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International Students

Earn your graduate education as an international
student at ATSU

A.T. Still University (ATSU) is renowned for its preeminence as a multidisciplinary healthcare educator in the United States and continually earns distinctions as the graduate health sciences university with best-in-class curriculum.

ATSU instills within students the compassion, experience, and knowledge required to address the whole person and shape healthcare in communities worldwide where needs are greatest. Inspired to influence whole person healthcare, ATSU graduates contribute to the future of integrated care while also leading with a selfless passion in the communities they serve. Globally, there is diversity in the delivery of healthcare, healthcare systems, and a variety of settings where education takes place. Because of ATSU’s focus on holistic health and its mission to serve the underserved, ATSU is the perfect university for global students looking to enhance their global practice or transition to become U.S. healthcare practitioners.

International students are now welcome to apply to the following online programs, regardless of country of residence.
Read more +

Program essentials

Programs
Benefits
Requirements
Online
Hybrid Learning
On-campus
Arizona School of Health Sciences

Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health

College of Graduate Health Studies

Online programs with an on-site requirement
The following programs are taught primarily online with a required on-site component. These programs are open to international applicants if they are willing to travel for the on-site component. Please note that ATSU cannot issue I-20s for the on-site portion of these programs.
On-campus programs open to non-immigrant applicants.
The following programs are on-campus in Mesa, Ariz. Please note that you must attend class in person to apply to these programs. These programs require an F-1 Visa for non-immigrant students.

Arizona School of Health Sciences

The below guidelines will be followed when reviewing international students for admission to ATSU-ASHS.

  1. Prior to application, international applicants should review the program information in this catalog for program-specific requirements and contact Admissions for current information on the application process.
  2. International students must have permanent residency status (green card) to be eligible to receive any type of financial assistance through federal student loan programs.
  3. Applicants who have graduated from a non-U.S. college or university must submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree and/or course equivalency. Applicants must have foreign transcripts evaluated by an evaluation service specializing in foreign transcript evaluation. The evaluation must state that the transcript(s) reflect an equivalency of a U.S. degree.

    Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

    Option 1

    English is your first language

    Option 2

    Graduated from a regionally accredited four-year university or college in the United States (minimum B.A. or B.S)

    Option 3

    You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

    Acceptable TOEFL minimum scores for ASHS applications are:

    • Internet-based total score = 80
    • Acceptable IELTS scores are an overall band score of 6.5

    For more information on the IELTS, please visit ielts.org

    * Please note. TOEFL subscore minimums may be required by some programs. Please refer to the individual program website or catalog page to determine if subscores are required.

    The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, PO Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609.771.7100. Information is available on the Internet at toefl.org. A.T Still University’s institutional code is 0339.

    Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet.

    TOEFL Educational Testing Services
    P.O. Box 6151
    Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
    609.771.7100

  4. Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university must submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All coursework taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

    World Education Services
    P.O. Box 5087
    Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087
    212.966.6311
    212.739.6139 FAX
    info@wes.org
    wes.org
    Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
    International Education Consultants 7101
    SW 102 Avenue
    Miami FL 33173
    305.273.1616
    305.273.1338 FAX
    info@jsilny.com
    jsilny.com
    Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
    P.O. Box 514070
    Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
    414.289.3400
    ece.org
    Intl. Education Research Foundation, Inc.
    PO Box 3665
    Culver City, CA 90231-3665
    310.258.9451
    ierf.org
  5. Credit for advanced standing will not be given any work completed in foreign graduate or medical schools. All students must apply for first-year status.

  6. Additional program requirements include:

Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health

The below guildlines will be followed when reviewing international students for admission to ATSU-ASDOH.

  1. International students applying for admission to ATSU-ASDOH must meet all general requirements for admission as stated in admissions publications.

  2. International students must take all prerequisites courses in the United States. Equivalency courses will not be considered.

