International Student Policies for F1 non-immigrant student status

Date of original implementation: February 2011

Date of Last Revision: October 2012

Policies for Employees selected to serve as Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) or Designated School Official (DSO) at Cambridge College:

Prior to addition to Form I-17, employee must:

1. Complete, with a senior P/DSO present, the SEVP training for Designated School Officials.

2. Submit the following documents:

a. Proof of U.S. Citizenship: one of the following

i. Birth certificate

ii. Passport

iii. Permanent Resident Card

b. Marriage license if name on Proof of U.S. Citizenship differs from the employee’s legal name

c. Form I-9, demonstrating employment at Cambridge College

After addition to Form I-17, Cambridge College recommends that the employee:

1. Participate in/demonstrate previous participation in and completion of one of the following within the first year as DSO:

a. NAFSA F1 for Beginners (hosted at the NAFSA Regional Conference)

b. IETS F1 Essentials Levels 1 and 2 (hosted by International Education Training Services)

Only individuals specified on Cambridge College's Form I-17A as PDSO or DSO may sign Form I-20 on page 1 (School Certification) or page 3 (travel authorization). No employee of Cambridge College who has not been designated PDSO or DSO may sign the I-20 for any reason.

Policies for students seeking admission to Cambridge College as F1 non-immigrant students:

Required Documentation

In order to receive Form I-20 for maintenance of F1 non-immigrant student status at Cambridge College, applicants must be fully admitted into a full-time degree program at Cambridge College. Documents required for admission to Cambridge College include but are not limited to:

1. Submission of a passport or other government-issued form of identification which shows:

a. Spelling of the student’s name

b. Date of birth

c. Country of birth

d. Country of citizenship

2. Demonstration of adequate ability to fund their studies for at least the first year of study. Documents may be submitted as originals, photocopies, electronic scans, or facsimile. All documents submitted as proof of financial capability must be:

a. In English or accompanied by a notarized translation

b. Equal to or greater than the minimum amount calculated by the International Student Office and published by Admissions

c. No older than 6 months from the date of acceptance, no older than 3 months preferred

d. Accompanied by a completed Declaration of Funds, signed by the student or sponsor and signed by the bank from which funds are demonstrated

3. Proof of English language proficiency, as defined by the requirements set forth by Admissions

Transfer Students

Students who are transferring to Cambridge College in F1 status from another institution in the United States where they have previously maintained their F1 status must also request transfer of their SEVIS record from the previous institution to Cambridge College before Form I-20 can be issued from Cambridge College.

Obtaining/Regaining F1 Status

Students who are in the United States in another status and wish to obtain F1 status or who have lost F1 status and wish to regain it must provide the above-described documentation before they will be assisted with the Change of Status request process. Cambridge College cannot guarantee the success of any Change of Status or Reinstatement application submitted by the student to the Federal Government.

Policies for students maintaining F1 status through full-time enrollment in a degree program at Cambridge College:

Full Time Registration Requirement

In order to maintain F1 status at Cambridge College after admission to a full-time program and issuance of Form I-20, international students must:

1. Attend International Student Orientation or attend a make-up International Student Orientation session before the end of their first term of study with Cambridge College.

2. Register for a full course of study in all required terms, save for the final term of study, unless otherwise authorized by a P/DSO to drop below full course of study.

a. “Full course of study” for undergraduate study is defined in 8 C.F. R. § Sec. 214.2(f)(6)(i)(B) as “at least twelve semester or quarter hours of instruction per academic term.”

b. “Full course of study” for post-graduate study is defined in 8 C.F.R. § Sec. 214.2(f)(6)(i)(A) as “certified by a DSO as a full course of study.” The International Student Office at Cambridge College has certified 8 semester hours of instruction per academic term as full-time for graduate students.

3. Attend all courses which contribute to full-time registration. Failing a class for failing to meet specific class requirements for attendance is considered an unauthorized drop below full course of study.

4. Register for no more than 3 credits’ online courses, except where the online course registration
exceeds the required minimum full-time registration.

5. Register for and attend courses taught only on the campus where the student has been authorized to attend. Currently, only the Merrimack Valley, Springfield, and Cambridge campuses in Massachusetts are authorized to host F1 students.

Authorization to Drop below Full-Time Registration

In order to obtain authorization to drop below the full-time registration requirement in a required term of study, students must first:

1. Request authorization for a drop below full course of study within the term in which s/he will drop below full course of study, as outlined in 8 C.F.R. § Sec. 214.2(f)(6)(iii). Acceptable reasons for drop below full course of study at any time during the student’s studies are:

a. Improper course level placement.

b. Illness or medical condition

c. Student in final term of study.

Acceptable reasons for drop below full course of study during the student’s first term of study only are:

a. Unfamiliarity with US teaching methods.

b. Initial difficulties with the English language.

c. Initial difficulties with reading requirements.

