Avenue, 7th Floor

New York, New York 10017-3620

Telephone: 646-388-8440

Email: iss@limcollege.edu

If you would like to meet with the Coordinator of International Student Services (CISS), please contact the International Student Services Office (ISSO) to schedule a one-on-one appointment to address your questions or concerns.

Remember, all first year international students must check in with the office of International Student Services at LIM College at the time of the International Student Orientation. It is mandatory to participate in the International Student Orientation.

Fall 2017 Workshop Schedule: 

Maintaining F-1 Status & CPT/OPT – October 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm – Classroom 0508 (5th Avenue building)

Life After Graduation – November 10, 2017 at 3:00 pm – Classroom 0508 (5th Avenue building)

Maintaining F-1 Status & CPT/OPT – December 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm – Classroom 0508 (5th Avenue building)

 

International Student Handbook

Find all the information you need in the student handbook below.

International Student Handbook

Information on Tax Filing

The office of International Student Services wants to ensure that you are aware, as an F-1 status student, you may be required to file a federal and state income tax form while you are in the U.S. LIM College is not able to provide guidance on tax filing; however, you can contact any tax professional or accountant within the U.S. for assistance. Additionally, many students have found success using https://sprintax.com or https://glaciertax.com/ to determine their filing needs. LIM College does not endorse any specific person or entity, but there are many resources that students can access, including, but not limited to, the websites above. 

Learn More

All F-1 students are encouraged to visit the following websites to learn more about F-1 status:

https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/
https://www.ice.gov/sevis/students

All J-1 students are encouraged to visit the following website to learn more about J-1 status:

http://j1visa.state.gov/participants/

For more information about the visa process all students are encouraged to visit the following:

What is the visa process?
What is it like for the applicant at the visa window?
What financial documents are needed for a visa interview?

F-1 Students

An F-1 student is a nonimmigrant who is pursuing a "full course of study" to achieve a specific educational or professional objective at an academic institution in the United States that has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to offer courses of study to such students and has been enrolled in SEVIS (the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). It is very important for a nonimmigrant to maintain his or her status while in the United States. Failure to maintain the appropriate nonimmigrant status is grounds for removal from the United States.

Full-Time Study Requirement

Students must maintain a full-time course load during each required semester for the duration of the program. U.S federal regulations require students to pursue a full course of study each semester until completion of their degree. Full time enrollment for undergraduate students is a minimum of 12 academic credits per semester; full time for graduate students is a minimum of nine academic credits per semester.

Only one (1) online class may count towards the minimum credit amount each semester. According to the F-1 regulations, an online class is one that "does not require the student’s physical attendance for classes, examination or other purposes integral to completion of the class.”

If a student cannot register full time, he or she must see the ISSO before classes begin. If a student is registered full time but needs to drop a class or classes, and thus be registered part time, he or she must first see the ISSO. 

Keeping Your Documents Valid

Below are the documents that a student must keep valid at all times.

Form I-20: Students must always keep their I-20 valid. Students must notify the ISSO immediately of any changes and request an updated I-20. It is each student’s responsibility to keep his or her I-20, even after graduation, in case the I-20 is needed to apply for future immigration benefits.

Passport: A passport must be valid at all times. If a passport is lost or stolen, a report should be filed with the New York City Police Department (NYPD). This report may be needed in order to obtain a new passport. To renew or replace a passport, students must contact their home country's consulate in the United States.

F-1 (Student) Visa: An F-1 visa permits students to apply for admission into the United States as an F-1 student, and it does not need to remain valid while a student is in the United States (Canadian citizens are not required to have a visa.) If the visa expires while a student is in the United States, the next time the student travels abroad s/he must obtain a new F-1 visa before returning to the United States. Visas can only be obtained outside of the United States at a United States embassy, consulate, or mission.

Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record: Form I-94 serves as proof that a student has entered the United States in a lawful F-1 or J-1 status.