  3. Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated by one of the following services:

    World Education Services
    P.O. Box 5087
    Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087
    212.966.6311
    212.739.6139 FAX
    info@wes.org
    wes.org
    Foreign Consultants, Inc.
    Credential Evaluation Services
    3000 Dundee Road, Suite 2019
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    773.761.000
    foreignconsultants.com
    Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
    P.O. Box 514070
    Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
    414.289.3400
    ece.org
    GCE, Inc.
    P.O.Box 9203
    College Station, TX 77842
    1.800.707.0979
    gceus.com
  4. Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

    Option 1

    English is your first language

    Option 2

    Graduated from a regionally accredited four-year university or college in the United States (minimum B.A. or B.S.)

    Option 3

    You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

    Acceptable minimum scores for ATSU-ASDOH applications are:

    The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) are accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:

    Test Reading Skills Writing Skills Total Score
    CBT 22(minimum) 26(minimum) 213(minimum)
    iBT 22(minimum) 24(minimum) 80(minimum)
    PBT 57(minimum) 61(minimum) 550(minimum)

    The TOEFL is administered by

    TOEFL Educational Testing Services
    P.O. Box 6151
    Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
    609.771.7100

    A.T. Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet.

    • Credit for advanced standing will not be given for any work completed in foreign graduate or medical schools. All students must apply for first-year status.
    • International students must have permanent residency status (green card) to be eligible to receive any type of federal financial assistance.
    • International students not having permanent residency status must provide written proof of ability to finance their Dental education prior to matriculation.
    • Applicants must submit Dental Admission Test (DAT) scores that are not older than three years.
    • International students seeking to enter a program of study at ASDOH must hold a F-1 (student) visa issued by the U.S. Government. ASDOH is approved to issue a U.S. Department of Homeland Security For I-20. Upon receiving the completed Form I-20 from ATSU, you will be able to apply for an F-1 (student) visa.

College of Graduate Health Studies

The below guidelines will be followed when reviewing international students for admission to ATSU-CGHS.

  1. Application:
    • Completed and signed admissions application along with a nonrefundable application fee.
  2. Academic:
    • An accredited Masters degree from a university recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Applicants who received their qualifying degree from a university outside the United States will have to provide a degree equivalency evaluation.*
    • Official transcript from the qualifying degree-granting institution. For students using VA benefits transcripts for all institutions attended are required.
    • Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) at the qualifying degree institution.
  3. Elements of Success:
    • A current resume
    • Completion of an essay
    • English Proficiency **
    • Meet technology requirements***

*Applicants who have graduated from a foreign college or university should submit acceptable evidence of U.S. degree/course equivalency. All course work taken at the foreign institution must be evaluated for American institution equivalence by one of the following services:

World Education Services
P.O. Box 5087
Bowling Green Station New York, NY 10274-5087
212.966.6311
212.739.6139 FAX
info@wes.org
wes.org
Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
International Education Consultants 7101
SW 102 Avenue
Miami FL 33173
305.273.1616
305.273.1338 FAX
info@jsilny.com
jsilny.com
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
414.289.3400
ece.org
Intl. Education Research Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 3665
Culver City, CA 90231-3665
310.258.9451
ierf.org
American Assn. of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers
One Dupont Circle
NW, Suite 520 Washington, DC 20036-1135
(202) 293-9161
aacrao.org

**Applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to A.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Studies. Written and spoken proficiency in the English language may be demonstrated by one of the following options:

  • Option 1

    English is your first language

    Option 2

    Graduated from a regionally accredited four-year university or college in the United States with a B.A. , B.S., or graduate degree.

    Option 3

    You are demonstrating your English proficiency by submitting acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

    Accepted test types for CGHS are:

    The Computer Based Test (CBT), Internet Based Test (iBT), or the Paper Based Test (PBT) are accepted. The following are the minimum required score based on test type:

    Test Reading Skills Writing Skills Total Score
    CBT 22(minimum) 26(minimum) 213(minimum)
    iBT 22(minimum) 24(minimum) 80(minimum)
    PBT 57(minimum) 61(minimum) 550(minimum)

    The TOEFL is administered by TOEFL/TSE Services, PO Box 6151, Princeton, NJ, 08541-6151, USA 609.771.7100. A.T Still University’s institutional code is 0339. Please be sure to include this information when you submit your application packet.