Updated Record-keeping Requirement

While maintaining F1 student status at Cambridge College, F1 students must:

1. Submit a signed Certificate of Understanding: F1 Student Rights and Responsibilities and a complete International Student Information Sheet before the end of their first term of study with Cambridge College.

2. Maintain current, updated records with the International Student Office at all times. This includes:

d. Current major field of study

e. Current address

f. Student’s name

g. Sources of funding

h. Photocopy of most updated passport

i. Photocopy of most updated visa

2. Notify a P/DSO in a timely manner prior to the end-date listed on the student’s Form I-20 in Section 5 if an extension of program is needed.

3. Notify a P/DSO if s/he wishes to withdraw from classes prior to completing his/her program of study. This will result in termination of student’s F1 status for “Authorized Early Withdrawal.”

4. Depart the United States within 15 days of termination of F1 status.

5. Notify the P/DSO if s/he changes status.

Restriction of Work Eligibility

Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § Sec. 214.2(f)(9), students maintaining F1 status may only engage in on-campus employment or authorized off-campus employment. For authorization of off-campus employment, students must:

1. Request authorization for off-campus employment prior to engaging in off-campus employment of any kind. Authorized employment includes:

a. Curricular Practical Training

b. Optional Practical Training

c. Hardship Employment

2. Not engage in unauthorized employment in the United States, as this is grounds for termination of the student’s F1 status.

Policies for students maintaining F1 non-immigrant student status at Cambridge College through Optional Practical Training:

Authorization of Off-Campus Employment through Optional Practical training (OPT)

In order to maintain F1 status at Cambridge College while engaged in approved Optional Practical Training (OPT) after completion of a degree at Cambridge College, international students must:

1. Apply for OPT no more than 90 days prior to or 60 days after the student's final date of registration, having met the 1-year academic enrollment requirement, pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(10).

2. Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A), engage in employment which is:

a. Directly related to the student’s most current major field of study

b. No less than 20 hours per week for students engaged in full-time OPT

c. No more than 20 hours per week for students engaged in part-time OPT

3. Report to the ISO and document any gaps in employment after the start-date of OPT.

a. Students are permitted 90 days total unemployment within the specific period of OPT granted. Exceeding 90 days of unemployment puts the student out of status.

b. The ISO holds no responsibility for terminating student status when a student exceeds his/her 90 days of unemployment while on OPT

4. Depart the United States, change to another status, or begin a new F1 program of study within the 60 days following the end-date of OPT in order to avoid becoming an illegal overstay.

Updated Record-keeping Requirement

Once authorized for Optional Practical Training, students must:

1. Provide a photocopy of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in a timely manner after receipt

2. Keep all personal information updated with the ISO. This includes, but is not limited to:

a. Current residential address

b. Current telephone number

c. Current email address

3. Keep all employment information updated with the ISO.

a. Employment information should be provided in the form of an employment letter. This letter should contain the following information:

i. Company name

ii. Company address

iii. Student’s name

iv. Employment start-date

v. Employment end-date (if specified in the student’s contract)

vi. Position title

vii. Number of hours per week associated with the position

viii. Brief description of job duties

ix. Signature of supervisor, company owner, etc.

Policies for record-keeping within the institution:

Upon approval of the certificate to host F1 non-immigrant students, Cambridge College agrees:

1. Upon acceptance of any non-immigrant alien student, to furnish that student a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 A/B)

2. To keep records containing the following specific information and documents relating to each non-immigrant F1 student to whom the school issues a Form I-20, while the student is attending the school and until the school notifies the Service, in accordance with regulations at 8 C.F.R. 214.3, that the student is no longer pursuing full course of study.

3. The school must keep a record of having complied with the reporting requirements for at least one year.

4. If a student who is out of status is restored to status, the school the student is attending is responsible for maintaining these records following receipt of notification from the Service that the student has been restored to status.

5. The school must keep and make available to the Service upon request the following information and documents for each non-immigrant F1 student:

a. The admission number from the student’s Form I-20 copy

b. Country of citizenship

c. Address and telephone number in the United States

d. Status, i.e. full-time or part-time

e. Course load

f. Date of commencement of studies

g. Degree program and field of study

h. Expected date of completion

i. Non-immigrant classification

j. Termination date and reason, if known

k. The documents which show the scholastic ability and financial status on which the student’s admission to the school was based

l. Information specified by the Service as necessary to identify the student and to determine the student’s immigration status.

Policies for advertisement, catalog, brochures, literature, or other material produced by/for Cambridge College:

1. Any statement which may appear concerning approval for admittance by non-immigrant students must be limited to the following: “This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant students."

 

Individual Responsible for Revision and Implementation: Vice President for Enrollment Management, Coordinator of International Student Affairs