Welcome to International Student Services
The International Student Services (ISS) Office provides students with academic advisement and registration help, information about student activities, personal guidance and assistance, referrals to outside support services, course or college withdrawal, and changes of major. In addition to all the typical challenges that college students face, international students have another set of concerns. Those can include visa status, employment requirements, and general acculturation.
Our staff are dedicated to supporting your endeavors and ensuring your academic success here at Monroe College. We will assist international students with any issues that may come up regarding visa status and employment eligibility, The office can also help with any other personal and academic concerns.
We are located at Main Hall, 145 Huguenot Street, New Rochelle.
We look forward to meeting you!
Meet Your Advisors
International Student Advisors are here to advise international students on immigration, personal, social, and cultural matters during their time here at Monroe College. We are here to serve as advocates to the College’s community and to help connect students to the correct resources around the community.
Update Your Contact Information
- How can I update my address? Address changes can be made online through WebAdvisor or by completing a Change of Information Form.
- How do I change or correct my name? To make a change or correction to your name, you will need to complete a Change of Information form. All name changes must be accompanied by supporting original documentation, i.e., state ID or passport and social security card (if applicable), along with one of the following: marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, birth certificate, and/or Certificate of Naturalization.
What is SEVIS?
SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitors Information System. SEVIS governs the retention and reporting of information regarding F, J, and M nonimmigrants.
What is a DSO?
DSO stands for Designated School Official. A DSO is responsible for reporting and updating information to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about the F-1 student’s situation. The DSO also makes important determinations regarding the F-1 student, such as whether the student should have a reduced course load or should take part in practical training.
What is an F-1 Status?
An F-1 status is a non-immigrant status issued by the USCIS to the alien student who is pursuing a full-time course of academic study (including language training) in the U.S.
What does "full course of study" really mean for an F-1 student
At different program levels, the definition of "full course of study" may vary accordingly:
- At the postgraduate or postdoctoral study level (such as master's, doctoral, or post-doctoral programs), the Designated School Official (DSO) of each academic institution has authority to certify the equivalent of a full course of study.
- At an undergraduate study level, "full course of study" usually consists of at least twelve semester hours or quarter hours per academic semester.
I am an F-1 student. May I be enrolled in part-time study?
No. You must be enrolled in a full course load in normal academic semesters, except due to special circumstances, such as academic difficulties, illness, and/or medical conditions. It should also be noted that during the summer semesters, you are allowed to be enrolled in a part-time study or not enrolled at all.
I am in F-1 status. May I travel outside the U.S.?
Yes, you may travel outside the U.S. when you are in F-1 status. However, in order to return to the U.S., you should provide the following documents:
- A valid passport;
- A valid F-1 entry visa stamped in the passport;
- A current SEVIS Form I-20 signed by your appropriate school official;
- A new SEVIS Form I-20 if there have been any substantive changes in your course of study or place of study; and
- Proof of your financial support.
I just moved to another place. Must I inform USCIS of my new address?
Yes. You must notify the USCIS by providing a notice of a change of address (Form AR-11) within 10 days to the Designated School Official (DSO).
I have two addresses, one is a mailing address and the other is the actual physical address where I live. Which one I must provide to DSO?
You must provide both addresses to the DSO.
I am in F-1 status. Am I allowed to work on campus?
Yes, you are allowed to work on campus, but the on-campus employment cannot displace U.S. residents. Also, you are limited to 20 hours of work per a week.
I am an F-1 student and intend to continue my studies. How do I get an employment authorization to work in the US during the summer vacation time?
In order to work during the summer vacation period, you must apply for curricular practical training (CPT).
What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
Curricular practical training is an alternative to work/study, internship, cooperative education, and any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. A CPT allows an F-1 student to work for an employer on a full time or part time basis. A CPT does not need an approval from the USCIS; the school that the F-1 student attends may approve a CPT.
Who is eligible for CPT?
An F-1 student who has been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at an approved college, university, conservatory, or seminary for at least one academic year is eligible to apply to participate in a practical training program.