    TOEFL Educational Testing Services
    P.O. Box 6151
    Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
    609.771.7100

*** ATSU technology requirements

Apply to any of the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) programs online through ATSU’s application system.

Apply Now

Review application deadline dates

For additional information contact an Enrollment Counselor:
877.626.5577
cghsonlineadmissions@atsu.edu

Benefits of U.S.-based graduate education No matter what country you’re from, earning a graduate degree from a U.S.-based university has many benefits, such as:
  • Online programs enable students to complete their degree from any country with optimal flexibility.
  • Program curriculum provides evidence-based practice, which is the cornerstone of research processes.
  • Earning a terminal doctorate could lead to being published in a peer-reviewed journal for research.
  • Earning a doctoral degree allows professionals to teach in academia.
  • Earning a graduate degree enables practitioners to stay competitive with recent American graduates.
Global students who desire to be licensed in the U.S. or aspire to stand out with a higher degree are great candidates for graduate degrees at ATSU.

Programs for anyone, anywhere

Explore these great online options

Post-Professional Doctor of Audiology online program

Post-Professional Doctor of Audiology online program

Offered through ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS), the fully online Post-Professional Doctor of Audiology program is configured around the unique needs of each practicing professional, offering flexibility with a full team of support. With curriculum tailored to each student’s individual learning needs and interests as a practitioner, the program empowers students to enhance their clinical practices with new skills and knowledge, and rekindle their passion for their profession.

The application and admissions process involve evaluation of each applicant’s clinical experiences, purpose statement, letters of recommendation, and personal interview results for determination of program length and content.

Learn more about the Post-Professional Doctor of Audiology program.

Postprofessional Doctor of Physical Therapy program

Postprofessional Doctor of Physical Therapy program

ATSU-ASHS’ Postprofessional Doctor of Physical Therapy program is a custom degree program configured around the unique needs of each practicing PT, offering highly flexible online education on each student’s terms and schedule. The online physical therapy degree offers curriculum plans that are personalized based on experience and prior academic and continuing education.

The postprofessional DPT is the perfect physiotherapy doctorate for internationally educated PTs looking to differentiate themselves with a clinical doctoral degree, provide a higher level of care with the enhanced knowledge to be autonomous, and maintain relevancy while continuing to practice in the discipline of physical therapy/physiotherapy.

Learn more about the Postprofessional Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Support along the way

Enrollment Services is here to help students with a vast array of service areas. The resources below will assist global students during their time at ATSU and beyond. Please start here for all requests related to your enrollment and financial history with Enrollment Services.

Please contact Enrollment Services if you do not find what you need or have further questions.

F-1 student visa

Non-U.S. citizens seeking to study in an approved ATSU program must obtain an F-1 visa issued by the U.S. Government. ATSU is approved to issue a U.S. Department of Homeland Security I-20 Form for select ATSU programs.

Please reference the ATSU University Catalog for program-specific information regarding admission policies for non-immigrant students seeking to study in the U.S. on an F-1 visa. Not all ATSU programs admit non-U.S. citizens at this time.

To begin the process of obtaining an I-20 Form, or for general non-immigrant student questions, please contact ATSU’s Designated School Officials (DSOs) at enrollmentservices@atsu.edu.

  • Obtaining an I-20 from ATSU +

    • International applicants requesting a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20) must provide documentation of sufficient funds to cover all first year costs including, but not limited to: tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, and living expenses. Please reference the Cost of Attendance/Budget worksheets for all ATSU programs cost information. Please contact a DSO in Enrollment Services to obtain the required form and submit with the documents described below.

      Requirements for obtaining an I-20 from A.T. Still University

      • You must be admitted to an on-campus degree program.
      • You must provide the required financial documentation showing your ability to pay all costs associated with your program. Acceptable documentation can be in the form of a bank statement, investment statement, affidavit from a U.S. sponsor, or documentation of pre-approval for a private loan, along with the financial statements of a credit-worthy co-signer.
      • You must complete the A.T. Still University Financial Statement and Certification form. Contact Enrollment Services to obtain this form.

