All international students attending Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) are required to have medical insurance. The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) has mandated that all system schools use the same health care policy in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act. The mandatory insurance provider for international students is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. Prairie View A&M University international students will be required to apply for coverage through the University. Proof of medical insurance coverage will be required prior to registration. Please visit PVAMU’s insurance website, Academic Health Plans for more information: Academic Health Plans
The University is required by law to complete Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form) all individuals hired. This form is processed in the Office of Human Resources and must be updated each time your I-20 is extended or your work permission is renewed.
Maintaining F-1 Student Status
As an F-1 student, you are admitted into the US for “Duration of Status” (D/S is found on the I-94). This means you are permitted to stay in the US as long as you maintain your status by fulfilling the requirements of being an F-1 student. You can lose your legal status if you do not comply with immigration laws regulating your stay in the US. A violation of your student status may require reinstatement.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Regulations you must follow:
- Passport – Maintain a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from passport requirements
- School Attendance – Attend the University that Immigration and Custom Enforcement has authorized you to attend (I-20 Form). You must attend school every fall and spring semester while in the US under F-1 status. Summers are optional unless you start your degree program in a summer session.
- Full Course of Study – Register, maintain and complete a full course of study during the fall and spring semesters (12 hours-undergraduate; 9 hours-graduate).
- Program Extension – Apply for an extension of your program if you cannot complete your degree by the ending date listed on item 5 of your I-20. The extension must be granted prior to the expiration date on your I-20.
- New I-20 – Obtain a new I-20 whenever you make a change in degree levels or major.
- Employment – All employment must be approved by the designated school official (international student advisor) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week.
- Travel – When traveling outside of the US, request a travel endorsement on your I-20 from international student advisor, before leaving the US.
- Change of Address/Name – Report a change of address to your international student advisor on a AR-11 form within 10 days of the change.
- Co-Enrollment & School Transfer – Co-enrollment and school transfers must be approved by the Designated School Official. Prior approval is required.
- Reduce Course Load – Permission to drop below a full course of study requires prior approval from the Designated School Official.
- Distance Learning Classes – No more than one class or three credit hours per semester may be counted toward the full course of study requirement, if the class is taken through distance learning.
The Department of Homeland Security provides employment opportunities for F-1 students to be employed during F-1 status. Unauthorized employment is a violation of student status. You may work on-campus as long as you are maintaining legal F-1 status. On-Campus employment is limited to 20 hours a week while school is in session and full time when school is not in session. On-Campus employment includes employment with commercial firms that provide a service to the university such as the cafeteria or bookstore.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) – OPT is temporary employment directly related to the student’s major field of study. OPT can be used during or after the student’s studies. 12 months is given for each degree level. Some STEM degrees may extend an additional 17 months. Student must be in legal status for at least one academic year.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) – CPT is paid or unpaid training that is an integral part of an established curriculum in the student’s course of study. Students must be in legal status for at least one academic year.
Severe Economic Hardship – The student must apply through the Department of Homeland Security to work off-campus due to severe economic hardship. this employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full time when school is not in session.
The student should notify his current international student advisor that he/she is interested in transferring to another school. The student should discuss a release date for the SEVIS file. The SEVIS file has to be released to the transfer school in order to be issued an I-20.
Traveling Outside the US
International students traveling outside of the United State should review all immigration documents prior to departure. Valid documents will be required for reentry into the United States.
Passport – The passport should be valid or the student will need to apply for a passport prior to attempting to reenter the United States.
Visa – The visa should be current and the visa stamp should state the current immigration category that the student is studying under, such as F-1. Students traveling on expired visas will need to visit the embassy and apply for a new visa prior to attempting to reenter the United States. Students who have a change of status approved and are traveling outside the US will need to apply for a student visa prior to attempting to reenter the US.
Form I-20 – Page 3 of the I-20 must be endorsed for travel in order to reenter the US. Once the I-20 is endorsed, the signature is good for one year.
I-94 Card (Arrival & Departure Record) – The student should always travel with their most current I-94 card. The student must also have this card when reentering the United States.
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