You must arrive no later than the program start date on your I-20 and you will not be allowed to enter the United States more than 30 days prior to your program start date (item #5 on your Form I-20). For more information about entering the United States please see the Arriving at Port of Entry page.
All new F-1 international students must attend a mandatory SEVIS Information Session and Immigration Clearance. This will take place at the start of your semester, please see the events page for more detailed information. Failure to attend Immigration Clearance will result in an inability to enroll in classes and possible termination of your immigration record. Students must bring with them the following documents:
- Signed copy of Form I-20
- Copy of U.S. visa stamp
- Copy of passport I.D. pages
- I-94 card (front and back)
The dates for the Immigration Clearance Sessions for Spring 2013 are:
- January 17, 2013 11AM-12PM
- January 22, 2013 2-3PM
- January 23, 2013 10-11AM
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is the Department of Homeland Security’s electronic database. As mandated by federal regulation, SEVIS tracks and monitors nonimmigrant students during their stay in the United States. Specifically, SEVIS tracks:
- biographical information (date of birth, country of citizenship, etc.)
- local and overseas addresses
- academic information (including enrollment status, academic program level, major, start and end dates of programs)
- employment authorizations and recommendations
- visa document issuance
- extensions of stay
- transfers to/from other U.S. educational institutions
SEVIS affects ALL F-1 international students and their dependents in the U.S. Changes in any of the factors listed above without notifying the ISSS Office are a breach of SEVIS requirements with serious consequences. So it is important that you understand the factors that affect SEVIS compliance. (You will learn specifics about SEVIS compliance at you Immigration Clearance & SEVIS Information Session.)
The ISSS Office is required to comply with immigration regulations governing your student status and must submit information every semester as required by The Department of Homeland Security.
Students who violate their immigration status may be subject to removal from the U.S. Violations of status will result in the need for Reinstatement or reentry to regain legal status. Losing your legal status will seriously impact or potentially end your studies at UMASS Boston.
Resources for SEVIS Advice and Assistance
The ISSS Office advises F-1 students on the complexities of immigration compliance, and mediates with various U.S. government agencies. ISSS maintains and updates the SEVIS system and advises students on all issues related to SEVIS and maintaining valid student status—both individually and via workshops and information sessions. Whenever you have a question relating to your legal status or any aspect of compliance, come to the ISSS Office.
NOTE: If SEVIS does not receive a timely report each semester confirming that you are enrolled, your SEVIS record will be automatically terminated by the government and you will be expected to either apply for reinstatement to lawful F-1 or leave the U.S. within 15 days.
Failure to remain in lawful immigration status can result in serious repercussions and possibly removal from the United States. Students who violate their immigration status will either need to leave the country or apply for Reinstatement (applying to regain your F-1 status) with the USCIS. In order to maintain your immigration status you should:
Be enrolled as a full-time student during the official academic year for the duration of your studies. Undergraduates must be enrolled for at least 12 credits of course work each semester. Graduate students must carry 9 credits each semester or be working full-time on a thesis. You cannot drop below full course load without PRIOR approval from the ISSS Office. There are a few circumstances in which you are permitted to drop below full-time. Failing a course is NOT a valid reason (unfortunately, you will have to take an F or an Incomplete). See an immigration advisor at the ISSS Office if you are having academic difficulties of any kind to discuss the possibility of a reduced course load before withdrawing from any course.
Extension of Stay
Obtain program extensions when appropriate BEFORE the end date on your I-20, and do not remain in the U.S. beyond your authorized stay. For program extensions, you must have your academic advisor fill out the Program Extension form explaining why an extension is warranted and indicating a new program end date. Bring this to the ISSS Office to request a new I-20 with a new program completion date. Click here for the program extensions form.
Transfer to Another School
Notify the lSSS Office if you plan to transfer to another school. To transfer, you must be accepted to the new school and must be eligible to transfer based on having maintained status at the current school. You will need to submit a proof of acceptance at another school, that school’s Transfer-In form and our Transfer-Out form.
Obtain Work Authorization
Receive permission before working off campus. Do not begin work without prior authorization from the ISSS Office. Working without authorization, including unauthorized internships, are a violation of status and can lead to removal from the United States.
Change of Address
Report any change to you current local address to the ISSS Office within 10 days of your move. We will report this to the U.S. government through the SEVIS system. You must also update any change of address in your WISER account.
Change in Academic Status
Inform the ISSS Office of any plans to change academic status such as a Leave of Absence, change in program end date, or withdrawal from the university BEFORE the change occurs.
The spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 of a student in F-1 status are eligible for F-2 status. Dependents in F-2 status are not eligible to pursue post-secondary education and are not eligible to engage in any type of employment.
Dependents eligible for F-2 status may apply for an F-2 visa stamp with their F-1 spouse or parent. Most consulates will schedule F-1 and F-2 visa applications at the same time, but it is important that consulates are informed that there will be accompanying F-2 applicants at the time that a visa interview is scheduled.
Dependents residing in the U.S. in a qualifying status may also be eligible for a change of status in the U.S. If you wish to do so, please contact the ISSS Office for information.
The F-2 status of spouses and children is granted on the F-1 principle’s status. If the F-1 principle fails to maintain status, the F-2 spouse and children lose their status as well. F-2 spouses and children must also ensure that they maintain a valid passport six months into the future and valid Form I-20 at all times.
NOTE: If you are a newly accepted UMASS Boston student, not having yet entered the United States, and you wish to bring an F-2 dependent with you, you must inform International Admissions of your intent. If you are a current UMASS Boston student and would like to bring a spouse/child to the United States, you should submit the F-2 Dependent Form I-20 request to the ISSS Office with a copy of your spouse/child’s passport (– link F-2 Dependent PDF here.)
An international student who fails to maintain valid F–1 (student) visa status needs to apply for reinstatement. If you have lost your F–1 status, immediately make an appointment to see an advisor to discuss reinstatement.
Your international student advisor will instruct you on how to apply to U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for reinstatement, and where to mail your application. It may take up to three months to receive a decision on your case. So it is essential for you to maintain your F–1 status.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your visa status, contact the office of International Student Services.
Many non-immigrants living in the United States must change their visa status in order to become full-time students (or to remain in the United States when student status ends). Please consult with an immigration advisor if you are interested in applying for a Change of Status in the U.S. NOTE: F-2 dependents or B-1/B-2 visitors CANNOT begin their studies until a change of status to F-1 has been approved by USCIS. H-4 dependents may begin studies, but are not eligible for the F-1 on-campus work benefit (and graduate assistantships) until the change of status to F-1 has been approved.
Changing immigration status can be done in two ways:
1. Traveling abroad and applying for an F-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate (recommended)
2. Filing for a change of status with USCIS. This process can take many months to be approved, so you must plan accordingly if you are required to change your status prior to beginning your studies. Please note that the next time you travel outside the U.S., you will need to obtain an F-1 student visa stamp at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
Some Common Examples of Change of Status
Change from B-1/B-2 Visitor to F-1 Student
It is not recommended to come to the U.S. on a B-2 visitor’s visa if you are planning to attend school full-time. USCIS often denies applications for changes from B-1/B-2 to F-1 if they feel that the person falsified his or her intentions when entering the U.S. and simply entered on the visitor’s visa to avoid the hassle of applying for an F-1 student visa.
If you must enter the U.S. before obtaining your F-1 student visa, you should apply to the U.S. Consulate for a B-2 prospective student’s visa. The Consulate usually will grant the visa if you show them an admission letter and explain the circumstances of why you cannot wait to receive the Form I-20. Changes of status from this type of visa to an F-1 visa are usually approved in the U.S.
Note: You will not be allowed to enroll at UMASS Boston if you are in B-1/B-2 visitor status. You cannot begin classes until your change of status has been approved by the USCIS and you are officially in F-1 status.
Change from F-1 Student Practical Training to H-1B Temporary Worker
For students who wish to continue employment after the expiration of their Optional Practical Training it is possible to change status from F-1 student status to H-1B temporary worker status. However, the H-1B visa is employer and job specific. The employer must be willing to “petition” an H-1B visa for you. Obtaining an H-1B is much more complicated than other visa categories and involves the Department of Labor as well as USCIS.
Change from F-2 Dependent to F-1 Student
An F-2 dependent is required to change to F-1 status in order to pursue full time studies (except for F-2 minors studying at the primary or secondary level). If you would like to study full-time in the U.S., you must apply to USCIS for a change to F-1 status. Please be aware that you absolutely CANNOT begin your studies while your petition is pending. Therefore, please apply as far in advance as possible, as it can take many months for your application to be approved.
Change from H-4 Dependent to F-1 Student
An dependent of an H-1B may study in H-4 category, and may continue studies while a change to F-1 status is pending. The F-1 status must be approved before a student can be eligible for F-1 employment benefits. If you will receive a graduate assistantship, you may not begin working until you have received notice of the change of status.
