Critical Issues for Academic Advisors of F

Critical Issues for
Academic Advisors of
F-1 & J-1 International
Presented by the
International Student and Scholar Office
Who is an F-1 or J-1 Student?
The non-immigrant visa categories
issued by U.S. Consulates abroad for
those who seek to come to the U.S.
specifically for the purpose of study.
Immigration Terminology
DHS: Department of Homeland Security
(formerly INS)
Visa: the travel document issued by U.S.
Department of State for travel into the
U.S. (the visa may expire while in the U.S.
but does not determine status)
Status: what you hold once you enter the
U.S. For F-1 students, D/S “duration of
status” is marked on their I-94 record
I-94: the arrival/departure record
Immigration Terminology
SEVIS (Student & Exchange Visitor
Information System): tracking
system used by U.S. government for
all F-1 and J-1 international
I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1):
document issued by ISSO upon
admission for purpose of visa
interview and entry to the U.S.
Timeline for New F-1/J-1 Students
Coming from Abroad
Student works with International
Admissions on application & supporting
documents, including proof of financial
Once admitted and file is complete, the
ISSO creates I-20 or DS-2019.
I-20 or DS-2019 and orientation material
mailed to student.
Student applies for F-1 or J-1 visa at US
Student enters U.S. up to 30 days prior to
start of semester.
Role & Function of the ISSO
Serves as the Designated School
Officials (DSOs) for F-1 students and
issues form I-20 immigration
Serves as the Responsible Officers
(ROs) for J-1 students/scholars and
issues form DS-2019 immigration
Role & Function of the ISSO
Responsible for compliance with
government immigration regulations
for all F-1 and J-1 exchange students
and visiting scholars at UNC
Makes regular reports to DHS via
SEVIS in the areas of enrollment,
changes in address & biographical
Role & Function of the ISSO
Provides programs, general advising,
and services for all non-immigrant
international students upon arrival
and throughout their programs.
Role & Function of the ISSO
Works with departments and offices
across campus on issues unique to
F-1, J-1 such as…
• Health insurance requirement
• On and off-campus employment issues
• Fulltime enrollment requirement
Role & Function of the ISSO
Assists students in maintaining legal
F-1 status.
Maintenance of Status
Must be enrolled “fulltime” each
• Undergrads = 12 credit hrs.
• Grads = 9 credit hrs, 6 with
assistantship, or upon completion of
required coursework continuous
registration for “thesis/project” or
“residency” as determined by the
Graduate School.
• Online enrollment limited to 3
hrs/semester – none in final term.
Maintenance of Status
Valid reasons to authorize less than
fulltime requirement include the
Documented illness or medical condition
Initial difficulty with the English language
Initial difficulty with reading requirements
Unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods
Improper course level placement
To complete course of study in current
Maintenance of Status
Keep I-20 or DS-2019 valid by…
• completing studies prior to expiration
date or;
• requesting timely program extension
• making timely updates such as changes
in educational level, program of study,
or transfer to another school
Maintenance of Status
Report changes of address within 10 days of a
Limit on-campus work to 20 hrs/week (during
academic year).
Obtain authorization for any off-campus
Curricular Practical Training
Optional Practical Training
Academic Training (J-1 only)
Severe Economic Hardship
Depart the U.S. within 60 days of program
completion or apply for Post-Completion Optional
Practical Training.
F1 Curricular Practical Training
International Student and Scholar Office
F1 Curricular Practical Training
College of Health & Human Services, Room 202
Tel: (704) 687-7781
[email protected]
F1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Via the Academic Department
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students who satisfy
graduation requirements of his/her program as outlined in the eligibility requirements below. CPT must
be an integral part of a student’s program of study, and may involve an internship, practicum or field
International students may NOT participate in an internship or any other form of off-campus employment
without prior authorization from the ISSO. The ISSO offers regularly scheduled workshops to explain
CPT and students are strongly encouraged to attend one in order to learn more about the process.
