Francis is seeking to be authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students. International students seeking admission to the college should write to the Registrar several months in advance of the fall semester requesting current information about the schools admission policies. Many of the forms needed to enter the U.S. or change status are available online at
In order to satisfy U.S. immigration law, the student should be familiar with the following requirements
All international students are required by law to maintain an up-to-date permanent and local address with the Francis University Registrar and to update Francis and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of any address changes within 10 days.
Change of Status
Within the U.S.
To apply for a change of status while in the U.S., be prepared to present the following documents.
- I-901 SEVIS Fee
- Completed I-539
- Explanation why electing to change status
- Original I-94 card
- Copy of spouse's I-94 if dependent on his/her visa status
- Check for $200 made payable to Department of Homeland Security
- Copies of valid/current passport and visa pages
- Copies of passport & visa pages for spouse if dependent on spouse's visa status
- Affidavit of support, bank statement, assistantship agreement or other proof of sufficient funding.
- Original I-20
- Copies of spouse's I-20 or other if dependent on spouse's visa
Outside the U.S.
Application is made for a new visa for the new status at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Optional Practical Training
If you have been in F-1 status for at least nine (9) months (two academic semesters) you are eligible for optional practical training (OPT) which is temporary employment in your current field of study for purposes of gaining practical experience.
You may receive twelve months of practical training for each academic level (Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate) For part-time (20 hours or less per week) OPT only half time is deducted from the 12 months (e.g. for four months of part-time OPT only two months is deducted.)
You may apply for authorization for optional practical training directly related to your major area of study in the following cases:
During your annual vacation (summer) as long as you intend to register for the next semester. It is advisable to have a job offer at the time of application in this case. The job can be full or part-time.
While school is in session, provided that practical training does not exceed twenty hours a week. Must have a job offer before applying. Total number of work hours must not exceed 20hrs/wk, including on-campus jobs.
After completion of course requirements except thesis/dissertation. Again, you should have a job offer before applying.
For post completion OPT the application must be submitted before the completion of your program or before the ending date of your I-20, whichever comes first. The start date of the OPT must be within 60 days of your program completion.
• I-765 (Signed in blue ink)
• All I-20's
• Copies of passport and I-94 card
• $180.00 check made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
• Academic Certification/Recommendation letter from department
• Two color photos (Please follow the instructions included in the application packet)
If you meet these qualifications, you can proceed with the application for practical training authorization. Upon completion of all the forms, the international student advisor will review your application and decide either to recommend or not recommend your application for submission to USCIS for adjudication. Application packets are available online or with the international student advisor. A new SEVIS I-20 will be issued with the recommendation of OPT. You will have to pick up your new I-20 form after processing has been completed.
International students who are or will be in F-1 visa status are required to show proof of adequate funding for at least one year before an I-20 form can be issued. Financial requirements are calculated on the basis of tuition and fees (for two semesters), living expenses (600/month) and miscellaneous expenses ($1,000). An additional $ 4,000 will be added for accompanying spouses and $ 1,500 for each child Students must submit the Financial Certification Form along with appropriate attachments.
The following documents are accepted as financial certification:
A current (less than six months old) bank statement or certification from other legal financial institution, along with an official letter (affidavit of support) from the sponsor. The letter should include the student's name, sponsor's name, his/her relationship to the student (parent, sister, friend, etc.), the amount of support and the time period for which it will be provided, and a stated willingness to cover the student's expenses.
Written confirmation from the sponsoring institution of a scholarship, fellowship, assistantship or other type of funding. For assistantship, a copy of the assistantship agreement signed by the department is required.
In case of personal funds, a bank statement or statement from any legal financial institution that includes the student's name, and the amount available. Please note that photocopies and statements older than six months are not acceptable.
Financial certifications have to reach the institute by the posted deadline, which is usually October 15 for the spring semester and May 15 for the fall semester. If you have questions about the availability of assistantships, please contact the dean of student?
If you need further information about Francis’s tuition and fees, please contact the Business Office.
All international students and their families are required to have active health insurance during their stay in the United States. International students are not permitted to register or to continue enrollment at Francis without demonstrating compliance with the insurance requirement. A block will be placed on your account until requirements are met. The institute is unable to make any exceptions to this rule. Insurance coverage will be checked every semester.
In order to maintain your F-1 visa status, you must:
Attend the school and degree program indicated on your I-20. Request a new form if there is any change in your degree level or major.
Carry a full course of study (9 credit hours for graduate students and 12 credit hours for undergraduate students). Exceptions can be approved ONLY by the International Student Advisor-Designated School Official.
Keep your I-20 form valid at all times. Check the expiration date in item #5 to make sure that it is still valid. Request a new form if any major changes occur in your situation (e.g., changes in source of funding, marital status, major, degree program).
Follow the required procedures (with the help of the Designated School Official/International Advisor) when:
- Applying for extension of stay
- Transferring to or from another school
- Applying for OPT
Refrain from off-campus employment without ICE or school authorization. Off-campus work permission is approved ONLY by ICE in case of an extraordinary circumstance. It is illegal to work without authorization and you are subject to deportation.
Keep your passport valid at all times
REQUIRED VISA DOCUMENTATION
• $200.00 non refundable to U.S. Consulate
• Form DS-156, Form DS-157, Form DS-158 (available online at http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/forms/forms_1342.html)
• Valid Passport
• SEVIS fee
• Photographs (2-inch x 2-inch)
• SEVIS I-20 (provided by the institute)
• University acceptance letter
• Sufficient funding
Students are required to report and register immediately upon arrival with the international student advisor. Please bring the following documents; passport, stamped I-20 and I-94. All students and their dependents are required to purchase medical insurance whether from your home country or from the U.S. Insurance is not included in your tuition.
An F-1 student who has overstayed his/her period of stay or has otherwise failed to maintain status may be reinstated to lawful F-1 status at the discretion of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) District Director. You should assemble the following documentation:
• Original I-94
• Copy of passport and visa
• Copy of current I-20 Form
• New I-20
• Evidence of financial support
• Check for $200.00 made payable to “Department of Homeland Security”
• I-901 Receipt (SEVIS Fee) if applicable
• Letter addressed to INS from the student stating the reasons for being out-of-status
Reinstatement Application should be submitted to the address given at:
or filed electronically at
If you have had income while in the U.S., you may need to file an income tax return. In most cases you will qualify as a Nonresident Alien (NRA) and will file either a 1040NR or a 1040NR-EZ may meet your needs. You can download these forms from
If you have not had income, you may file a Form 8843, available at:
If you have worked in the U.S. and your income was subject to withholding, you may need to file Form 1042-S:
The analogous California form is 540NR, available from
While Francis University cannot provide advice on taxes, we will endeavor to refer you to a qualified tax advisor if you need help filing the proper forms.
The following links may be useful as you plan your education in the U.S.
Visa Wait Times
Port of Entry Fact Sheet
SEVIS I-901 Fee