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Nov 18 2014

NYIT Celebrates International Education Week

Nov 10 2014

Men’s Soccer Wins ECC Championship with 1-0 Victory over LIU Post

Nov 07 2014

Dr. Jerry Balentine New Vice President for Medical Affairs and Global Health

Nov 07 2014

NYIT Management Students Advance to Fed Challenge Semi-Finals

Nov 04 2014

NYIT’s STEAM Career Fair Links Students to Employers

Nov 24 2014

Movember Celebration

Dec 01 2014

Job Search Strategies

Dec 01 2014

Head in the Cloud? Protecting Your Privacy in a Mobile World

Dec 01 2014

Give ‘Em the Business: Resources for Management Students

Dec 02 2014

“Year of Turkey 2014” - Conference: Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry-A Global Perspective

FAQs for Students in F-1 or J-1 Status

New York Institute of Technology

Office of International Education

FAQs for students in F-1 or J-1status

1.    As a student in F-1 or J-1 status, how many credit hours must I complete to maintain my full time status?

  • Undergraduate: 
    • 12 credits (Fall and Spring semesters) – this may include a combination of English Language courses if required
    • If summer is your first semester at NYIT, you must maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours


  • Graduate:
    • 9 credits (Fall and Spring semesters) - this may include a combination of English Language courses if required
    • If summer is your first semester, you must maintain full time credit hours


  • English Language only:
    • 18 hours a week of study for the semester

2.    What must I do if I am unable to maintain full time status?

  • If there is a legitimate reason (i.e. academic or medical), you should contact your international student advisor at the Office of International Education – in Manhattan call 212.261.1514; in Old Westbury call 516.686.7526.

3.    As an international student, may I work while I am studying?

  • As a student in F-1 status, you are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and up to 40 hours per week during authorized breaks.  An F-1 student may not work off campus.  Permission to work of campus may be granted by USCIS when there is an economic necessity due to unforeseen changes in financial circumstances.  You cannot submit a request to USCIS for permission to work off campus until you have been in valid full time F-1 status for one full academic year.

4.    How can I have my family join me in America if I have an F-1 visa?

  • Your spouse and/or children may be permitted to enter the U.S. on an F-2 visa, which may be obtained with a new I-20 issued for them.  Proof of financial support for your dependent(s) is required before the request can be approved.  Current estimated fees are $5000 (US) for spouse and $4500(US) per child.  Please contact the OIE for further information.

5.    Can the spouse or child on and F-2 or J-2 visa work or study?

  • Under no circumstances can an F-2 dependent work on or off campus


  • Spouses on F-2 visas may not take part in full-time study.  They may take part in study that is avocational or recreational in nature, meaning to pursue a hobby or if the study is occasional, casual or recreational
    • Spouses on J-2 visas may study in the U.S.
    • Spouses on J-2 visas can apply for a work permit from USCIS in order to be employed in the United States.  The employment may not be for the purpose of financially supporting the J-1 spouse.  The J-2 may begin employment only after receiving the work permit from USCIS.

6.    If I have an F-2 visa, how can I change it to F-1?

  • To change status from F-2 dependent to F-1 student, an application, fee and supporting documents must be sent to USCIS.  You must apply for admission through the Office of International Admissions and you will be issued an I-20 for change of status. One of the International Student Advisors in the OIE will assist you in the process of filing a change of status request.  Applicants for a change of status from F-2 to F-1 may not attend NYIT until their change of status is approved by USCIS.

7.    How often do I need to have my I-20 signed?

  • The international student advisor should sign page 3 of your I-20 every 6 months.

8.    What should I do if I lose my I-20?

  • Your international student advisor will be able to issue a replacement I-20 form if yours is lost, damaged or stolen. Please contact an advisor for further information.

9.    My I-20 will expire soon.  Can it be extended?

  • Yes.  If you must remain in the U.S. beyond the date indicated (in section 5) on your I-20, the form may be extended but it must be extended BEFORE the I-20 expires.  A program extension form is available on the nyit.edu/oie website under FORMS.  This form must be signed by your academic advisor indicating your new program end date and submitted to the OIE.  Requests for extensions should be submitted at least 30-60 days prior to the expiration date on the form I-20.

10.    What should I do if my visa has expired?

  • You can stay in the United States on an expired F-1 or J-1 visa as long as you maintain your student status.  However, if you are returning home or traveling to a country where automatic revalidation does not apply, you must have a valid visa to return to the United States.

11.      Can I renew my visa without leaving the United States?

  • No.  You can only obtain a new visa when you are outside the U.S. at a U.S. Consulate or embassy.  Keep in mind that you do not need a valid visa once your are inside the U.S.  As long as you are maintaining your status and have a valid I-20 or DS 2019 and I-94 card.

12.    Can I travel to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands (other than Cuba) adjacent to the United States?  Can I return if my visa is expired?

  • You can usually revalidate an expired visa automatically when returning to the United States from a visit of less than 30 days to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands adjacent to the United States (other than Cuba) provided that you have a valid SEVIS Form I-20 and a valid unexpired I-94.  This process is known as automatic visa revalidation.