      All financial support documents submitted must be:

      • Original documents or certified true copies (faxes and copies will not be accepted)
      • Dated within twelve months of the intended date of enrollment or time of I-20
      • In English or with an official translation into English attached

      Funding from Family or Friends

      • Must complete an I-134 Affidavit of Support, if the sponsor is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
      • Bank statement or letter must be on bank letterhead and include the name of the account holder, account number, and specific amount of funds.
      • The name of the sponsor on the affidavit of support must match the name of the account holder on the bank statement or letter.

      Self-Funding

      • Bank statement or letter must be on bank letterhead and include the name of the account holder, account number, and specific amount of funds.
      • The name of the account holder on the bank statement or letter must be that of the student/applicant requesting the I-20.
      • All financial support must be readily accessible. That is, you must be able to access the funds within 24 hours. Therefore, stocks, bonds, and life insurance policies are generally not acceptable. Income tax statements, proof of property ownership, and employment letters are not readily accessible funds and not accepted.

      Transferring your I-20 from another U.S. school

      Overview:

      For F-1 students, the process for transferring from one U.S. school to another is quite easy. You simply need to have your immigration record electronically transferred from your current school to ATSU.

      Steps to transfer your immigration record

      • You are officially accepted to ATSU and have paid all required acceptance fees.
      • Contact a Designated School Official (DSO) in Enrollment Services at 660.626.2019 or by email at enrollmentservices@atsu.edu to obtain the ATSU Transfer Request form and discuss requirements for obtaining an I-20 from ATSU.
      • Notify the DSO (usually an International Student Advisor) at your current school that you will be attending ATSU and need to transfer your SEVIS immigration record. Make sure you meet your current school’s requirements for transfer. They may or may not request your written consent to transfer. Provide the school official with the ATSU Transfer Request form for their completion and return to DSO in Enrollment Services.
      • Discuss with a DSO at your current school the date you want to transfer your immigration record from your current school to ATSU.
        • The date you transfer schools is called your “release date.”
        • As of this date, your SEVIS immigration record can no longer be accessible by your current school and will be accessible by ATSU.
        • The date must be between the end of the semester/quarter at your current school and the beginning of the next semester/quarter at ATSU.
        • The date must be prior to 60 days after the completion date of your program or optional practical training.
        • Know that your employment authorization will be affected by your transfer date.
      • The DSO at your current school will submit your transfer request to SEVIS. The DSO may want to know ATSU’s Immigration ID number, which is provided on the ATSU Transfer Request form.
      • On your release date, SEVIS electronically transfers your SEVIS record to ATSU through the SEVIS database.
      • ATSU will be able to generate you a new I-20 on or after your release date, provided that all other ATSU requirements for international students have been satisfied.
  • Employment +

    • Employment while in the U.S.

      Work options are a benefit of the F-1 visa. There are rules for each of the employment options. Failure to follow the rules or working illegally means that you will be out of status and must be reinstated.

      On-Campus Employment

      F-1 students do not need USCIS permission to accept employment on-campus. However, the employment must meet the criteria stated below and also shown on the USCIS website. Prior to engaging in on-campus employment, you are required to contact a DSO in Enrollment Services.

      • You can work up to 20 hours per week on campus when classes are in session.
      • You can work over 20 hours per week on campus during holiday or other designated breaks.
      • You are not eligible for Federal Work-Study employment.

      Off-Campus Employment

      You are NOT allowed to work off campus without special permission from USCIS. Refer to OPT and CPT information for additional details.

  • OPT Employment +

    • Optional Practical Training (OPT) is off-campus employment that is related to your major field of study and is a benefit of the F-1 visa status. Helpful information regarding OPT can be found on the USCIS website.

      Before You Apply for OPT

      What is Optional Practical Training?
      OPT is off-campus employment that is related to your major field of study. OPT is a benefit of the F-1 visa status.

