As a F-1 or J-1 international student, it is your responsibility to know the rules and regulations related to maintaining your immigration status.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (F-1 students) and the Department of State (J-1 students) each have regulations regarding how to maintain visa status. As long as you continually meet these obligations, you will be considered in status or "maintaining your visa status".

The Office of International Services (OIS) is available to assist you with maintaining your status; however, it is your responsibility to know the regulations. You are strongly encouraged to regularly read your ONID e-mail account in order to receive announcements and updates on immigration and related issues.

You must have a valid passport in order to obtain a visa for the United States. Before visiting the U.S. Consulate for your visa, please read carefully the instructions on the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019 form) issued for your studies at Oregon State University. Students with an I-20 will apply for an F-1 student visa. Students with a DS-2019 will apply for a J-1 exchange visitor visa. Contact your closest US Embassy or Consulate to get the procedures for applying for a visa. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) has published information sheets describing what to expect when applying for a student visa and at a U.S. Port of Entry. Please note: Canadian citizens do not need a visa stamp, though they must have all the other documentation.

For more information or to discuss your particular situation, please schedule an appointment with an international student advisor by calling 541-737-6310.

Applicants for F-1 and J-1 visas need to pay a SEVIS fee, prior to submitting the visa application. A brief description and instructions about how to process the SEVIS fee payment can be found on OSU's SEVIS Fee Payment Information sheet and by visiting the more comprehensive US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Web site and clicking on I-901 Fee. At the time of your visa interview, you will need to provide documents certifying the amounts and sources of financial support for your studies. Keep copies of these documents to present to the US Immigration official at the Port of Entry.

Please see the Maintaining Visa Status document on our Forms page.

As an international student, you must register for and complete a full course of study each term during the academic year. Full-time status for graduate students is 9 credits per term (12 or 16 credits for graduate students with assistantships). Summer and vacation periods normally do not require registration as long as you are a continuing student.  It is very important NOT to withdraw from or audit any classes that will result in less than a full course load. If you have serious academic or medical concerns, you will need to make an appointment with an international student advisor for possible exceptions prior to dropping below full-time status. Undergraduate students may apply for a "reduced course load" at the start of their final term if they have less than 12 credits remaining to complete their degree. Graduate students who have completed all required coursework and all requirements listed on their specific graduate program of study may apply for a "reduced enrollment". Reduced enrollment may be approved for up to 4 terms for a master's student or 6 terms for a doctoral student. Both forms are available on the ISFS website and in the International Program's reception lobby.

Vacation Term: Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa are allowed to take one vacation term during the year in which no registration is required. Most students choose summer as their vacation term. Students who wish to take a term off other than summer term should make an appointment with an international student advisor to determine eligibility.

Please see our Registration Requirements documents on our Forms page.

If you change your major or degree level or have a significant change in funding at any time during your studies at OSU, you must request a new I-20 or DS-2019 from our Forms page.

If you are unable to complete your program of study by the end date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019, you may request a program extension. You will need to show funding for the duration of the extension as well as compelling academic or medical reasons for your request. You must apply for an extension of program prior to the expiration date on your I-20 or DS-2019 in order to maintain your student status.

Please see our Program Extension documents on our Forms page.

After you complete your degree program (and final term of registration), immigration regulations allow you a 60-day grace period (F-1 visa holder) or a 30-day grace period (J-1 visa holders) in which you may remain in the U.S. The grace period begins from the last day of the term for which you were last registered and not from the expiration date on the I-20 or DS-1029. F-1 visa holders a 60-day grace period and J-1's a 30-day grace period in which you may remain in the U.S. (60 or 30 days from the last day of the term, not 60 or 30 days from the expiration date on your I-20 or DS-2019).

We ask that you submit a Notice of Departure Form if you will be departing from the U.S. or changing to a new visa status. You do not need to submit the Notice of Departure Form if you plan to:

  • apply for Optional Practical Training or Academic Training
  • transfer to a new school
  • start a new degree program at OSU

Please see our Notice of Departure Form on our Forms page.

F-1 and J-1 visa holders coming to OSU from another U.S. college, university or language school will be considered a “transfer student” and will need to complete an immigration transfer to OSU within the first two weeks of class in order to initiate the release of your SEVIS record. Prior to your arrival on-campus, please work with your previous school to complete and return the appropriate forms. Failure to complete this process within the first 2 weeks of starting classes could result in a violation of your F-1 or J-1 status.

You may get the transfer forms on our Forms page.

F-1 or J-1 students may engage in part-time (up to 20 hours per week) employment on the OSU campus while classes are in session.  Students may work full-time (more than 20 hours per week) in between terms and during the summer vacation as long as they plan to be a full-time student the following term. If you are offered on-campus employment, you will need to apply for a social security number and complete paperwork with OSU's Human Resources and Payroll Office. J-1 students must also obtain written work authorization from their Program Sponsor prior to beginning any type of on-campus employment .

