OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL SERVICES

Frequently Asked Questions

 
  1. What do I need to do if I move?
  2. What are the health insurance requirements?
  3. What do I need to do before traveling outside of the U.S.?
  4. How do I get a program extension?
  5. What is a grace period?
  6. What are my U.S. tax obligations?
  7. How can I drop below a full course of classes (12 hours for undergraduate and 9 hours for graduate)?
  8. What help can I receive in inviting immediate family members to visit?
  9. What are OPT and CPT? When can I apply?
  10. How can I work off campus?
  11. Can I work on campus?
  12. I am currently in the United States under a non-immigrant visa status (F-1, J-1, H-1B, etc.). I would like to visit a U.S. territory. What do I need to be able to travel in and out of one of the U.S. territories safely?

 

 
1.

Q: What do I need to do if I move?

 

A: You must complete a change of address form (AR-11) within 10 days of changing your address. All visa status holders will need mail the AR-11 to CIS directly and give a copy of the AR-11 to OIS. Also, you will need to inform OIS of any changes in your email address or phone number.

 

 
2.

Q: What are the health insurance requirements?

 

A: All international visitors at UTHSCSA on non-immigrant visas and their accompanying dependents must be covered by health insurance which meets the following minimum standards

  1. Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness.
  2. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
  3. Repatriation of remains coverage in the amount of $7,500.
  4. Expenses associated with medical evacuation to the home country in the amount of $10,000.

 

 
3.

Q: What do I need to do before traveling outside of the U.S.?

 

A: Complete and submit a Travel Request Form to OIS two weeks before intended travel date (with a valid visa), or three weeks before intended travel date (with an expired visa). Dependents (F-2, J-2, H-4, etc.) that are traveling need to complete and submit the Travel Request for Dependent/Visitor Form.

 

***It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents. ***

 

 
4.

Q: How do I get a program extension?

 

A: If you wish to apply for an extension, you must communicate your intention to OIS at least 45 days before your expiration date. 

 

*Not all applicants are eligible for extensions; contact your OIS advisor to find out if you qualify.

 

 
5.

Q: What is a grace period?

 

A: A grace period is the time you are allowed to stay in the U.S. after your program ends.  It is different for each visa status; contact your OIS advisor to learn about your grace period.  For all non-immigrant visa holders the grace period begins after your expiration date OR the date your program ends, whichever is earlier. During this period you are permitted to engage in activities similar to those of a tourist, but you are not permitted to work or earn money. 

 

There is no grace period for someone who terminates a program early.

 

 
6.

Q: What are my U.S. tax obligations?

 

A: People who receive a paycheck from an American provider must file an annual tax return, regardless of where their income originates or whether they are eligible for a tax treaty benefit.  Please contact Kim August at the Office of Payroll Services at 562-6315 if you have any tax-related questions.

 

 
7.

Q: How can I drop below a full course of classes (12 hours for undergraduate and 9 hours for graduate)?

 

A: You must first be approved by an OIS advisor when registering for anything less than full-time. Complete and submit a Request to Reduce Course Load Form to OIS. Only after it has been reviewed and approved, can you register for less than full-time or drop below this designated amount of hours. Failure to maintain full-time status without prior approval can result in falling out of status.

 

 
8.

Q: What help can I receive in inviting immediate family members to visit?

 

A: OIS will provide a B-2 visa support letter for immediate family members ONLY. Complete and submit a Travel Request for Dependent/Visitor Form at least four weeks before their intended travel date.  Please note that OIS requires a copy of the traveler’s passport identification page; this often takes additional time on your part, so prepare accordingly.

 

 
9.

Q:  What are OPT and CPT? When can I apply?

 

A:  Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student’s major area of study. If eligible, students may have up to 12 months work authorization per degree level (Bachelor’s, Master’s, M.D. Ph.D.). OPT is not employer specific, but it requires authorization from the CIS which may take 60 to 90 days, or longer, to obtain. Students may apply for OPT up to 3 months before the program completion date, but it must be before their graduation date.

 

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an option available to F-1 students when employment is part of their academic program or when they will receive academic credit for work. CPT is employer specific so a job offer must exist before authorization can be given. OIS recommends that students apply at least one month prior to the start date of employment. OIS will not authorize CPT more than one semester at a time.

 

 
10.

Q: How can I work off campus?

 

A: There are various categories in which a student in valid F-1 status may work off-campus. For more information about the different categories and whether you qualify, please call OIS to make an appointment to see an International Visitor Advisor.

 

 
11.

Q: Can I work on campus?

 

A: A UTHSCSA F-1 or J-1student is eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week (part-time) when school is in session and more than 20 hours per week (full-time) when school is on break, including summer if you are eligible and intend to register for the next semester. Any job you have on campus must end when you complete your course of study. Also, you have to maintain your status throughout your employment or lose your eligibility for continuation of the work.

 

 

12.

Q: I am currently in the United States under a non-immigrant visa status (F-1, J-1, H-1B, etc.). I would like to visit a U.S. territory. What do I need to be able to travel in and out of one of the U.S. territories safely?

 

A: Contiguous United States territories include Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Should you wish to travel to any of these territories, you simply need to plan as if you were traveling to any other location in the U.S. However, we do suggest traveling with your passport, visa stamp, I-94, and any other official non-immigrant document (ie: I-20, DS 2019, I-797, etc.).



top of page