Graduate Studies

Advising International Students

What Visa Types Are WIU International Students?

F-1 student

  • F-1 is the most common immigration status for degree seeking international students. Prospective F-1 students will receive a Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) document from WIU to apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy.

J-1 student

  • J-1 students receive a Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility) document from either WIU or from the program sponsor that they will use to apply for the J-1 visa.

 

What is Full-time Enrollment for International Students?

  • Undergraduates must be enrolled in 12 credit hours.
  • Graduate student must be enrolled in 9 credit hours.

 

Does An International Student Need to Do Anything if Changing Their Major/Degree Level?

  • Yes, students need their immigration documents to reflect their current degree program and level of study; please have them contact the Immigration Specialist.

 

Does an International Student Need to Enroll Full-time in the Summer?

  • No, the student can choose to enroll or not enroll in any courses.

 

Can International Students Take Online Courses?

  • F-1 international students can only count ONE online class toward their full-time enrollment.  Students can take more than one online course as long as only one is being counted toward their full-time enrollment.
  • If only one course is needed to complete the program of study, the student can’t enroll in just the online course. (Students can take the online course, but will be required to enroll in a face-to-face course as well).

 

Can International Students Pursue Online Degree Programs?

  • F-1 students cannot pursue online degrees if in the U.S.  They can pursue an online degree from their home country.

 

Can Students Ever Register Below Full-time?

  • Yes, under certain circumstances, F-1 students may receive authorization for a Reduced Course Load (RCL).  Usually this is when students have only one or two courses left to complete their degree in their final semester.  
  • The school's Immigration Specialist must approve the RCL after receiving the completed form signed by the student and advisor.

 

Can Students Enroll Concurrently at More Than One Institution?

  • Yes, as long as the combined enrollment amounts to a full-time course of study.
  • Students must attend another SEVIS-approved institution and consult with the Immigration Specialist.

 

Can F-1 Students Work On-campus?

  • F-1 students pursuing a full course of study may work on campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session.
  • When classes are not in session, they may work more than 20 hours per week.

 

Can F-1 Students Work Off-campus?

Off-campus work is prohibited unless it is specifically authorized under the regulations governing the student's particular immigration category. Working without authorization is an immigration status violation that can make the student subject to deportation. Before accepting or engaging in any kind of employment, students should consult the Immigration Specialist.

  • Students may be eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) prior to completing their program.  Please note CPT MUST be approved prior to the student’s start date and CANNOT be back-dated.
  • Students may be eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) which begins after program completion.

 

Who Should I Contact If I Have Any Questions?

Please contact Dana Sistko, Immigration Specialist, at 298-1806 or dm-sistko@wiu.edu.