Legal Matters

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.

Initial admittance

  • I-20:
    • Once you are admitted to Coe College and have chosen to enroll, you will receive an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) from Coe. You must have an I-20 to apply for an F-1 Student Visa at an American Embassy or Consulate in your own country.
  • SEVIS ID Number
    • The I-20 contains your SEVIS ID number. SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Your SEVIS ID number is in the upper right hand corner of your I-20.
  • All F-1 students must pay a $200 SEVIS fee before they apply for their U.S. visa. This must be paid at least three days before the visa application.
  • International students must apply at their U.S. embassy for their visa. You should take your I-20, the SEVIS fee receipt, a copy of your financial documents, a visa application fee, a valid passport, passport-size photos, and the visa application form available on your U.S. embassy's website.
  • I-94:
    • An I-94 is an arrival and departure record. For many years, I-94s were stapled into passports. Starting in 2013, your I-94 will now be handled electronically when you arrive at a port of entry to the U.S.
    • It is your responsibility to print the I-94 and verify that all of the information is correct.
    • Keep a printed copy of your I-94 with your passport to prove that you are here legally.
    • You will need to print a new I-94 every time you re-enter the country.

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:

Options after graduation

  • OPT/CPT
    • 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:
  • H1-B
    • 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.