      Who is eligible for OPT?
      An F-1 student who is eligible to apply for OPT must have been in lawful F-1 status for one full academic year prior to applying for OPT. Available both before and after completion of your academic program, but different rules apply to pre- and post-completion OPT. If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible, contact a DSO in Enrollment Services.

      What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?
      CPT permits employment to fulfill a course requirement before graduation only. CPT requires the offer of a specific job. Please ask a DSO in Enrollment Services if you are not sure if you need OPT or CPT.

      When can I use my OPT?
      Eligible F-1 students may engage in optional practical training for a total of 12 months:

      • After completion of a course of study
      • After completion of all course requirements if engaged in thesis or dissertation research
      • While school is in session, provided that it does not exceed 20 hours per week in any given week while school is in session
      • During the summer or winter break of the regular academic year.

      If I had CPT, can I still have OPT?
      Yes, provided that you did not have CPT full-time for twelve months.

      When You Apply for OPT

      What are the requirements needed to apply for OPT?
      You don’t need a job offer in order to apply for OPT, but you must apply for OPT before you complete your studies.One can apply as early as possible within the last semester/quarter of studies.

      How do I apply for OPT?
      To apply for OPT, complete the steps listed below:

      • Step 1: Review the OPT Checklist provided by Enrollment Services
      • Step 2: Complete the I-765 Application USCIS form I-765
      • Step 3: Mail the Application to USCIS, Nebraska Service Center

      Please contact a DSO in Enrollment Services if you have questions after you have read the information on this website and have completed all the forms to the best of your ability.

      Submit the I-765 application and supporting documentation to USCIS. Your application should include:

      • Check or Money Order to USCIS
      • 2 OPT photos cut to size (Refer to I-765 for Instructions)
      • I-765 Application
      • A copy of both sides of your new SEVIS I-20 requesting OPT, signed by a DSO in Enrollment Services within 30 days. Do not send your original I-20 to USCIS.
      • A copy of your I-94, front and back
      • A copy of your passport photo page, passport expiration date page and your visa (If your passport is extended on another page, include that page as well)
      • A copy of any previous Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) you have received from USCIS, if applicable (e.g., OPT authorized for a different degree).
      • If you have received an EAD before, also include copies of all previous I-20s.
      • Send your completed application and supporting documents to the Nebraska Service Center address shown on the I-765 instructions.

      What does a DSO in Enrollment Services do in the OPT process?
      While the DSO can recommend OPT permission, it is the USCIS that must approve the OPT. The DSO will verify that you are in lawful F-1 status and then make a notation on the third page of your I-20. You are required to provide the employment start date which will be submitted to USCIS and appear on your I-20. This date will start the 12 months of OPT eligibility.

      What documents should I send to USCIS for OPT?
      Refer to Step 3 for information on which documents to include and where to send your application.

      Is there a special way to mail the documents?
      You cannot apply for OPT in person at the USCIS office. The application must be submitted by mail. Do not use any type of mail service that would require USCIS to sign for the envelope. Courier service not requiring a signature can be used.

      Rather than apply for OPT early in the semester/quarter, isn’t it a better idea to wait until I have a job offer?
      If you wait until you have a job offer before you apply for OPT, you risk delaying the start of your employment, which can, in turn, often mean losing the job offer. It can take up to 120 days to receive OPT work authorization and most employers are unwilling to wait that long to fill a position.

      After I apply for OPT, can I change my start date?
      If you have not yet completed your studies AND your OPT application has not been processed by Immigration, then it might be possible to change the start date on your OPT. However, anytime that we try to make a change on an application that has already been sent to the Service Center, there is a risk that the change will not be implemented at the time of adjudication of your application. Once an application has been approved, we cannot change the start date.

      Where can I get my receipt “LIN” number?
      You will receive a Form I-797 “Notice of Action” from the USCIS approximately two weeks after you mail your application to USCIS. The “LIN” number is the receipt number printed in the upper left corner of the USCIS Form I-797 “Notice of Action” receipt. If you have your “LIN” number you can check the status of your application online.

