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You are encouraged to make personal appointments to eliminate unnecessary wait time. We look
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Fall 2021 Orientation Guide

InternationalStudentOrientation_Fall_2021_8-26-21

New Students

Documentation required for Requesting an Immigration Document ( Form I-20 or DS-2019)

  • Admission Offer Letter
  • Passport (This must be  valid at all times for a minimum of  6 months into the future
  • Financial Documents ( Official Bank Statement for checking, savings or investment accounts held by the student or the student’s family members
  • Scholarship Letter from Howard University
  • Scholarship letters from outside sponsors
  • Approved loans
  • SEVIS Transfer Documents  ( Students who currently hold active F-1  or J-1 status in the United States e.g. transfer students)
  • English Language Proficiency ( J-1 Students only)

Visa Application Requirements

After the student has been issued a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, students will have to apply for a new visa ( new students only), pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee or transfer their immigration status to Howard University ( transfer students only). The following documents are required for U.S. visa applications at the U.S. embassy:

  • SEVIS Form I-120 or Form DS-2019
  • Passport sized photograph
  • Howard University Admission Offer Letter
  • Passport (This must be  valid at all times for a minimum of  6 months into the future
  • Financial  Support Documents ( Official Bank Statement for checking, savings or investment accounts held by the student or the student’s family members
  • Scholarship Letter from Howard University
  • Scholarship letters from outside sponsors
  • Approved loans
  • SEVIS Transfer Documents  ( Students who currently hold active F-1  or J-1 status in the United States e.g. transfer students)
  • English Language Proficiency ( J-1 Students only
  • SEVIS I-901 Fee payment receipt
  • DS-190 confirmation receipt
  • Evidence of no intention to abandon residence within your home country ( e.g. strong family ties)

Reporting Requirements and Immigration Document Review

New and Transfer International Students are required to confirm their arrival within the United States and  MUST check in to the Office of Immigration and Visa Services  no later than 30 days after the start date on your I-20 or DS-2019. If you do not check in at ISS, you may lose your valid immigration status in the U.S.. All international students must report to the Office of International Student & Immigration Services in order to activate their SEVIS record. All students must provide the following information to the Office of Immigration and Visa Services:

  • Report to the Office of Immigration & VISA Immigration Services within 30 days of your arrival within the United States. It is REQUIRED BY LAW that you come to the International Students and Scholars Office when you first arrive at Howard whether it is your first time in the U.S. or if you are transferring from another U.S. institution. If you are transferring to Howard, you must complete the transfer procedures at ISS within 15 days after classes start. ISS will register you in the SEVIS database as having completed the transfer process
  • Attend the mandatory International Student and New Student Orientation sessions
  • If transferring a SEVIS record, report to the Office of  International Student & VISA Immigration Services within 30  days of the I-20 start date
  • Provide Immigration documents for verification of international student status
  • Report your address on arrival to the US and within ten days of moving for the duration of your stay on an F or J visa
  • I-94 Record of Entry

Documents required for Mandatory Immigration In-Person Check-In/Reporting

  • F1 VISA: passport, VISA, I-94 ( electronic)  and I-20
  • J-1 VISA: passport, VISA, I-94 (electronic), DS-2019 and evidence of health insurance
  • The following information is also required
  • Email address
  • Local address
  • Phone Number
  • Emergency Contact
  • Original admission offer letter
  • Proof of SEVISI-901 Fee payment

Maintaining Your Immigration Status

The F-1 students’ main purpose for being in the US is to be a student. It is your responsibility to maintain your legal status while in the United States. Upon arrival in the United States it is mandatory that all International students with F-1 and J-1 status check in to the International Student and VISA Immigration Services Office. Immigration regulations may change. Please contact our office if you have any questions. The Office of International Student and VISA Immigration Services is the primary resources for learning about student rights and responsibilities as a student at Howard University.  