If you will be enrolling in a second degree program at UMASS Boston, you should apply and get accepted into the new program before your current Form I-20 and relevant grace period expires.
PROCESS FOR A CHANGE OF DEGREE LEVEL AT UMASS BOSTON: A copy of your acceptance letter and evidence of financial support will be forwarded to the ISSS Office by International Admissions. The ISSS Office will notify you when your new form I-20 is ready. The process takes approximately three weeks from the time you are accepted into your new program.
An F-1 student can be enrolled in two different SEVP-approved schools at the same time, as long as the combined enrollment amounts to a full-time course of study, 12 credits for undergraduate students, 9 credits for graduate students.
To receive permission to be concurrently enrolled, you must apply to the ISSS Office. Submit this form and proof of enrollment at another SEVP-approved school.
NOTE: You should seek pre-approval at the Transfer Credit Office and your department if you would like course credits at another school applied to your degree requirements at UMASS Boston.
Traveling Outside the U.S.
If you plan to leave the U.S. to visit another country, you must have the following documents in order to return to the U.S.:
- Valid Passport: Your passport should be valid at least six months into the future. You can usually renew your passport at your country’s embassy in the U.S. For a list of foreign embassies in the U.S., go please search Diplomatic List at www.state.gov
- Valid U.S. Visa Stamp: If your visa has expired and you are traveling outside of North America (Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands excluded) you must renew your visa to return to the U.S. Do NOT re-enter on a visa other than your F-1 student visa. For visa renewal you can find a list of U.S. embassies/consulates at http://usembassy.state.gov. The ISSS Office needs a copy of your new visa when you return.
- A Valid Form I-20: You must have a valid Form I-20 with a valid travel signature (found on page 3 on the Form I-20). Once signed, the travel signature is good for 6 months after the date signed.
- I-94 Card: Your I-94 card will be taken from you by an official when you leave the country, and you will be issued a new I-94 card by an immigration officer when you re-enter the U.S. The ISSS Office needs a copy of your new I-94 card each time you receive a new one.
NOTE: If you are traveling to a country other than your own, you need to check with that country’s Embassy/Consulate to see if you need a visa in order to enter.
Post-completion OPT students: If you have completed your studies, you should NOT travel while waiting for your EAD card (Employment Authorization Document). Once you receive your EAD card, it is still very risky to travel while on OPT. You must have a job offer, EAD card, and valid U.S. visa to re-enter the U.S. Always see an immigration advisor before traveling while on OPT.
Form I-20 Travel Signature Requests
All requests for travel signatures should be made at least two weeks before you intend to travel. The 2-week period allows time for the ISSS Office to review your records and process your request. According to immigration regulation, each signature that the ISSS Office provides on a Form I-20 verifies that the student is enrolled full time and is in good academic standing with the institution. Should you travel without obtaining a travel signature, you must contact the ISSS Office immediately. We will provide you with a letter to have with you upon re-entry Customs and Border Protection. **This does not guarantee that CBP will allow you to reenter the U.S.
Travel to Canada/Mexico/Islands – Automatic Visa Revalidation
Documents required for travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean are slightly different than the rest of the world. Most importantly, you DO NOT need a valid U.S. visa stamp to return to the U.S. if you visit Canada, Mexico, or the adjacent islands (except Cuba) for less than 30 days. This process is known as “automatic visa revalidation” and applies to all individuals (EXCEPT those whose home countries have been identified as sponsoring terrorism). The following documents are needed for travel to Canada:
- Valid I-94 card: This is the small white card in your passport that should have an entry stamp that reads “D/S” (duration of status).
(IMPORTANT: it is important for students to retain the original copy of their I-94 card when traveling to Canada, Mexico and Adjacent Islands, if they plan to re-enter with an expired visa under the Automatic Visa Re-Validation law. They will need this document as a substitute for a valid visa when re-entering the US. Subsequently, when departing the US, students should not relinquish this card to the airlines or any immigration officer.)