      When You Have OPT Authorization

      When can I start work under OPT?
      When you have the EAD and the start date of employment authorization (shown on the EAD) has arrived. If your EAD arrives later than the date your employer wishes you to begin working, you may not begin to work early. You cannot begin to work until the EAD card is in your hand and the start date has arrived.

      Does OPT employment need to be full-time?
      If you have completed your studies, OPT employment must be full time.

      Can I change employers during my OPT?
      Yes. As long as the employment is related to your field of study, you can work for any employer.

      What type of visa am I on and can I travel outside the U.S.?
      OPT is not a different visa. A person with OPT authorization is an F-1 student holding an EAD for OPT. Refer to the OPT Travel Regulations for more information.

      OPT Travel Regulations

      If you have graduated and your OPT is pending: You may travel outside the U.S. and reenter the U.S. while your OPT application is pending in order to resume searching for a job. In order to reenter the U.S., you will need:

      • Valid passport
      • Valid F-1 visa
      • I-20 signed for travel within six months
      • I-797 receipt notice (OPT receipt)

      If you have graduated and your OPT has been approved: You may travel outside the U.S. only if you have a job offer or you are returning to a job. In order to reenter the U.S., you will need:

      • Valid passport
      • Valid F-1 visa
      • I-20 signed for travel within six months
      • EAD card
      • Letter from your employer stating that you need to return to the U.S. to resume working

      If you have not graduated: You may travel outside the U.S. and reenter the U.S. because you are still a student. In order to reenter the U.S., you will need:

      • Valid passport
      • Valid F-1 visa
      • I-20 signed for travel within six months
      • Letter from a DSO in Enrollment Services stating that you have not yet graduated

      When You Finish OPT

      How long can I stay in the U.S. after my OPT expires?
      60 days.

      Can I return to school after completing OPT?
      Yes, provided you obtain a new I-20 for the next program of studies within 60 days of your OPT expiration. This will require you to complete the USCIS procedure for moving to a new level of studies (if you resume studies at ATSU) or the procedure for a school transfer (if you go to a different school).

      I already finished a year of OPT and I want to return to school. When I finish can I have another year of OPT?
      Yes, provided your degree is at a higher level than your previous degree (e.g. you have a M.S. and are now working on a Ph.D.). You also must meet the OPT eligibility requirements.

  • CPT Employment +

    • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) allows F-1 students to take academic internships off campus. The requirements of CPT are:

      • The internship must be related to the student’s field of study
      • The internship must be required by the department or advisor
      • The student must receive academic credit and a grade for the internship

      CPT is employer-specific. Therefore, students must have been offered a position in writing before CPT can be approved. The internship can be either paid or unpaid.

      The Application Process

      To apply for CPT, students should first meet with a DSO in Enrollment Services to discuss the internship and then submit the Curricular Practical Training Agreement. The DSO will review your application for approval.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What is curricular practical training?
      Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment authorization that allows F-1 students to work off campus in a work/study program such as an internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Must be an integral part of an established curriculum.

      Who is eligible for CPT?
      An F-1 student who has been in lawful status for one full academic year and has not completed their course of study. Exception exists for graduate students whose program requires immediate curricular training.

      When can I apply?
      You can apply at any time, provided you are qualified. Available only before completion of studies.

      Do I need a job offer to apply?
      Yes. CPT can only be authorized for a specific job. This job cannot change during the CPT.

      Do I need to be enrolled while doing my CPT?
      Yes. You MUST get academic credit for your CPT, even if your CPT is during the summer semester/quarter.

      Do I need to apply to USCIS for CPT?
      No. A DSO in Enrollment Services can authorize your CPT. Authorization is documented in SEVIS and a new I-20 with approval notation is issued.

      How do I apply for CPT?
      To apply for CPT, students should first meet with a DSO in Enrollment Services to discuss the internship and then submit the Curricular Practical Training Agreement.

      How will CPT affect OPT in the future?
      If you have full-time CPT for a total of 12 full months (365 days), you will not be eligible for OPT.