Changes that Must be Reported to the International Student Services Office

LIM College is required by law to report and update certain information about students into SEVIS. The information that we are required to report includes:

  • Withdrawal from the College
  • Failure to register for classes
  • Failure in a course
  • The information on your I-20
  • Most recent residential address
  • Student only registered part-time
  • Student registered full-time
  • Employment authorization information (if applicable)

Program Extension

If a student is unable to complete the course of study before the completion date on his/her I-20, he/she must request an extension before the current I-20 expires.

Changing Schools

If a student decides to transfer to another school, he/she must contact the ISSO prior to completing his/her final semester at LIM College.

Change of Level

If a student completes his/her current program of study and plans to continue at LIM College in another program (for example, if a student finishes a bachelor’s degree program and will then continue in a master's degree program), the I-20 must be updated since a student was admitted to the United States to complete a specific educational program as reflected on the I-20. If a student’s academic program will change, it is that student’s responsibility to request an update to their SEVIS record and obtain a new I-20.

Change of Major

If a student has been accepted into one major and wishes to change into another major, he/she must request a new I-20.

Change of Funding

If there is a substantial change in the source or amount of funding available to a student to pay tuition, living expenses, meals, travel expenses, etc., this change must be reported to the ISSO in order to obtain a new I-20.

Name Change

The name on the I-20 should match, exactly, the name on the passport. If a student changes any part of his or her legal name on the passport, this change must be reflected on the I-20.

Address Change

F-1 students must satisfy their obligation to notify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of an address change by informing the CISS of any change of address. This notification must be made within ten (10) days of the address change.

If a student is on Optional Practical Training (OPT), he/she must contact the ISSO if he/she changes his/her address, within ten (10) days of the address change. Please note that your local US address for OPT must be a physical address, not a post office box.

Working in the United States: On-Campus Employment, CPT, and OPT

F-1 students may work on campus while enrolled full time and making normal progress toward the completion of degree requirements. This employment can be in any on-campus position that does not displace a United States worker. This employment does not have to be related to your course of study.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an internship or a required practicum that is offered through the College. CPT is available only as an integral part of an established curriculum and the student must receive school credit for this training. CPT must be related to the student’s program of study.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a period during which undergraduate and graduate students with an F-1 status, who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine (9) months, are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for up to one (1) year on a student visa. This work must provide practical training to complement the student’s field of studies. Students can apply for OPT 90 days before the end date of their program, or 60 days after the end date of their program. On-campus employment, CPT, and OPT must be authorized by the ISSO at LIM College before a student starts working. 

Traveling Outside the United States

A DSO at LIM College’s International Student Services office must sign a Form I-20 before a student leaves the United States. A travel signature allows students to return to the United States after having left the country. This signature will be valid for one year and can be used for multiple entries. If a student is on OPT, he or she must obtain a travel signature every six (6) months. To obtain a travel signature, students must make an appointment with the ISSO.

After a temporary absence from the United States, students must present the following at the port of entry:

  • An unexpired I-20 endorsed for travel within the last 12 months
  • A valid passport
  • A valid F-1 Visa
  • Evidence of financial support
  • A copy of the student’s most up-to-date transcript and current course schedule

Please note that students who stay outside the United States for more than one (1) semester and students on Optional Practical Training may have additional requirements. See the ISSO for details. 

Transfer to Another School

If a student plans to continue studies at another school, he/she needs to meet with the ISSO to have his/her SEVIS record transferred to the new school. The student must begin classes at the transfer school or program within five months of transferring out of LIM or within five months of the program completion date on his or her current Form I-20, whichever is earlier. In the case of an F-1 student authorized to engage in post-completion optional practical training (OPT), the student must be able resume classes within five months of transferring out of the school that recommended OPT or the date the OPT authorization ends, whichever is earlier. In order to transfer to a new school, students must be in lawful status, and they must do the following:

  • Apply to a new school and be accepted to a program of study.
  • Contact the Office of International Student Services (or similar office) at the new school to inform them of their intent transfer. Students will need to complete an I-20 transfer application, and turn in documentation that will allow their new school to issue an I-20.                      
  • Inform the ISSO at LIM College that you plan to transfer to a new school and obtain a transfer recommendation form for the new school.
  • If a student is graduating and planning to transfer to another institution, he/she must inform the ISSO within 60 days of the last day of classes at LIM College.
  • If a student is not graduating but transferring, he/she must inform the ISSO of the transfer before the end of his or her last semester at LIM College.