- Valid Passport
- Valid Form I-20 with a valid travel signature
- Tourist visa (applies only to certain countries). Citizens of certain countries are required to have a tourist visa (Temporary Resident Visa) in order to visit Canada. To find out if you will need a visa, go to http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp. For students wishing to
Travel to Mexico:
Important reminder regarding renewing visas in Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean
Automatic revalidation is not available for anyone who applies for a U.S. visa in Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands. Therefore, any student from ANY country who applies for a visa and who is denied, will NOT be able to return to the U.S. He or she will have to travel home and apply for a new visa. As a result, it is now very risky to apply for a visa in Canada or Mexico. The ISSS Office strongly discourages students from visa renewal in a 3rd party country. Please see an immigration advisor for advice prior to making any decisions.
To be eligible for a SSN you must have written proof that you have been hired by an on-campus department, that you are on an authorized internship or that you are on an approved period of practical training.
In order to apply for a SSN, students must request a SSN letter from the ISSS Office, which will be taken to the Social Security Administration Office along with all of your immigration documents. You can obtain the SSN application at www.ssa.gov. You will be given a receipt. You can begin working once you have the receipt. For more information you can click here.
NOTE: Spouses and Children of F-1 International Students are classified as F-2 dependents. No paid employment of any kind is permitted.
On-Campus Work Employment
Students may work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during the fall and spring semesters and full-time (up to 40 hours per week) during winter and summer breaks if they are in good academic standing, and have been enrolled full-time. Information about jobs on campus can be found at The Student Employment Office is on the 4th floor of the Campus Center.
Curricular Practical Training
If you have been enrolled full-time for at least one academic year (two semesters) you are eligible to do an internship or practicum. Not all students have internships available to them in their programs. Internships, if available, can be identified in the course catalog and must be approved by your department. You cannot do an internship without signing up for an internship or practicum course.
Optional Practical Training
When you are nearing the completion of your program of study, you may apply to USCIS for 12 months of Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization to accept employment related to your field of study. You should attend an OPT workshop to learn more about this period of USCIS approved training. It is not common, but possible, for students to begin OPT (Pre-Completion OPT) on a part-time basis after they have been enrolled full-time for two semesters.
Unforeseen Economic Need
Students who are full-time, in good academic standing, and have been in F-1 status for one academic year can apply for off-campus work authorization based on severe economic hardship assuming that other employment opportunities are not available. The economic need must be due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control, and the student must submit supporting materials documenting these conditions to USCIS. This type of employment is part-time when school is in session and full-time during vacation periods.
PLEASE NOTE: F-1 international students are not eligible for federally funded “work study” positions. Federal assistance of this nature is only granted to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. To explore more options for funding please click here.
Leave of Absence (LOA)
Students who file for a the Registrar must depart the US. Remaining in the US while on LOA is a violation of status.
Turn in a copy of the Withdrawal Request submitted to the Registrar with a the Voluntary SEVIS Termination request.
Meet with an advisor to discuss the LOA process and to receive readmission information.
An important consideration in taking a LOA: USCIS regulations state that an F-1 international student must complete a full academic year (9 months) to be eligible for CPT and OPT. Students who take a leave of absence will be required to be full-time for at least nine months before again being eligible for these benefits.
Medical Leave of Absence: If you become ill you may reduce your credit hours, or take no credits at all for up to 12 months.
- Students must provide a letter from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or a licensed clinical psychologist.
1.) If cases of pregnancy, a student would need a letter from a licensed doctor proving at least one of the following:
- A medical reason in addition to pregnancy, which is not recognized as a medical illness
- A high risk pregnancy
- A due date during the semester (the six week recovery period following labor is considered)
- Any other relevant medical reason(s).
To apply for a Medical Leave of Absence/Medical Reduced Course Load see an immigration advisor and bring this completed form with a doctor’s letter.
Students on an approved study abroad program are considered to be enrolled as full-time students at UMASS Boston and may use their same I-20 when re-entering the US as long as it has been signed within the last six months. It is very important that students doing study abroad in their final semester discuss how study abroad effects OPT application procedures before leaving the US.
If you withdraw from UMASS Boston and wish to return, you will need to apply for readmission. You must be re-admitted to the university before you can work with an immigration advisor to obtain new visa documents. DO NOT CONTACT ISSS UNTIL YOUR READMISSION HAS BEEN PROCESSED BY THE REGISTRAR. We cannot issue you a new I-20 until you are again ACTIVE in the UMASS system.
Once you've been readmitted, you must submit a new DCF form with a copy of your passport to the immigration office and arrange for document pick-up with the front desk.
F-1 international students may remain the U.S. for up to 60 days following the program completion date listed in item #5 on the Form I-20. The program completion date represents the date when a student has finished all coursework necessary to complete degree requirements. Please note that the program end date is not the same as graduation date.