      What happens if I am authorized for CPT and then I change my mind or lose my job?
      You must notify your DSO immediately in order to cancel your CPT with USCIS.

  • Maintaining Status +

    • It is your responsibility to comply with all Immigration regulations that apply to non-immigrant students. If you are not sure whether or not an action will affect your immigration status, please contact a DSO in Enrollment Services before taking that action. Visit the USCIS website for additional information related to maintaining your status.

      If you violate your immigration status, you will not be able to work on or off campus, engage in practical/academic training, or transfer schools until you have been reinstated to F-1 Status. You may be required to leave the United States. Refer to the reinstatement guidelines at the USCIS website for more information.

      Basic requirements for maintaining your status include:

      • Not engaging in unauthorized employment
      • Having a valid passport
      • Having a valid I-20
      • Maintaining a full course load

      Valid Passport

      In general, passports are valid if they have not expired. Do not let your passport expire while you are in the U.S. Below are instructions for renewing your passport and information on traveling with your passport.

      Renewing Your Passport

      Your passport should be valid at all times. If your passport is near expiration, please contact your country’s embassy or consulate. They will give you instructions on how to renew your passport. This process can take anywhere from three-six months, so please plan accordingly.

      Traveling with Your Passport

      Your passport must be valid for at least six more months at the time you re-enter the U.S. Some countries have passport agreements with the U.S. that would allow you to enter with less than six months remaining on your passport.

      Valid Documents

      Travel Documents

      When you travel to the US, you need to make sure you have the following documents with you:

      • I-20 with current signature (I-20 requires a current signature every 12 months or every 6 months while on OPT)
      • Valid passport (valid for at least six months after your arrival)
      • An F-1 visa
      • The same proof of financial ability that you used to obtain your I-20 and visa

      At the Port of Entry

      A visa does not guarantee entrance into the US. The USCIS has the authority to deny admission at the port of entry. While traveling, carry important documents with you. Do not place them in a suitcase.

      Things to expect when coming into the United States

      • Be sure to have all of your documents in order upon arrival. Before leaving the airplane, the flight attendant will pass out an I-94 card for you to fill out with information regarding your arrival in the United States. You need to keep this card throughout your stay in the United States, as it shows that you have entered the United States legally.
      • At the port of entry into the United States, immigration officials will inspect your passport, visa, and statement of financial support. Have these documents out and ready for the officials.
      • The officials will stamp your documents as proof of your legal entry into the United States.
      • Your I-94 card is usually stapled in your passport. It documents your entry, including your status and the length of time you can stay in the United States.

      Enrollment Guidelines

      You must take enough credits each semester/quarter in order to maintain your F-1 non-immigrant status. Contact the Enrollment Services for additional details.

  • Travel Basics (Updating I-20) +

    • Travel Basics

      • You may travel freely within the U.S. at any time.
      • You may leave the U.S. at any time. Note, however, that you may need a visa to enter other countries. Please check with the relevant embassy to determine entry requirements for any country you are planning to visit during your travels.
      • If you re-enter the U.S., you must have all necessary documents with you.
      • We recommend that you carry your I-20 and passport with you when you travel.

      DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL & RE-ENTRY WHEN TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE U.S. FOR FIVE MONTHS OR LESS

      Visit the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website for additional details.

      Please note that the requirements below apply to dependents as well.

      • Passport (must be valid for six months beyond the date of re-entry)
      • Valid U.S. Visa for your current visa status. See the ICE website for exceptions.
      • I-20 signed for travel
        • Travel signatures are valid for one year. However, if you have approved OPT, travel signature is valid for six months.
      • Financial document (e.g., bank statement) showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses.

      At the Border

      What happens to my I-94 card when I leave and re-enter the U.S.?

      • When you leave the U.S., you will give this document to border officers or airline officials.
      • Exception: When traveling to Canada, Mexico, and most Caribbean islands, you may be allowed to keep your I-94 if you will be out of the U.S. for less than 30 days.
      • When you return to the U.S., you will receive a new I-94.

      What happens when I cross the border into the U.S.?

