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International Students

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Current Students & Scholars

Maintenance of Status
     F-1 Students
     J-1 Exchange Visitors
Travel Information
Program Extensions
Reduced Course of Study
School Transfer and Change of Level


Maintenance of Status

F-1 Students:

  • Report to the OISS within 10 days of start of school to complete the F-1 check-in procedure
  • Register full-time each semester*
    • Undergraduate students: 12 academic credits per term (minimum)
    • Graduate students: 9 to 12 credits per term; varies by degree program
  • Do not work in the U.S. without employment authorization (see employment information)
  • Within 10 days of the occurrence, report the following to the OISS:
    • Change of major or addition of second major or minor
    • Change of financial aid award package or financial support as listed on the I-20
    • Changes of local address
    • Official change of citizenship or name, in your passport
    • Approved leave of absence or withdrawal from school
    • Anticipated completion of your degree more than 21 days before the end date on your I-20 (completing your degree early)
    • Change of immigration status
  • Have your I-20 signed by the director at least once per year
  • Students authorized for post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT):
    • Do not exceed 90 days of unemployment once authorization commences
    • Have your I-20 signed by the director at every six months
  • *A reduced course load may be authorized for documented medical conditions and specific academic situations. Student who are considering dropping below full-time must speak with an advisor prior to dropping courses. OISS

J-1 Exchange Visitors: visiting scholars, visiting professors, and exchange students:

  • Report to the OISS within 10 days of start of school to complete the J-1 check-in procedure
  • J-1 students and exchange students must register full-time each term
  • Obtain travel signature on DS-2019 every 6 months
  • Maintain required health insurance coverage during stay in the U.S.
  • Do not work in the U.S. except as noted on your DS-2019 or with written permission from the OISS director
  • Depart the U.S. no more than 30 days after program end date

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Travel Information

International students and scholars are free to travel both domestically and internationally during their time at Yeshiva University. Prior to leaving the U.S. make sure that you documents are in order to avoid difficulty reentering. If you plan to travel outside of the U.S., please keep in mind that you will need to have certain documents with you in order to re-enter the United States.

All F-1 students should carry the following documents with them when reentering the U.S.:

  • Passport valid for 6 months beyond end date on your I-20.
  • Valid F-1 visa (Canadians do not a need visa) IMPORTANT: If you do not have a valid visa stamp in your passport consistent with your current immigration status, you will need to apply for a visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad.  Contact the U.S. Consulate/Embassy well in advance of your intended travel to see how long they are taking to schedule appointments.  You can find the websites for each of the Consulates here:  http://usembassy.state.gov.
  • Signed I-20 (1 time per year) or DS-2019 (every 6 months)
  • Transcript showing that you are/have been studying full-time
  • Proof of funding (by law, customs can ask to see this
  • SEVIS I-901 fee receipt (by law, customs can ask to see this) You can reprint your receipt online: www.fmjfee.com
  • Students authorized for post-completion OPT should also bring: approval notice, EAD and job letter.  Students on OPT must have their I-20 endorsed for travel every 6 months. REMEMBER TO REPORT OPT EMPLOYMENT WITHIN 90 DAYS OF YOUR OPT START DATE.
  • STEM OPT: Students who apply for STEM OPT should not leave the U.S. while the application is pending, unless your 12 month OPT period is still valid.
  • In case of an emergency, please carry YU's 24 hour emergency number 212.960.5200

Every time you return to the U.S.: Print out an electronic I-94 number at www.cbp.gov/i94  The Form I-94 is a record of your U.S. arrival/departure.  Some Canadian land borders still provide paper I-94 cards.  From now on, please print out your electronic I-94 record after each entry to the U.S. for your records. Carefully check your I-94 Arrival Record upon each admission to ensure the expiration date is correct.  The “Admit until Date” on the I-94 Arrival Record is the date your status expires.