Eligibility requirements:
 the student has been enrolled fulltime for 1 full academic year (excluding summer) and currently
holds valid F1 status AND
 the student is in good academic standing AND
 the internship is a required component of a course in their major field of study that will count
toward their graduation requirements OR the internship is required for a graduate student to
complete the dissertation or thesis
Fulltime enrollment clarification:
CPT authorization is not a sufficient reason to drop below the fulltime study requirement for F1 students,
nor delay graduation or interfere with normal academic progress. Therefore, CPT employment
authorization is restricted to part-time (20 hrs/week) during fall/spring semesters with exceptions limited
those listed below. Online course enrollment is limited to 3 credit hours per semester and is not an option
for students who have one course remaining in their degree program.
Fulltime employment clarification:
Fulltime CPT employment may be authorized only under the following circumstances:
 Summer break
 Fall/spring semesters ONLY for:
o Master’s students whose final course of study has a fulltime work requirement OR
o Doctoral students in dissertation status who have successfully completed all coursework
requirements and defended dissertation proposal
This form provides the information necessary to establish the academic nature of the proposed CPT
employment. Before completing this form the student should meet with the academic advisor and present
the internship offer letter. If the internship experience does not satisfy one of the above listed categories,
students should talk with an ISSO advisor regarding other possible options.
A completed application includes the following:
 Completed student application
 Signed MOU
 Signed advisor recommendation form
 Offer of employment on letter head with the following information:
o Prospective CPT employer’s name
o Physical location/address of proposed internship (no P.O.Boxes)
o Position title and description
F1 Curricular Practical Training
PART 2 (to be completed by the student’s Academic Advisor or Graduate Coordinator):
Student’s name: ____________________________________________________________________
The proposed employment satisfies one of the following eligibility criteria for CPT authorization (please check one
and provide requested additional information).
□ The proposed employment is required by a course in which the student will receive academic credit towards
Please provide the course number and title: _____________________________
□ The proposed employment is required in order to complete dissertation research. (Ph.D. only)
If so, please explain how the proposed employment is essential for the development of the dissertation.
Ph.D. only:
a. Expected completion date of coursework: _____________
Expected defense date of dissertation proposal: ____________________________________
Expected date of graduation: ________________________________
Please also answer yes or no to the following questions:
Based on your review of the student’s offer letter, is this work related to the student’s field of study?
□ yes □ no
Do you foresee this work opportunity impacting or delaying the student’s academic progress and
anticipated graduation date? □ yes
□ no
As the academic advisor, I hereby certify that I have read the job offer letter and consider the above curricular
practical training experience to be an integral part of the student’s program of study. I understand that CPT should
be used only to meet degree requirements, is not meant to be a convenient employment opportunity, and may not
delay completion of the academic program. I certify the above information is true and accurate.
Advisor’s Signature
Name (printed)
Grad. Coordinator Signature
Name (printed)
OPT Recommendation Form
Some other critical issues
for international students…
Obtaining a North Carolina driver’s
Obtaining a Social Security Number
Opening a bank account
Adjusting to English language, U.S.
academic & social environment
Some classroom issues for
international students and faculty…
Requesting more time on exams
Taking a dictionary to exams
Recording class lectures
Difficulty participating in group
Confusion about academic integrity
Critical Roles for
Academic Advisors
For graduate students, make timely
admissions & funding decisions in
order to ensure timely processing of
I-20s and visa interviews abroad
Assist students in enrolling in a full
course of study and refer them to
the ISSO for any exceptions PRIOR
to dropping below fulltime or
withdrawing from the university
Critical Roles for
Academic Advisors
Always refer international students to
the ISSO for information on offcampus work authorization;
violations are NOT forgiven by DHS.
Critical Roles for
Academic Advisors
Be aware of issues & challenges that
are unique to F-1 students both upon
arrival and throughout their
academic programs.
Always feel free to reach out to the
ISSO staff to consult on a
challenging situation or get
International Student and Scholar
Office Contact Information
CHHS Room 202
Tarek Elshayeb, Director
• [email protected]
Denise Medeiros, Assistant Director
• [email protected]

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