Please see our employment and Social Security information documents on our Forms page.

It is very important NOT to participate in any type of off-campus employment unless authorized by International Student Advising and Services (ISAS) and/or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. As an F-1 or J-1 student, you may be eligible to engage in a temporary internship or off-campus employment to gain practical experience in your field of study, before or after the completion of your studies. If you are interested in off-campus employment, you should plan to attend an employment information session or make an appointment with an international student advisor before accepting an employment offer. To make an appointment with an advisor or to attend an information session, please call the International Program's receptionist at 541-737-6310.

Please see our employment documents on our Forms page.

F-1 and J-1 students must have a job offer (or an employment authorization document) and a letter of support from International Student and Faculty Services in order to apply for a social security number. International students and scholars applying for an original, replacement, or corrected social security card must apply in person at the Social Security office. The closest Social Security office is in Albany, Oregon, a city located 12 miles east of Corvallis.

The application for a social security number (Form SS-5) is available on the web or at the Social Security office. Upon submitting the application, be sure to request a receipt as it can take 4-8 weeks to receive your social security card by mail. The receipt will be helpful as you sign up with OSU payroll.

Please see our Social Security information documents on our Forms page.

If you move to a new residence, you must inform SEVIS of your new address within ten (10) days of moving. Please go to to update this through an E-Form. Click the blue login button and then select ‘Biographical information’ and then ‘Local US Address’

It is important to keep your passport valid at all times. Contact your embassy in the U.S. for instructions on how to renew your passport if it will expire within the next six months. As long as your visa is still valid, you may continue to use the visa stamp in the old (returned) passport along with the newly issued passport.

Foreign Embassies in the U.S. (scroll down)

Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa may request to bring their spouse and/or children to the U.S. on a dependent visa, known as an F-2 or J-2 visa. Note: Dependents who plan to visit you for a short period (6 months or less) and engage only in tourist activities may apply for a B-2 tourist visa.

Documentation of Financial Support

To bring a spouse and/or children to Corvallis, you must provide documentation of your financial ability to support them for the duration of their stay. A bank statement or other proof of support must be presented to International Student Advisign and Services (ISAS) before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS-2019) can be issued. For the 2013-2014 academic year, your financial statement must document that you have a minimum of about $9,000 for the support of a spouse or child and $4,000 for each additional dependent. This funding is in addition to funds used for your own expenses.

Health and Accident Insurance
The State of Oregon requires all international students and their dependents to carry health and accident insurance throughout their stay in the United States. In addition, federal regulations require health insurance for J-1 students and their dependents. Students with dependents are responsible for enrolling them in a health insurance plan. For information regarding OSU health insurance options, contact the OSU Student Health Insurance Liaison in 328 Plageman Hall (541-737-7568).

Cost of Medical Care
OSU's Student Health Services is available to enrolled students only. Dependents will need to seek health care in the community. A typical office visit may cost $80-$150 dollars if not covered by insurance. The average cost for a hospital stay (not including medical supplies, surgery, nursing care, medication, etc.) is about $400 per day. An unexpected illness or accident can cost thousands of dollars. Good health insurance coverage is therefore essential.

Registering for Classes 
Dependents on an F-2 visa are NOT allowed to study either part-time or full-time in a degree-seeking program during their stay in the U.S. unless the study is strictly recreational or avocational in nature (e.g. a dance class). If an F-2 dependent wishes to pursue a degree, he or she must first apply for and obtain F-1 status.

Dependents on an F-2 visa are NOT allowed to work at any time during their stay in the U.S. Dependents on a J-2 visa are eligible to apply for employment authorization from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1 student. Please see an international student advisor for more information or our J-2 Work Permission Form on our Forms page.

Primary and Secondary School Enrollment
To enroll your children in Corvallis Public Schools, you will need to obtain the following documents from your home country:

  • An official birth certificate, a signed hospital certificate, or a passport as valid proof of your child's birth date.
  • A physical examination for all children beginning school in the U.S. for the first time.
  • Official copies of the child's school records.
  • All immunization records with names and dates of vaccines received. Required immunization for all school-aged children are diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, and polio. In addition, some children from outside the United States must be screened for active tuberculosis infection.

Crossroads Conversation School for Women 
Crossroads International is a non-religious, non-political volunteer organization that oversees the Conversation School. The school offers beginning to advanced English classes which meet twice a week. The cost is minimal and limited childcare may be available for an additional cost. The school is not only a place to learn English, but also offers a social environment where women from all over the world can make friends and feel more at home in the community and culture. Further information and enrollment forms are available in International Student and Faculty Services - A110 Kerr Administration.

Bringing Dependents to the U.S. Information and Application