I have completed a one-year full-time CPT. May I apply for OPT after I complete my studies?
No. As an F-1 student who has completed one year or more of full-time curricular practical training, you are ineligible for post-completion academic training.
I am about to finish my degree and would like to work for a while after my graduation. How do I get an employment authorization to work?
To work after the completion of the full-time course work, you must apply for optional practical training (OPT).
What is optional practical training (OPT)?
The OPT is an authorization of temporary employment for F-1 students.
If my OPT expired, do I have a grace period to legally stay in the U.S.?
Yes, you have 60 days to legally stay in the U.S. and prepare the necessary items to depart from the U.S. During this time, you may also apply for a transfer to another institution, a change of status, or an adjustment of status.
How do I maintain my valid F-1 status?
You must be enrolled in an academic program as full time study. Enrollment in an elementary school, academic high school, university or college, conservatory, seminary, or language training program will qualify as enrollment in an academic program. After January 1, 2003, any new F-1 student must report to the school listed on Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) or SEVIS Form I-20 within 30 days of the registration date. As for current F-1 students, they must report any reportable action through SEVIS (such as transfer, extension of status, practical training, or employment authorization).
What are the steps that need to be taken if an F-1 student wants to transfer from a SEVIS School to another SEVIS school?
To transfer from one SEVIS school to another, the student must first notify his or her current school of the intent to transfer and must indicate the school to which he or she intends to transfer. Upon notification by the student, the current school will update the student's record in SEVIS as a "transfer out'' and indicate the school to which the student intends to transfer, and provide a release date. The release date will be the current semester, the session completion date, or the date of expected transfer if earlier than the established academic cycle. The current school will retain control over the student's record in SEVIS until the student completes the current term or reaches the release date. At the request of the student, the DSO of the current school may cancel the transfer request at any time prior to the release date. As of the release date specified by the current DSO, the transfer school will be granted full access to the student's SEVIS record and will then become responsible for that student. The current school conveys authority and responsibility over the student to the transfer school, and will no longer have full SEVIS access to that student's record. As such, a transfer request may not be cancelled by the current DSO after the release date has been reached. After the release date, the transfer DSO must complete the transfer of the student's record in SEVIS and may issue a SEVIS Form I-20. The student is then required to contact the DSO at the transfer school within 15 days of the program start date listed on the Form I-20. Upon notification that the student is enrolled in classes, the DSO of the transfer school must update SEVIS to reflect the student's registration and current address, thereby acknowledging that the student has completed the transfer process. In the remarks section of the student's SEVIS Form I-20, the DSO must note that the transfer has been completed, including the date, and return the form to the student. The transfer is carried out when the transfer school notifies SEVIS that the student has enrolled in classes within 30 days.
Do I need to apply for an extension of status if I need more time to complete my program for some reason?
“Duration of status” is determined by the completion date noted on your SEVIS Form I-20. If the completion date will be reached while you still need to take extra semesters to complete your program, you need to apply for an extension to avoid being out of status.
When and how shall I file for an extension if I fail to finish my academic program by the completion date noted on my I-20 Form?
You may submit an application for extension to the DSO up to 30 days prior to the completion date. It is important to file the application in a timely manner; otherwise the DSO may not grant the extension if you file application after the completion date.
If I graduate from my current school as an F-1 student, do I have a grace period to legally to stay in the U.S.?
Yes, you still have a grace period of 60 days to legally stay in the U.S.
I was authorized by our school international student advisor to withdraw from classes. Do I have a grace period to stay in the U.S.?
Yes, you will be allowed a 15-day period for departure from the U.S.
I intend to quit school without authorization from the DSO and plan to go back to my home country. Do I have a grace period?
If the DSO did not authorize your withdrawal, you will be considered out of status without the protection of a grace period and must leave the country on the day of withdrawal.
I am now in the middle of the 60-day grace period and I got a job offer from an American employer. Can I apply for OPT?
Yes, you may apply for Optional Practical Training during the 60-day grace period after the completion of your studies. However, it is important that the application for OPT be submitted before the end of the grace period.