Immigration & Visas

The International Student Advisor, Kathy Lynn at Champlain College is available to assist international students with questions about foreign student status in the U.S. and to offer an interpretation of the U.S. government regulations. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of each international student to abide by the pertinent U.S. immigration laws that relate to them. By not complying with all U.S. immigration regulations, you may be subject to deportation. The two agencies responsible for enforcing U.S. immigration regulations are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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MAINTAINING LEGAL STATUS 

BASIC F-1 RULES

The following are the basic requirements for maintaining your legal F-1 status while in the U.S.:

  • Attend the school you are authorized to attend as indicated on your SEVIS I-20.
  • Report to the International Student Advisor (ISA) for SEVIS registration at the beginning of each the semester.
  • Keep your passport valid at all times. Your passport must be valid at least (6) months into the future.
  • Maintain full-time course enrollment during the academic year. For immigration purposes you must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.
  • Be in good academic standing and make normal progress toward your degree completion.
  • Report any change of address to the ISA within 10 days of the change.
  • Refrain from unauthorized employment.
  • Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week during the academic year.
  • Keep all your immigration documents (i.e. passport, I-94, I-20, F-1 visa). Students are required to keep all I-20s.
  • Have the ISA sign your I-20 (page 3) before you travel outside the U.S. Update the travel signature each year.
  • File timely requests for extension of stay, change of status, transfer, optional practical training (OPT), off-campus employment authorization, and other benefits.
  • In the event of change of academic level, update I-20 in a timely manner.
  • Obey all local, state and federal laws.

Upon completion of your program or end of practical training you are allowed 60 days to depart the U.S. or make arrangements to continue your stay.

If you officially withdraw from the College before completion of your program and do not transfer to another school or change your immigration status, then you have only a 15-day grace period to leave the U.S. If you leave the school without officially withdrawing or notifying the International Student Advisor then there is no grace period and you must immediately leave the U.S. Your SEVIS record is terminated and you will lose your legal status in the U.S. and may be subject to deportation.

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BASIC J-1 RULES

Exchange visitors maintain J-1 status by engaging only in activities permitted under the program and category, filing timely and appropriate transfers and extensions, refraining from unauthorized employment and carrying the required health insurance coverage.

  • Attend the school you are authorized to attend.
  • Report to the ISA during the first week of the term for SEVIS program participation validation.
  • Maintain full-time course enrollment.
  • Refrain from unauthorized employment.
  • Maintain required documents.
  • Your passport must be valid six (6) months into the future.
  • Keep I-94 marked "D/S" with your passport.
  • Have your DS-2019 endorsed by ISA before you travel.
  • Maintain required health insurance coverage. Health coverage must be maintained throughout your stay.

Upon completing your program or authorized academic training, you are allowed a 30-day grace period to depart the U.S.

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VIOLATION OF F-1 OR J-1 RULES

If you violate the rules and fall out of status then we recommend you apply for reinstatement. Until you are reinstated you cannot work in any category allowed in your status. Please contact the International Student Advisor (ISA) for assistance.

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UNDERSTAND YOUR IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS

  • Passport: Keep your passport valid for at least 6 months into the future. If you travel, your passport must be valid 6 months into the future on the day you return to the U.S.
  • I-20 Form: When the school issues the I-20 it is giving the student the essential document needed to apply for an F-1 visa at an embassy or consulate and to enter the U.S. in F-1 status. Dependents of F-1 visa students must be issued their own Dependent I-20 and visa based on sufficient proof of financial support and by request through the F-1 student. F-1 students and dependents must keep all I-20's issued by the school.
  • DS-2019 Form: When the school issues the DS-2019 it is giving the student the essential document needed to apply for a J-1 visa at an embassy or consulate and to enter the U.S. in J-1 status.
  • I-94 Card: On the plane or when you enter the U.S. you will be given an I-94 form (Arrival/Departure Record card). When filling out this form, it is important you use the same name spelling as on your passport. The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will stamp the I-94 and passport. Make sure "D/S" (duration of status) is marked on this white card. Keep the I-94 stapled in your passport as this document is your official record of your stay in the U.S. and is expensive to replace. It is the student's responsibility to ensure the I-94 is turned into the CBP at the end of his/her stay in the U.S or upon traveling outside of the country. If you are admitted to the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 visa student and you take a short trip (30 days or less) to Canada, Mexico or the Adjacent Islands then you should inform the immigration official of your plans to return and retain your current I-94 card, I-20 or DS2019. When you resume your stay in the U.S. you will be readmitted for the remainder of the time required to complete your program.

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ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

FULL COURSE OF STUDY

Undergraduate students must complete at least 12 credit hours or equivalent each semester and make normal academic progress. Fewer than 12 credit hours may be taken during the final term. Exceptions to a full-time course of study are permitted under certain circumstances and must be approved by the International Student Advisor. Please check with your International Student Advisor before withdrawing from a course or reducing your course load below full time.

Undergraduate students are expected to meet the minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) requirement of 2.0 as established by the college.

DISTANCE OR ONLINE EDUCATION

As an undergraduate, you may count only one online (3 credits total) course toward the minimum number of credits required for full-time status (12 credits).

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REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Notify the International Student Advisor of any of the following changes:

  • Address changes
  • Major/Class changes
  • Changes in financial support
  • Changes in visa status
  • Departure from Champlain College

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INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

When traveling to another country make sure that you carry your F-1 or J-1 travel documents for your return to the U.S.

Documents to carry when traveling:

  1. Form I-20 or DS-2019 with current travel authorization signature.
  2. Passport, valid at least 6 months into the future on the day you return to the U.S. from a trip abroad.
  3. Valid visa (valid at the time of re-entry).
  4. Documents verifying financial support (i.e. bank statement, letter of sponsorship, etc.), academic status (i.e. college transcript, proof of enrollment), and SEVIS fee receipt.
  5. Proof of health or emergency medical insurance and contact information.
  6. When traveling abroad F-1 students should always return to the U.S. in F-1 status. Do not return in B-2 tourist status.

Visit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for more information.

If you wish to go to visit Canada or need a Temporary Resident Visa click here.

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