In many cases a student may finish all degree requirements significantly before the date on the Form I-20. If you will finish your program before the end date on your current Form I-20, you must inform the ISSS Office to have your program information updated.
Students finishing post-completion OPT may also remain in the U.S. for 60 days following the expiration date of their authorized OPT training period.
During your 60 day grace period:
- You may not apply for readmission to the U.S. in F-1 status ;
- You may not apply for a program extension;
- You may not work or study.
IMPORTANT: If you leave the U.S. during your grace period, your F-1 status ends, and you are no longer eligible for any benefit based on your F-1 student status, including applying for OPT. Once you depart the United States you will not be allowed to re-enter in F-1 status.
For more information on receiving your US driver's license or social security number please click here- Timing is Everything: Getting Your Driver's License or Social Security Number
Did you recieve PAY in the year 2012? If so, please contact us for a WINDSTAR access code to complete your taxes.
If you DID NOT receive pay, then you must complete and submit a form 8843. Please see the guildlines and instructions here.
The following guidelines are for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or legal advice. Please consult your own tax or financial advisor with any questions.
Taxes are often complicated – even for those native to the United States. This page provides general guidelines only for federal income tax obligations, including determining tax residency and which forms must be filed and when. If you are an international or exchange student who was present in the United States in the past tax year, you may be required by law to file one or more U.S. Federal and State Tax forms even if you have had no U.S. source of income. The U.S. tax year runs from January 1st to December 31st, with a filing deadline of April 15th.
Online Tax Software
The University of Massachusetts Boston purchases a license for Windstar, a tax software package that will assist students with completing federal tax returns. The software will walk you through completing the necessary forms. Access to this software for free during tax season via the ISSS Office.
ISSS is not qualified to provide tax advice. Students should utilize Windstar Tax Prep support for questions. Upon request, ISSS will provide a list of local non-immigration tax specialists which can help with more complicated tax situations. Students should contact Susan Connors (Susan.Connors@umb.edu) to obtain an access code to Windstar.
What is a Tax Return?
In the United States, federal income taxes are prepaid by our employer(s) based on the estimate of liability provided by the employee on the Form W-4 (usually completed by the employee at the time of hire). The taxes paid by the employer are then withheld from the employee’s paychecks. Since the amount withheld is only an estimate, employees are given a yearly opportunity to reconcile the amount taken out with how much was owed. The name of the form on which the reconciliation is made is called the “tax return.” A tax return is filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an agency of the U.S. government. In some cases, filing the tax return results in a refund from the IRS because the amount of money withheld was higher than necessary. However, sometimes a taxpayer does not have enough withheld and must send a payment to the IRS with his/her tax return.
Forms You May Need to Complete
- Form 8843 “Statement for Exempt Individuals and Individuals with a Medical Condition”
- Form 1040 NR EZ
- Form 1040 NR
- Form 1-NR/PY
Who Must File a Tax Return?
- All individuals who have earned income in the United States must file a U.S. tax return.
- Individuals with no income who are still within the “exempt individual” period are required to file a Form 8843 - “Statement for Exempt Individuals.” “Residents” for tax purposes usually complete Forms 1040 or 1040 EZ. “Nonresidents” for tax purposes usually complete Form 1040 NR or 1040 NR EZ.
- If you had no U.S. income and are a nonresident for tax purposes, file Form 8843.
- If you had U.S. income and considered a nonresident for tax purposes, file Form 1040 NR or the Form 1040 NR EZ and Form 8843.
- If you had U.S. income and are considered a resident for tax purposes, file Form 1040 or Form 1040 EZ.
Some individuals benefit from a tax treaty between their country and the U.S. that decreases the amount of tax they owe the federal government (not the state). To determine if some of your earnings are exempt from federal taxes, see IRS Publication 901.
What is Considered Income?
Nonresidents, for tax purposes, are taxed only on their U.S. income. With a few exceptions, this means that any income received from outside the U.S. is not considered taxable in the United States. Residents, for tax purposes, are taxed by the United States on their income from anywhere in the world.
Sources of U.S. income may include on-campus employment, practical or academic training, scholarships, fellowships, and any other compensation received for labor. “Income” is not limited to wages paid in cash, but also includes any portion of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship from a U.S. source that is applied to housing and meal expenses. The portion applied to tuition, fees, and books is not considered income. If scholarship money is provided directly to the student by check or cash, however, it is fully taxable even if the student intends to use it to pay for tuition, fees, and/or books.
