Visa and Immigration Regulations

Visa and Immigration Regulations

As an international student in the United States it is your responsibility to know and follow all regulations applicable to your visa. UConn International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is the office responsible for advising F-1 and J-1 visa holders at UConn on matters related to your immigration status, and for providing you with the information you need to understand the restrictions and opportunities associated with your F or J visa. If you require assistance, signatures or paperwork to be processed, be sure your request is made well in advance of any deadlines. All questions concerning your status as an international student and the immigration laws that pertain to you as a student/visitor should be referred to the Immigration Services on the Storrs Campus.  Phone: (860) 486-3855, Fax: (860) 486-5800 and email: international@uconn.edu. Ms. Rae Barter is the designated international advisor for the Law School. She can be reached at (860) 486-3855 and email: rae.barter@uconn.edu. Rae travels to the law school once per month during the academic year to meet with individual students and give group workshops on topics related to your F or J status. 

To register for an appointment or a workshop at the Law School please go to the Immigration Services home page and click on “Schedule an Appointment: Regional Campus Students”. The immigration services website is the most up-to-date place to find information on your visa type. Do not rely on friends or other students concerning any immigration questions you might have, as each student’s situation is different. Regulations change frequently and any printed information should be checked for accuracy (including this handbook) at the time you need advice. 

All international students are advised to keep a photocopy of their passport and their I-94 when they are in the state of Connecticut. It is also recommended that students carry their original passport and I-94 print out if traveling outside the State of Connecticut. 

Government Agencies

United States embassies and consulates are located outside the U.S. in major cities throughout the world. The embassies and consulates are responsible for issuing visas permitting entry into the U.S. For a list of U.S. embassies worldwide please see www.usembassy.gov.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has a district office located at Federal Building, 450 Main Street, 4th Floor, Hartford, CT 06103. Do Not go to USCIS with questions related to your student immigration status. First go to your International Advisor.  www.uscis.gov.

Basic Immigration Requirements

Study Requirement: All F-1 and J-1 students must study on a full time basis.  Under certain circumstances a student may be authorized to study on a part-time basis with prior authorization from ISSS.  Please see isss.uconn.edu for details.  In addition, students must complete the course of study by the program end date listed on the Form I-20/DS-2019 form.

Address Requirement: You must keep the “Current Local” address in Student Admin up to date with your physical residence address.  If you move, you have 10 days to update the “Current Local” address.

Travel Outside the U.S.: F-1 and J-1 students must get a travel signature on their Forms I-20/DS-2019 before departing the U.S. and ensure they have proper documentation to visit their destination country AND return to the U.S.  See: isss.uconn.edu>Students>Travel Requirements  for further details. 

Working: Employment rules are very important for F-1 and J-1 students to understand.  Only certain types of employment may be authorized under the terms of your visa.  Students who work without having proper employment authorization are in violation of their F-1/J-1 status and will have their SEVIS records terminated.  For more information on legal employment requirements and opportunities please see www.isss.uconn.edu > Students > On and Off-Campus Employment.  

Internships/Trainings/Clinics: Students who wish to do an internship or participate in a Law School clinic or externship for credit will need to get proper practical training authorization BEFORE beginning the training opportunity.  In some cases the practical training authorization can take up to 3 months to obtain so it is important to talk to an International Advisor if you are interested in doing this.  For more information please see: www.isss.uconn.edu > Students > On and Off-Campus Employment > CPT and > OPT

Departure Requirements

F-1 students have a 60 day grace period following completion of their academic program to depart the U.S., apply for OPT, transfer their SEVIS record to a new institution or apply to change to another status. J-1 students have a 30 day grace period to prepare for departure.

When you complete your program and plan to depart UConn you must notify ISSS so they can take proper care of your immigration records. You can do this by submitting a “Departure Notice Form” available at www.isss.uconn.edu > Forms > Departure Notice Forms.

In order to assure that you will receive your diploma, it is very important to fill out the diploma/graduation application form (http://www.law.uconn.edu/sites/default/files/portal_files/Diploma%20Graduation%20Application.pdf) (this can be done online). Also, any fees that you may have for printing will be posted on your PeopleSoft account until after you may be leaving. Please be sure to put some money on your account as a non-payment of fees may result in your not being able to get your transcript.

Dependents

The spouse and unmarried children up to age 21 of an F-1/J-1 student may accompany the student to the United States. They will be accorded F-2/J-2 status provided they establish to the satisfaction of the consular official and the immigration officer at the port of entry that they have sufficient funds to cover their expenses and they intend to and will be able to depart from the U.S. upon completion of the program by the F-1/J-1 principle visa holder. F-2 children may attend elementary and secondary school; F-2 visa holders may not attend University courses and may not engage in any employment. J-2 visa holders may study and may apply to USCIS (government) for employment authorization. To request a depended Form I-20/DS-2019 for your spouse or children please contact your International Advisor at ISSS. 

Visitors

If friends or family want to visit you in the United States, they should consult with the U.S. embassy in their home country on procedures to apply for a visitor’s visa. ISSS does not issue an invitation letter for this purpose. However you need to write an invitation letter detailing the terms of the visit: why they are visiting you, where they will stay, when they will stay, what you will do during the visit, how they will pay for the visit, etc. You should send copies of your F-1/J-1 documents and a full-time enrollment certification from the Registrar’s office for the visa applicant to prove you are an F-1/J-1 student studying at the Law School. The visa applicant will be required to show how they will financially support themselves, and any other documentation to show how they are tied to their home country, such as an employment verification letter or proof of property ownership, is helpful to support the application.

Tax Information

Most F-1 and J-1 students must file IRS tax Form 8843, even if you did not work or earn income in CT. This is a form that you use to report your days of presence in F-1 or J-1 status and all nonresident aliens with F-1 or J-1 status are required to file this form with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). If you earned income and are filing this form with your tax forms then your deadline is April 15th. If you did not earn income then your deadline for filing this form is June 15th. Students must complete sections 1 and 3 and sign. J-1 scholars must complete sections 1 and 2 and sign. Students who worked in the U.S. may be required to file additional tax paperwork on their income earned for a given tax year. Please see www.isss.uconn.edu > Tax and Social Security Information for further information on filing Form 8843.