Services for International Students
The International Student Office at Northwestern Oklahoma State University offers a variety of immigration, health insurance, work permission, and advising services and special programs for NWOSU international students and scholars, and for the NWOSU staff and faculty who work with them.
For help on immigration matters, financial aid, health insurance, work permission, advising on personal concerns, or any topic of special interest to international students, please contact the International Student Advisor.
There are two types of appointments: (1) regular 30-minute appointments that will give students time to discuss more complex situations; and (2) five- to ten-minute drop-in appointments for quick questions. It is a good idea to schedule regular 30-minute appointments, but the International Student Advisor is always there to help you. You just need to ask for help. Drop-ins, however, are on a first-come, first-served basis. The Office of the International Student Advisor is located at Fine Arts building room 208 and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays (Summer hours: 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday).
It refers to the visa status given to an international applicant who wishes to enter the U.S. temporarily and solely for the purpose of study.
The Certificate of Eligibility for non-immigrant student status for academic and language students is commonly referred to as the Form I-20. Students must sign in item #11 on pages 1 and 3 of the form I-20. On the initial entry, the admitting immigration official retains the School Copy (page 1-2).
I-94 (Arrival/Departure record)
Form I-94 is the DHS Arrival/Departure Record issued to aliens who are admitted to the U.S. The Form I-94 has been automated. If a student is required to have a paper version of Form I-94, it is available at www.cbp.gov/I94
Students may work on-campus without prior approval from the USCIS, provided they are enrolled full-time. On-campus work is limited to 15 hours per week while school is in session.
Curricular Practical Training
Employment under Curricular Practical Training (CPT) permits you to work off campus in a job directly related to your field of study. There are important differences between CPT and Optional Practical Training (OPT). Make sure you read the information on OPT to understand which might work best for your situation. You might use both kinds of practical training, though not simultaneously.
Curricular Practical Training:
The rules for CPT are as follows:
- The student must have been enrolled full-time in school for at least 9 months, and must currently be in F-1 status.
- The training must be an important and integral part of the student's program of study.
- The training must be part of a course which is either required of all students by the student's degree program, or part of a course for which the student receives academic credit.
- The course must be listed in the NWOSU catalog.
- The training may be either full or part-time. Full-time CPT may total one year without affecting post-degree practical training. Full-time CPT which continues for 12 months or more makes the student ineligible for OPT.
- Part-time CPT is limited to 20 hours per week and requires full-time enrollment at school. A student may not work part-time on campus while engaged in part-time CPT.
- Full-time CPT requires at least part-time enrollment at school in order to keep the student's F-1 status valid, since the student must be enrolled in the course to which the CPT is related. There is no restriction on being enrolled full-time at school while working full-time on CPT.
- Work authorization is granted by the International Student Office for a specific employer and for a specific period of time, usually corresponding to a semester.
- In order to grant work authorization, the International Student Office must have a letter from the professor of the course, describing the work experience, naming the employer, specifying the dates of employment, and indicating how the professor will oversee the work experience.
If the student is enrolled in independent study, thesis, or dissertation courses and the work experience contributes significantly to the student's independent research, it may qualify for CPT. In this case, the International Student Office will need a detailed description of the research project, a description of the work experience, and an indication from the professor how the student will be graded for the course.
If the student is enrolled in a regular course, the professor of that course needs to determine if the employment can be related to the course and if the employment will count significantly towards the student's grade for the course. While this may be difficult to do in courses in which the grade is based only on tests, it might be possible for a course that requires all students to complete a research paper or project. If the professor can determine that the work experience will be the basis for the research paper or project, it might be possible for the course to qualify for CPT. If the professor feels that he or she is unable to say either that the employment is related to the course or will count significantly towards the grade, then CPT will not be authorized.
Optional Practical Training
International students in F-1 status who have completed nine months at NWOSU may apply for up to 12 months of Optional Practical Training, which is an immigration status which allows them to work in the U.S. First, read the Optional Practical Training handout and follow the attached instructions.
H-1B Visa (Temporary Non-Immigration Work Status in the U.S.)
An H1B visa is a work permit issued by a US Consulate/Embassy to an "alien"/foreign worker enabling him/her to work in the US temporarily. There are other options available for those who wish to work in the United States temporarily, like getting an intra-company transfer visa (L1), or a business visa (B1), or even a green card. The H1B work permit visa is the most common one.
Obtaining Permanent Residence in the U.S.
An immigrant visa is the visa issued to persons wishing to live permanently in the United States. These are popularly known as "Green Cards."