Determining Tax Residency
The IRS divides everyone into two categories for tax purposes - resident and nonresident:
- Residents: all U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (“green card” holders), and nonresident aliens for immigration purposes who have met the Substantial Presence Test (see below).
- Nonresident aliens: all others, regardless of immigration status.
The Substantial Presence Test (SPT) is how the IRS determines when nonresident aliens have been in the United States long enough to be considered residents for tax purposes. One must be present in the United States for a total of 183 days over a period of 3 years to pass the SPT and be considered a resident for tax purposes, however, individuals in F, J, M, or Q status do not count days during the time they are “exempt individuals.”
The rules for “exempt individuals” are:
- F, J, M or Q students and their dependents are “exempt individuals” for a period of five years throughout their lifetime
During the time individuals in F, J, M and Q status are “exempt individuals,” they will remain nonresidents for tax purposes even though they are present in the United States for more than 183 days. Once they leave “exempt individual” status, days of presence will be counted and they may become a resident alien for tax purposes. The Substantial Presence Test is detailed more fully in IRS Publication 519.
You must have either a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to complete all tax forms except Form 8843.
Social Security Numbers (SSNs)
For information regarding obtaining a Social Security number, please see the section on “Obtaining a Social Security Number.”
The IRS issues ITINs to foreign nationals and others who have federal tax reporting or filing requirements and do not qualify for SSNs. The ITIN is a nine digit, tax processing number issued by the IRS. ITINs are not valid identification outside of the tax system. By law, an individual cannot have both an ITIN and an SSN. See Form W-7 and instructions for obtaining an ITIN.
1. Basic Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publications:
- IRS Publication 513 provides an excellent overview of tax regulations for international students/visitors.
- IRS Publication 519 “U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens” contains the “Substantial Presence Test” which helps determine your residency for tax purposes.
- IRS Publication 678-FS “Foreign Student & Scholar Text for Use in Preparing Returns”
- IRS Publication 901 “U.S. Tax Treaties” describes tax treaties that may affect your filing.
- IRS Publication 4011 “For Use in Preparing Federal Tax Returns for Nonresident Aliens”
2. Obtaining Forms and Assistance:
ISSS will display some standard IRS tax forms and publications by late February. Pick up forms and publications at the Boston IRS office or any public library
- Download federal forms from the IRS web site.
- Download State tax forms.
- For help with federal income tax return or to order federal tax forms, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or go to www.irs.gov.
- For help with your state income tax return, call the Massachusetts Department of Revenue at 617-887-6367 or go to: www.mass.gov/dor.
In person tax help is offered at: IRS Boston Office JFK Federal Building 15 New Sudbury Street 617-316-2850 Monday-Friday: 8:30-4:30PM For more information visit this website: http://www.irs.gov/localcontacts/article/0,,id=98286,00.html
Department of Homeland Security Students allows F-1 students to enroll in one (1) online course or three (3) credits per semester. Only 3 credits can be used toward the full-time enrollment requirement. For example, if you are an undergraduate student, you may take 3 online credits and 9 in-class credits for a total of 12 credits. Once you have reached the 12 credits you may take additional online credits if you wish. If you are a graduate student, you may take 3 online credits and 6 in-class credits for a total of 9 credits. Once you have reached the 9 credits you may take additional online credits if you wish. You MAY NOT finish final degree requirements with online credits. (If you decide to return home and take online courses from your home country, please advise the International Student & Scholar Services Office prior to registration.)
A visa in your passport issued by from a U.S. consulate does not determine how long you can remain in the United States. Therefore, you may stay in the U. S. beyond the expiration date of a visa as long as the visa document (Form I-20, Form DS-2019) remains valid. Once the visa expires it will be necessary to apply for a new visa stamp, through the same process as your initial visa application, at a U.S. embassy or consulate when traveling outside the United States.
- It is not possible to renew a visa in the United States. Visas are issued only by a U.S. consul in a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States.
- If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands (list here), you do NOT need to apply for a new visa, you may re-enter the United States under "Automatic Revalidation".
- To find out what your consulate/embassy requires and what the wait time is, please look up your consulate.
If your U.S. visa has expired and you travel outside the U.S., you must obtain a new visa before you return. Applying for a new visa usually requires several weeks so you must plan your travel accordingly. If you are from one of the countries now requiring additional name check/security screening or in a high technology or technologically sensitive field, you may be subject to processing delays of 4-12 weeks.