  • However, if you meet any one of the following criteria, you will not be able to automatically revalidate your visa
    • You applied for a new visa and it has not been issued
    • You applied for a new U.S. visa while on your trip and were denied
    • You have a terminated SEVIS record indicating that you are out of status

13.    What is CPT?

  • CPT (Curricular Practical Training) is employment directly related to your field of study.  CPT may be a paid or unpaid internship, practicum or other type of employment offered by an employer.  It may take place during the academic year or during the summer.  If CPT is a required part of your curriculum, it will be listed under the department’s degree requirements and course offerings.  All students in that program are required to complete an internship or practicum.
  • CPT may be recommended to you if it is beneficial, but is not required for completion of the degree.  You may register for a minimum of a one-credit internship, practicum or field study course listed in the college catalog.  As an F-1 student, you must be enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one academic year before you are eligible for CPT.  You also must check to see if the academic department has any special pre-requisites prior to applying for CPT.
  • If you are eligible please make an appointment with one of the international student advisors in the OIE and you will be guided in the process.

14.    What is OPT?

  • OPT (Optional Practical Training) is defined as paid employment directly related to your field of study. As an F-1 student, you must be enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one academic year before you are eligible.  OPT is limited to 12 months.  You may be eligible for an additional 12 months upon pursuing a higher academic degree.  Example OPT for Bachelor’s degree, OPT for Master’s degree.

15.    What is an OPT Extension?

  • F-1 students who complete a degree in one of the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), are employed by employers enrolled in the E-Verify program and who received an initial grant of post-completion practical training related to such a degree, may apply for a 17 month extension.

16.    Do I need to make an appointment to apply for OPT?

  • Yes.  After you have attended an OPT workshop and gathered all of the required application materials, please call the OIE and schedule an appointment.

17.    What forms do I need to apply for OPT?

  • Please visit the forms section on our website nyit.edu/oie and you will find all the forms necessary for OPT and the instructions for filling out the forms.

18.    When will I get my OPT Card?

  • It can take from 6-10 weeks for USCIS to process your OPT card.  While it may take less time depending on the time of year a student applies, we recommend that NYIT students plan to wait at least 2 months to receive the OPT training authorization.

19.    What information do I need to provide to the OIE when I am on OPT?

  • As a student on initial or extended OPT, you are required by US Immigration regulations to report the following events to NYIT within 10 days:
    • A change in your residential or mailing address
    • A change in your employer or loss of employment
    • Legal name change

20.    I am on OPT and lost my job.  What will happen?

  • You may be unemployed for a total of 90 days during your 12 months of OPT.  Each day (including weekends) during the period of your OPT authorization that you are not employed counts as a day of unemployment.  Students who are reaching the limit of their unemployment time should prepare to take action to maintain their status in the U.S.  Please contact an international student advisor to assist you with the information you may need.

21.    What if my OPT employer wants me to continue working after my OPT expires?

  • If you earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at NYIT in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (known as the STEM fields), and your employer is enrolled in the E-Verify proram, you are eligible to apply for a 17-month OPT STEM extension.  The STEM Designated Degree Program List can be found on the SEVP website http://www.ice.gov/sevis/stemlist.htm

22.    What do I do if I get stuck at the port of entry?

  • If you find yourself stuck at a U.S. point of entry during regular business hours (9am – 5pm) Monday – Friday, please call the OIE at 212.261.1514 in Manhattan or 516.686.7585 in Old Westbury and ask to speak to an international student advisor.  If you are in a situation outside of regular business hours, please contact NYIT Security
    • Old Westbury - 516.686.7789
    • Manhattan - 646.273.7789
  • A Security Officer will get in touch with a member of the OIE staff who will then contact you and try to resolve the problem.

23.    What do I do if I need to go home immediately for a family emergency?

  • If you need to go home immediately, it is recommended that you inform your academic department and the OIE.  In some emergency situations, however, there is not time for a student to contact these offices.  If this is the case, please contact the offices by phone or email as soon as possible.

24.    How long may I stay in the U.S. after I graduate?

  • Students who have a valid F-1 or J-1 status are eligible for a grace period after finishing their program.  For students on F-1 visas the grace period is 60 days and for students on J-1 visas, the grace period is 30 days.  During this time, you may travel within the U.S., make arrangements to return home, transfer your SEVIS record to another school, or apply to USCIS for a change of status.


  • If you are leaving the U.S. before finishing your program, the grace period will be shortened or eliminated.  In this case, you should leave the country or make other arrangements promptly.  In this situation the OIE advisor will be happy to discuss the necessary time frame for your departure.

25.    My parents would like to attend commencement.  How do they get visitors visas?

  • Our staff is happy to write letters in support of Visitor’s visas for family members to attend commencement.  Please submit your invitation letter request which you can find http://www.nyit.edu/images/uploads/Untitled-2%20copy(2).pdf
  • We need one form for each person you are inviting.  The staff will need 5 days preparation time.

26.    How can I transfer to another university?

  • After being admitted to another university, please make an appointment to meet with an OIE advisor.  Please bring the transfer form from the new university along with your acceptance letter.  Your advisor will discuss the “release date” with you and that is the date which will be entered into the SEVIS database.  After that date, the new university will be able to create a new I-20 for you.


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