Once an I-20 record has been transferred to a new school, LIM College will no longer have access or authority to update or otherwise change that record.

Grace Period

International students who graduate have 60 days to leave the United States, apply for a change of status, or transfer to another school. The grace period is a period of time given to students who successfully complete their program of study and have graduated. This time allows such students to take care of certain business, such as transferring schools, changing one’s status, or starting a new degree program at LIM College following the completion of OPT.

Please note: Students cannot travel internationally and re-enter the United States in F-1 status during this grace period. Students who do not graduate are not eligible for a grace period. 

J-1 Students

J-1 students study at LIM College for one semester as part of the exchange program with the College’s overseas partner schools.

Full-Time Study Requirement

J-1 students must maintain a full-time course load during each required semester for the duration of their program. Students who wish to register for part-time study or who want to withdraw from a course, must receive approval from the ISSO in order to avoid being out of status. 

Keeping Your Documents Valid

Federal law requires students carry their documents with them at all times. Below are the documents that a student must keep valid.

Form DS-2019: The DS-2019 indicates the institution at which a student is permitted to study, the student’s program of study, and the dates of eligibility. Students must request a DS-2019 extension prior to the form’s expiration date. Allowing the DS-2019 to expire before completion of the academic program is a violation of J-1 status.

Passport: A passport must be valid at all times. If a passport is lost or stolen, a report should be filed with the New York City Police Department (NYPD). This report may be needed in order to obtain a new passport. To renew or replace a passport, students must contact their country's embassy or consulate in the United States

J-1 (Student) Visa: The visa permits a student to apply for admission into the United States as a J-1 student, and it does not need to remain valid while a student is in the United States. Canadian citizens are not required to have a visa. If the visa expires while a student is in the United States, the next time he/she travels abroad a new J-1 visa must be obtained before returning to the United States visas can only be obtained outside of the United States at a United States consulate.

Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record: The Form I-94 serves as proof that a student has entered the United States in lawful J-1 status.

Changes a J-1 Student Must be Reported to the International Student Services Office

LIM College required by law to report and update certain information about students into SEVIS. The information that we are required to report includes:

  • Withdrawal from the College
  • Failure to register for classes
  • Failure in a course
  • The information on your I-20
  • Most recent residential address
  • Student only registered part-time
  • Student registered full-time
  • Employment authorization information (if applicable)

Program Extension

If a student is unable to complete a course of study before the completion date noted on the DS-2019, he/she must notify the ISSO and request an extended DS-2019 before the current DS-2019 expires. If a student plans to engage in Academic Training (AT), he or she must request an extension from the ISSO.

Changing Schools

Students must register full-time at the school listed on their DS-2019. If a student decides to transfer to another school, he/she must contact the ISSO prior to completing his/her final semester at LIM College.

Change of Level

If a student will complete his or her current program of study and plans to continue at LIM College in another program (for example, change from a bachelor’s degree program to a master’s degree program), a Form DS-2019 must be updated.

Change of Funding

If there is a substantial change in the source or amount of funding, this change must be reported to the ISSO to obtain a new DS-2019.

Name Change

The name on the DS-2019 should match exactly the name on the passport. If a student changes any part of the legal name on his/her passport, this change must be reflected on the DS-2019.

Address Change

Any change of address must be reported to the ISSO within ten (10) days of the change.

Insurance Requirements for J-1 Students

J-1 students are required by federal law to have specific amounts of sickness and accident insurance for the duration of their program. Minimum coverage must provide medical benefits of at least US$100,000 per accident or illness; a deductible not to exceed US$500 per accident or illness; and cover expenses associated with the medical evacuation to the home country of at least US$50,000; and repatriation of one’s remains US$25,000.

Working in the United States: On Campus Employment and Academic Training

J-1 students, who receive written authorization from the LIM College’s Responsible Officer (RO) or the Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) of their exchange program, and are maintaining status, may work part-time on campus while classes are in session. Students may not work on campus after completing their course of study.

