As an international student, you will face a variety of legal questions. Please review the following for basic background. Please note that this is not legally binding information. Laws may change, and you should check with your adviser or another legal professional.
- Once a student is admitted to Coe College and has chosen to enroll by submitting their $250.00 USD enrollment deposit, an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) will be provided. Students must have an I-20 to apply for an F-1 Student Visa at an American Embassy or Consulate in their own country.
- F-1 Student Visa:
- International students must apply for an F-1 Student Visa at the American Embassy or Consulate in their country.
- All F-1 students must pay a $200.00 SEVIS fee before they apply for their U.S. visa. This must be paid at least three days before the visa application.
- Students should take their I-20, the SEVIS fee receipt, a copy of financial documents, visa application form available on the U.S. Embassy's website, a visa application fee, a valid passport, and passport-sized photos for the visa interview.
- SEVIS ID Number:
- SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. The I-20 contains a SEVIS ID number in the upper right hand corner. This may be needed to complete various forms.
- An I-94 is an U.S. arrival and departure record. For many years, I-94s were stapled into passports. Since 2013, passports are now scanned at the port of entry to the U.S. creating an electronic I-94.
- It is the student's responsibility to print the I-94 and verify that all of the information is correct after their arrival.
While on campus
- Employment while on campus:
- On-campus work students only need an I-94 and passport.
- Campus employment is only available to bachelor degree-seeking students who have been awarded a work study financial aid award.
- W-2 Tax Forms
- Students who work in the U.S. are required to complete taxes. Most international students with limited income will fill in a 1040nr form for federal taxes. A link is provided here. Please consult with a tax expert for more information.
- Social Security Cards:
- A Social Security card is a U.S. identification document. Some students will need social security cards for a driver's license, etc. Coe students typically go the Cedar Rapids office located at 3165 Williams Blvd SW; Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. It is generally open from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. For more information, please see the following links.
Options after graduation
- Some students may choose to work in the U.S. following graduation. This may be allowed for a limited time via OPT (Optional Practical Training). Please ask your adviser for more information.
- CPT is work training associated with your degree. Please ask your advisor for more information.
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or I-765:
- In order to work in the U.S. with OPT, you must file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The filing fee is currently$380.
- An H1-B visa allows graduates with specialty occupations to work in the U.S. temporarily. Typically, an employer files for this for an employee.
- Graduate school
- Many students choose to continue their studies in the U.S. after Coe. Once accepted to a graduate school, students must request a SEVIS Transfer Out from the International Student Advisor.