 

            The following are required to maintain your legal status as an international student:

  • Report to the Office of International Student & Immigration Services within 30 days of program (I-20 or DS-2019 start date)
  • Full-time enrollment in Fall and Spring semesters
  • Undergraduate- 12 credits
  • Graduate – 9 credits
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Maintain a valid SEVIS Form I-20 or DS2019 issued by Howard University with your current major & level of Study
  • Maintain a valid passport – 6 months beyond your program end date
  • No unauthorized employment
  • Do not exceed 20 hours/week of on-campus employment during the academic year
  • Report any changes of address within 10 days of moving
  • Monitor the program end date on the Form I-20

F-1 Program Extension

in order to complete your studies at Howard and maintain your legal status in the US you must apply for a program extension if your I-20 Form is about to expire. Please check item #5 on your current I-20. You must apply for an extension 30 days before your I-20 expires. Failure to do so could jeopardize your legal status in the US, interrupt your study, and have other serious legal consequences.

Procedure for obtaining a program extension:
You may download the F-1 extension application from this site or pick it up at ISS.

  • To prepare the application, you need to:
  • Ask your academic adviser to complete the recommendation form.
    Obtain proof of your financial support for the entire period of your extension (an award letter, Howard assistantship letter, bank statement, or sponsor letter). You must show that you have sufficient funding to cover the expenses for the entire period of the extension as listed in the F-1 extension application packet. We cannot accept less than the amounts shown.
  • If you are a NON-DEGREE graduate student, you will also need to obtain the signature of your Graduate Student Services Representative in the graduate school.

Bring the completed application to the Office of Immigration and Visa Services and sign in to speak with the Advisor on Duty.

The following documents are required to process an F-1 program extension:

      • Proof of financial support
      • Completed Academic Advisor form
  • Allow one week for ISS to produce your extended I-20.
  • ISS advisor will let you know by email when you can pick up your new I-20.
  • If you work on campus, your I-9 Employment Eligibility form will need to be updated in your department.
  • PLEASE NOTE: This procedure will extend your I-20 but not your visa stamp. If you have an expired visa stamp in your passport, it is ok to remain in the U.S. but the next time you travel out of the U.S. and need to re-enter, you will still need to apply for a new visa stamp to re-enter the U.S.

Changing your Immigration Status

Once you have entered the U.S. in a particular visa status, such as F1, your plans may change and you may decide to change your visa status. There are two ways to change your visa status.

  • One way is to travel out of the U.S. apply at a U.S. consulate for a new type of visa stamp and then re-enter the U.S. in the new visa classification. [NOTE: Since Canadians do not need visa stamps, a Canadian would simply have to pay the SEVIS fee as explained on the handout attached to your I-20 and then make a new entry in to the U.S. with the new immigration documents. You must receive a new I-94 card with the new status recorded on it.]
  • The second way is to send an application to a U.S.C.I.S. service center while remaining within the U.S. If you change your visa status this way, the next time you travel out of the U.S., you would still need to go to a U.S. consulate, apply for and obtain the visa stamp appropriate to your new visa classification. Additionally, you can NOT apply while remaining in the U.S. if either:

    1) you are a J-1 visa holder who is subject to the two year home residence requirement or

          2) you came in to the U.S. using the visa waiver program.

  • If you are subject to this two year rule or you came in to the U.S. using the visa waiver, you must travel out of the U.S. to change your status or get a waiver of the requirement. Come to ISS to discuss this with an advisor.

Below is a list of the different status changes you might be seeking. Click on each item to get more information and application procedures.

  • F1 to F2
  • F2 to F1
  • H1 to F1
  • B2 to F1
  • to J1 student
  • Continuing student (currently in H4, J2, L2, or J1 status requesting I-20 to change of status to F-1

Change of Degree Program or Level

If you are changing degree levels within Howard University, the graduate school or the professional school who admitted you will produce a new I-20 for you once you have been admitted and have provided financial support statements to them.