Bumpy return? Normally students are admitted to the U.S. for Duration of Status (D/S).  D/S means you may stay inside the U.S. to complete you program of study, provided that you are following all the F-1/J-1 rules and regulations.  Often, students who do not have all their documentation are admitted to the U.S. anyway, for 30 days.  If you receive a form I-515A upon return, it is urgent that you contact the OISS immediately upon return to convert it to D/S.  Failure to do so could result in a visa overstay and a violation of your F or J status.

Automatic Revalidation of Visa: Reentering the U.S. with a valid I-94 and an expired visa.

Under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the U.S. may be admitted at a U.S. port-of-entry by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), if they meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Nonimmigrants who departed the United States for brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island (for F and J nonimmigrants) for thirty days or less;
  • Nonimmigrants with a valid (unexpired) admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, endorsed by DHS.

For complete information please refer to the U.S. Department of State site: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/general/automatic-revalidation.html and the CBP Website: https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/auto_reva_3.pdf

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Program Extensions

Students are expected to complete their degree by the end date on the I-20.  There are times when intervening medical or academic situations delay program completion. If you think that you will not be able to finish in time, speak with the an advisor at the OISS well in advance to see if you qualify for an I-20 program extension.  A program extension must be authorized before the end date on the I-20. Failure to complete or extend on time will result in program Termination.

Reduced Course of Study

F-1 and J-1 students are required by law to register and attend school full-time every term. Under certain circumstances, a Designated School Official (DSO) may authorize a reduced course load (RCL), permitting you to drop to part-time or even stop studying completely for a specific period of time. At Yeshiva University, the person to see about RCL authorization is the OISS Director. Below are the different kinds of RCL:

  1. Academic RCL: Academic difficulties are restricted to initial difficulties with English language or reading requirements, unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods, or improper course level placement. To maintain F-1 status, you must register at least half time and resume a full course of study the next required semester. A reduced course load based on academic difficulties may only be authorized once per academic level. If you have already been authorized for Academic RCL at your current program level, at Yeshiva University or another school, you are not eligible for a second authorization. [8CFR 214.2(f)(6)(iii)(A)]
  2. Medical RCL: If you are suffering from a temporary illness or medical condition, are unable to study full-time AND will remain inside the U.S., you may be able to register part-time or not at all, depending on your condition. A licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist needs to provide a formal letter, on letter head, substantiating your condition and recommending a reduced course load for a specified period of time. Medical RCL extending beyond one semester must be reauthorized each term. A student may be authorized for Medical RCL on more than one occasion while pursuing a course of study, as long as they do not exceed a total of 12 months per academic level. [8CFR 214.2(f)(6)(iii)(B)] Students who are approved for a leave of absence and leave the U.S. to pursue medical treatment do not need medical RCL, but you do need to advise the ISA of your plans before leaving or dropping your courses.
  3. Final Semester: A Designated School Official (DSO) may authorize an RCL in your final semester, if fewer courses are needed to complete your program of study. Your academic advisor must confirm that you are in your final term and taking all remaining required courses to graduate. [8CFR 214.2(f)(6)(iii)(C)] To qualify for RCL, you must still be enrolled full-time. If you have already dropped below full time, you are not eligible. Yeshiva University is required to Terminate your SEVIS record and you will need to apply for Reinstatement to F-1 status once you are able to resume a full course load.

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School Transfers and Change of Level

Students often transfer from one SEVIS approved school to another, inside the U.S. To start the process of transferring, provide the OISS with written confirmation of acceptance to another school and the school's SEVIS school code. Your SEVIS record must be transferred out or "Released" to the new school before the end of the 60 day grace period following completion of studies or OPT authorization.  You must be able to start school within 5 months of program completion or the next required semester, whichever is sooner. You cannot skip a required term at the Transfer-In school. Transfer-In request  Transfer-Out request

A Change of Level is moving from one academic level to another, at the same school.  (ex: Bachelor to Master)  When this happens, a new I-20 is required. The new I-20 must be issued before the end of the 60 day grace period following completion of studies or OPT authorization.

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