      • Have your passport, visa, and I-20 or DS-2019 ready for the Immigration officer.
      • The Immigration officer will put a stamp on your:
      • I-20 (if there is not a stamp on page one of the document)
      • I-94 (unless you are returning with the same I-94)
      • The stamp will list your immigration status and “D/S” (Duration of Status).
      • You will have your fingerprints taken and possibly have your photo taken.

      What should I do if I have problems at the border?

      • Ask the border officer to call the University Registrar at 660.626.2019 or 866.626.2878 ext. 2019. They can also send an email to dhunsaker@atsu.edu.
      • Ask the border officer for an I-515 which is a document that allows you into the U.S. for 30 days.
      • If you receive an I-515, please make an appointment with a DSO in Enrollment Services following your return to campus.

      Keeping Your Documents Valid

      How do I make sure my passport is valid?

      • Your passport must be valid for at least 6 more months at the time you re-enter the U.S.
      • Some countries have passport agreements with the U.S. which would allow you to enter with less than six months remaining on your passport.
      • Contact your country’s embassy or consulate for instructions for renewing your passport.

      How do I renew my visa?

      • If your visa has expired or you have used all of the entries, you must have it renewed at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
      • You may go to a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country or another country.
      • Review instructions for renewing your visa.

      How do I make sure my I-20 is valid for re-entry?

      • Please review your I-20 before you travel. If an update is needed, contact Enrollment Services so that you may receive a new document or travel signature before leaving the U.S. Page 3 of your I-20 requires a current signature every 12 months or every 6 months while on OPT.
      • If a new signature is needed, notify Enrollment Services at least 1 week prior to travel. If you are not on the MO or AZ campus, you will need to request a new signed copy be mailed to you.
      • If you do not have time to wait for regular mail, you can request your updated I-20 be sent via FedEx Overnight using the I-20 FedEx request form (pdf). There is a $25 fee to mail within the US. Due to varying international rates, the FedEx fee may be greater than $25. If mailing to an international address, any FedEx fee greater than $25 will be charged to your credit card. Please allow a 1-2 day processing time for all requests.
      • You are also welcome to mail us your own prepaid envelope.
  • Glossary of Terms +

    • Admission Number: a unique 11 digit number assigned to non-immigrants as they enter the U.S. This number can be found on the I-94 Arrival / Departure Record.

      Arrival / Departure Record: Form I-94 which is processed at the port of entry, and includes USCIS Admission Number, date and place of entry, visa classification, and length of time the person is permitted to remain in the U.S.

      Certificate of Eligibility (I-20): forms issued by an institution for a student or scholar to use in applying for a visa to enter the U.S.

      Curricular Practical Training (CPT): permission given to an F-1 student by a Designated School Official to engage in employment that is an integral part of the established curriculum.

      Designated School Official (DSO): an employee with USCIS authorization to sign I-20s.

      “D/S”: Duration of Status- length of time in which a student can remain in the U.S. while maintaining non-immigrant visa status.

      Employment Authorization Document (EAD): a photo ID card issued by USCIS to authorize work permission.

      Full-course of study: The number of credits a student must take to maintain non-immigrant visa status.

      Non-Immigrant: someone who is admitted to the U.S. for a specific purpose and temporary period of time.

      Optional Practical Training: permission given to F-1 students to engage in employment directly related to the field of study.

      Out-of-Status: when a non-immigrant fails to comply with all of the conditions of his/her immigration status.

      Passport: biographical booklet issued by a national government to its citizens to allow for travel to other countries and return to home country.

      Reinstatement: an application procedure to have a non-immigrant visa status revalidated after falling out-of-status.

      Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS): Department of Homeland Security’s web-based system for maintaining information on international students.

      U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): the U.S. government agency responsible for controlling the borders of the U.S. and for providing services to non-U.S. citizens in the U.S.

      U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): has a broad range of law enforcement authorities, with responsibility for enforcing more than 400 federal statutes related to national security and public safety.

      Visa: a label in a passport indicating the classification in which one may apply for entry to the U.S.