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Important Information and Forms

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The following are the most important immigration regulations that you will need to follow in order to maintain your F-1 student visa status. For any questions please contact your International Student Advisor.
 
1. Contact the International Programs Office (IPO), located at Plant Hall 300, for any student visa and immigration status questions/issues/concerns.
2. Enroll in the fall and spring semesters. Failure to enroll will result in falling "out of status" and your F-1 visa status and SEVIS I-20 will be terminated.
3. Register for a full-time course load every fall and spring semester. 12 credits/hour for undergraduate students and 8 credits/hour for graduate students (per semester). Failure to register full-time will result in falling "out of status" and your F-1 visa status and SEVIS I-20 will be terminated. *NOTE: If the summer is your first semester at UT, you must also be registered full-time for that summer semester.
4. Do not drop below full-time during the semester and not meet the full-time requirement. This will result in falling "out of status" and your F-1 visa status and SEVIS I-20 will be terminated.
5. Do not drop out of school and stay in the US. If you drop out of school you will be "out of status".
6. If you decide to leave the school to go back home, contact the International Programs Office to file a proper SEVIS Leave of Absence/Withdrawal request. You can submit this request online by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page.
7. Inform the school of any change of address within 10 days of the move.
8. Do not accept any off-campus employment or internship (paid or unpaid) without applying for and receiving proper authorization through the International Programs Office. By doing so, you are jeopardizing your F-1 visa status. You can apply for authorization for CPT and OPT employment authorization by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page.
8. If you decide to transfer to another school, contact the International Programs Office to file a proper SEVIS Transfer Out request. You can submit this request online by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page.
9. It is your responsibility to have a valid SEVIS I-20 at all times and if your SEVIS I-20 expires you will be automatically "out of status".
10. If you need more time to finish your degree, contact the International Programs Office to file a proper I-20 Program Extension request. You can submit this request online by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page.
11. You cannot remain in the USA beyond the 60 days (grace period) allowed after completion of a program.
12. Contact the International Programs Office to request a new SEVIS I-20 if you change your major.
13. Print out the I-94 electronic version and give it to the International Student Advisors. Click here for instructions how: I-94 Resource Guide.
14. Only attend the school authorized on your SEVIS I-20.
International students should consult with their International Student Advisor BEFORE beginning any type of employment/internship/volunteer work to verify eligibility.

These are the employment opportunities available to eligible F-1 students:

ON-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT

F-1 visa students are permitted only to work on-campus. Work hours are limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session. Students are permitted to work more than 20 hours per week during vacation periods when school is not in session. International students can only work for the University and must be paid through UT's payroll office. On-campus job listings are posted on Handshake and you can click this link for a On-Campus Job Search Guide.

PRACTICAL TRAINING

An F-1 student may also be eligible for practical training directly related to their studies if they have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis in a SEVP-certified college, university, conservatory or seminary for one full academic year. F-1 students are eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization for an internship on- or off-campus. Students in their final semester can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), a one-year work authorization after completing their program of study. 

OFF-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT

Do not accept any off-campus employment, whether paid or unpaid. Immigration authorities consider unauthorized employment to be a serious violation and a deportable offense. Off-campus employment is available only for a student experiencing severe economic hardship caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control. Check employment eligibility with the Office of International Programs.

IMPORTANT: If an F-1 student does not follow the terms of the non-immigrant visa status as stated in the regulations, the F-1 student’s SEVIS record will be terminated. After termination of a student’s SEVIS record, the student must depart the country immediately.

The U.S. government takes illegal employment very seriously, so it is important to reiterate this message:

- Students should consult with their DSO BEFORE starting on-campus employment, or any other type of employment, whether paid or unpaid
- Students must obtain DSO authorization on the Form I-20 BEFORE starting Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
- Students must obtain a DSO recommendation on their Form I-20 and U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) authorization AND an  “Employment Authorization Document,” (EAD) BEFORE starting any other employment

DSO means “Designated School Official”. These officials are responsible for enforcing the F-1 student visa regulations compliance. Usually, they are also the International Student Advisors at the university.

If a student with authorized employment (on-campus) does not have a Social Security Number (SSN), the DSO should provide the student with a letter verifying the approved employment, enabling them to obtain one. Every F-1 student who becomes employed in the United States needs an SSN.

DRIVER LICENSE & ID CARD REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-US CITIZENS

Before applying for your Florida Driver License or ID Card, please be sure all of the information on your documents (listed below) is consistent with the way it appears in your passport. Please be sure page 2 of your I-20 has been signed by a DSO. If you have any questions, please contact The Office of International Programs.

For original driver license or ID Card, Florida law now requires identification, proof of date of birth, proof of residential address, and proof of social security number from all customers before a driver license or ID card can be issued. The name assigned to the social security number must match the name that will appear on the driver license or ID card. If you have recently changed your name, you must update your records with the Social Security Administration before you can apply for your license or ID card. If you do not have a social security number, please refer to the following page for a list of alternate documents.

All applicants must show proof that they have completed a traffic law and substance abuse education course and will be required to pass vision and hearing tests, road rules and road sign tests, plus a driving test. The 4-Hour Drug & Alcohol (DATA) course can be taken online at https://www.123driving.com for $29.95 and a certificate of completion will be mailed to you.