J-1 status allows limited employment, such as Academic Training (AT), which is training related to your field of study. Students must request AT authorization from the International Student Services Office before starting their internship or job. The training may be paid or unpaid. The total training period may not exceed the amount of time spent enrolled in a full course of study. If a student is planning to engage in AT after the completion of his/her studies, he/she must notify the ISSO before the end date of the program. If a J-1 student is paid while doing AT, he/she must apply for a social security number. 

Traveling Outside the United States

At the port-of-entry after a temporary absence from the United States J-1 students must present:

- A valid passport
- A valid J-1 visa
- A valid Form DS-2019, signed for re-entry by the RO/ARO
- A copy of your transcript
- A copy of the current course schedule.

If the J-1 visa expires while a student is in the United States, the next time he/ she travels abroad or to his/her home country, a new visa must be obtained in order to re-enter the United States.

Grace Period

Following the completion of a program, J-1 students have a 30-day grace period, commonly referred to as the "Grace Period." This period allows students to prepare to return to their home countries. Please note: Students cannot travel internationally and re-enter the United States in J-1 status during this grace period. 

FAQ

What do I do after I graduate?

When an F-1 student is preparing to graduate, he or she has the following options: transfer to another school; apply for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT); or leave the United States before the 60 day grace period expires.

Students will have 60 days from the last day of classes to inform the CISS of their plans to transfer to a new school. If you do not inform LIM College that you wish to have your record transferred to another institution it will automatically be marked “completed” in the SEVIS system.

Can I study part-time?

Students can be part-time only if there are compelling academic or medical reasons that must be properly documented and proven. If these criteria are not met, part-time study cannot be authorized. In order to study part-time, an international student must receive from the ISSO authorization to maintain a Reduced Course Load (RCL). 

Do I need to enroll full time during my last semester, if I have less than 12 (UG) or 9 (MPS) credits required for the degree?

No. If you need less than 12 (UG) or 9 (MPS) credits to complete your degree requirements, you will be allowed to enroll part-time in your last semester.

What happens if my visa expires?

A visa is an entry document used to lawfully enter the United States. If you plan to leave the United States, you will need a valid visa for reentry into the United States. If you plan to leave the United States, please make sure you visit the ISSO prior to departure.

What happens if my I-20 or DS-2019 expires?

You are considered out of status if your I-20 or DS-2019 expires. If either document has expired, immediately schedule an appointment to meet with the ISSO.

What if my I-20 or DS-2019 expires before I complete my program?

You must schedule an appointment, in a timely manner, to process an extension of your I-20 or DS-2019 if either expires earlier than your anticipated completion date. Please note that an extension of status is granted only for compelling academic or medical reasons.  

I lost my I-20 or DS-2019. What should I do?

If your I-20 or DS-2019 is lost, damaged, or stolen you must request a new I-20 or DS-2019 from the ISSO. If your I-20 or DS-2019 is stolen, you should also file a police report with the NYPD as soon as possible.

I am a J-1 student interested in getting a job/internship. What should I do?

J-1 students are eligible for off-campus work both during and after their course of study through Academic Training (AT). Please schedule an appointment with a Career Advisor at the Office of Experiential Education and Career Management (EECM) and the ISSO if you are interested in applying for AT. You must have a job offer prior to applying for AT.

I am an F-1 student interested in getting a job/internship. What should I do?

After one (1) academic year, F-1 students are eligible to pursue off-campus work that is integral to their course of study. This is known as Curricular Practical Training (CPT). F-1 students can also apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Please see the Coordinator of International Student Services if you are planning to apply to undergo OPT.

Can I work on campus?

Yes. F-1 and J-1 students are authorized to work on-campus. Please refer to page eight in the Working in the United States section of this handbook for more information.

Can I travel within the United States after I graduate?

If you are an F-1 student, you must leave the United States within 60 days of your program end date. If you are on a J-1 visa, your grace period is 30 days. You may travel within the US during your grace period.