International Student Issues That Affect Your College
Dennis C. Jett, Dean UF International Center
There have been several major changes, largely resulting from post-9/11 security measures, which affect international students and therefore will have a direct impact on your college. The following describes some of those issues and recommended actions to deal with them are in bold type.
VISAS: The time required to obtain a visa is longer. Admission of international students and invitations to scholars and visiting faculty should take place earlier than in previous years.
ENTRY: Students will only be given a 30-day window to enter the U.S. Departments, especially those with pre-semester classes and orientations, should work closely with UFIC in setting the “last date allowed to enter the U.S.” on the I-20 form.
SEVIS REQUIREMENTS: Under the new SEVIS tracking system, UFIC must report to INS when a student: fails to enroll, drops below full time, finishes his/her program, changes name or address, or has disciplinary action taken against them. UFIC must also report the start date of the student’s next session, term or semester. Faculty and students should be made aware that failure to report this information will put at risk the student’s right to remain in this country.
A student may not drop below a “full course load” without prior approval by UFIC. There is little discretion regarding reduced course load and full time for graduate students is currently defined as 12 hours or 9 hours with an assistantship. A student who interrupts study must leave the country immediately. If a student violates his/her visa status, reinstatement is difficult. Students and faculty should understand it is crucial that students maintain their visa status.
As always, UFIC is available to respond to any questions regarding these issues. I would be happy to meet with you and your department chairs to discuss them and other international topics at your convenience.
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