The University is required by law to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form) on 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 United States for “Duration of Status” (D/S is found on the I-94). This means you are permitted to stay in the United States 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 United States. 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 United States 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 while school is in session.
- Travel – When traveling outside of the United States request a travel endorsement on your I-20 from international student advisor – before leaving the United States.
- 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 International Student Advisor. Prior approval is required.
- Reduce Course Load – Permission to drop below a full course of study requires prior approval from the International Student Advisor. Prior approval is required.
- 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/her 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 United States
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 United States will need to apply for a student visa prior to attempting to reenter the U.S.
Form I-20 – Page 3 of the I-20 must be endorsed for travel in order to reenter the United States. Once the I-20 is endorsed, the signature is good for one year.
I-94 Document (Arrival & Departure Record) – The student should always travel with their most current I-94 document.
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
Insurance premiums are as follows:
- Summer 2014: $320.00
- Fall 2014: $750.00 – Continuing International Students
- Fall 2014: $812.50 – New International Students – New enrollees
- Spring 2015 (includes Summer 2015): $812.50 – Continuing International Students
- Spring 2015 (includes Summer 2015): $875.50 – New International Students – New enrollees
- Summer 2015: $438.00
Medical Insurance Waiver
Effective Monday, November 17, 2014 – all international students who wish to be waived from the mandatory student health insurance plan must submit a waiver application online. This does not apply to students who are covered under the graduate assistantship plan.
The deadline to apply for a waiver is January 30, 2015. After January 30, 2015 no new waiver applications will be accepted.
How to Apply for a Waiver
- 1. Review the waiver guidelines below to determine if you meet one of the waiver requirements.
- 2. Should you meet one of the waiver requirements – follow the instructions listed below – How to Apply for a Waiver. Please allow 5 to 7 days for a decision on your application.
- 3. You will be notified by email that your application has been approved or denied. If your application is approved – you will be waived from paying the insurance premium. If your application is denied – you will be required to be covered under the mandatory plan which is $812.50 for Spring and Summer 2015.
- Waiver Guidelines: Who is eligible to waive?
- Student is sponsored by the United States government;
- Student is sponsored by a foreign government recognized by the United States or certain international, government-sponsored or non-governmental organizations, and covered under a health plan that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the health plan does not include medical evacuation and repatriation, a rider must be purchased providing coverage at equal limits to the SSHIP;
- Student is enrolled in an employer-provided group health plan that is compliant with the ACA. If the health plan does not include medical evacuation and repatriation, a rider must be purchased providing coverage at equal limits to the SSHIP;
- Student is enrolled in only distance learning programs; or
- Student is involved in intercollegiate athletics and coverage for all medical insurance is provided through a policy as part of the current sports accident medical policy approved by System Risk Management.
- Must be an Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan
- Must include medical evacuation and repatriation coverage
How to Apply for a Waiver: For students who are able to provide evidence of their own insurance that meets the ACA:
- Have a scanned copy of your insurance card and policy benefit pages including exclusions as well as your school ID ready.
- Go http://pvamu.myahpcare.com/waiver
- If your plan meets the A&M System waiver criteria, click the button on the bottom of waiver criteria page.
- On the Student Registration page you will be asked to enter your demographic information and to select a password. Select the ‘Register’ button when done.
- Then on the next page, click the link under the heading Submit Waivers (on the right hand side of the page).
- Complete the waiver form and attach copies of your scanned insurance documents.
- Select the ‘Submit Waiver’ button.
YOU MUST follow the process indicated above. If you have questions about the insurance waiver process, please contact Academic Health Plans Customer Service at 877-624-7911.
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