Non-U.S. Citizens applying for an original driver license will be issued a 30-day, no photo, paper temporary permit and a receipt. Non-U.S. citizens applying for an ID card will be issued a receipt. All records are transmitted to a database in Tallahassee, where the information will be examined and run against FDLE, FBI and USCIS databases.

Upon identity and legal status verification, a driver license or ID card will be issued within 30 days from Tallahassee, mailed to the address on the driver record. The license or ID card will be issued for the period of time specified on the USCIS document, up to a maximum of four years. If a problem is detected, a denial of issuance letter will be mailed to the applicant.

Non- U.S. Citizens holding a driver license or ID card who needs a renewal or replacement driver license or ID card must apply in person at a driver license office and present the required supporting documents. If you do not have the required documents showing legal presence, your driver license or ID card will be retained and a receipt issued. If you have an unexpired driver license, you will be issued a 30-day temporary permit. When you return with the required documentation, you will be processed for a renewal or replacement license and the expiration date will be changed to the expiration date on your USCIS document, but not for a term greater than one year. Each Non-U.S. Citizens renewing or applying for a new driver license or ID card must submit the following:
 
IDENTIFICATION (must provide either one of the following):
  • Employment authorization card (I-766)
    or
  • Proof of nonimmigrant classification (all of the following):
    • Form I-94, not expired
    • Passport
    • I-20 or DS-2019
  • Canadian Citizens must provide one of the following:
    • Valid Canadian passport
    • Canadian Naturalization Certificate
    • Original or certified Canadian birth certificate
    • Canadian Certificate of Citizenship
PROOF OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
  • Social Security Card
If you do not have a Social Security Number you must provide one of the following:
  • A driver license from the District of Columbia, US Territories, or one of the 50 US states
  • Immigration Form I-571
  • Marriage certificate
  • Receipt copy of your last Florida driver license issuance
  • Government issued out-of-country passport, driver license, or identification card
 
  • School record stating date of birth, which must contain the registrar’s signature
  • United States military or military dependent identification card
  • Florida license record or identification card record
  • An identification card from the District of Columbia, U.S. Territories, or one of our 50 states
  • Florida Vehicle Registration certificate (HSMV 83399, owner’s copy) obtained from the tax collector’s office where the customer’s vehicle was registered, Florida, or out-of-state registration certificate, if name and date of birth are shown
PROOF OF RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS (must provide two of the following):
  • A letter from the International Programs Office on letterhead stating campus address
  • Educational institution transcript forms for the current school year
  • Florida Vehicle Registration or Title
  • A utility hook up or work order dated within 60 days of the application
  • Medical or health card with address listed
  • Mail from Federal, State, County or City government agencies (including city and county agencies)
  • Automobile Payment Booklet
  • Enrollment certification from the Registrar’s Office stating campus address
  • Unexpired professional license issued by a government agency in the U.S.
  • W-2 form or 1099 form
  • Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status
  • Utility bills, not more than two months old
  • Mail from Federal, State, County or City government agencies (including city and county agencies)
  • Mail from financial institutions; including checking, savings, or investment account statements, not more than two months old
DRIVER LICENSE OFFICE
4100 West M.L. King Jr Blvd. 33614-7090
(813) 871-7375
Mon-Fri 8am-5pm
To make an appointment:
https://services.flhsmv.gov/oasis/onlineappointments.aspx
Cash, Check, MasterCard, Discover Card, or American Express Accepted

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
http://www.flhsmv.gov/
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will only issue Social Security Numbers to F-1 student visa holders or J-1 Exchange Visitors who have an on-campus job or have a firm promise of a job on-campus which will begin in the near future, to those students authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT), or those with an EAD card issued for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Economic Necessity.

If you do not have a job or commitment of a job, you will not be issued a Social Security Number. Social Security will not accept applications more than 30 days in advance of the employment start date.

HOW CAN I APPLY FOR A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?
All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. For those who have applied for an EAD card (DHS employment authorization document), the card itself must be presented; an application or receipt is not acceptable.

To apply for a Social Security number, you must bring the following to a Social Security Administration office:

• Form SS-5, Application For a Social Security Card form found on-line at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf
• Valid Passport (except Canadian citizens)
• Electronic I-94 print out (www.cbp.gov/i94)
• I-20 (or DS-2019)
• Evidence of employment status, EAD card, or
• Certification of full-time enrollment and eligibility for on-campus employment from an International Student Services Advisor. Students on J visas need to get this letter from their sponsor.

HOW DO I LOCATE THE NEAREST SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE?
The nearest office to The University of Tampa is located on Frontage Road East. Take Cypress Street past Westshore Boulevard. Turn right at the first stoplight past Westshore Blvd. which is Frontage Road East. The office is 2/10 of a mile from Cypress on the right. For Hartline Bus Users: Take Bus #10 to Frontage Road

Address: 3415 E Frontage Road, Tampa, FL 33607
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Wednesday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

NOTE:
Since all persons seeking cards must be verified by immigration authorities, there will be a delay before getting your card. If you are a new student and recently arrived in the U.S., you must wait at least 10 days from reporting in to the Office of International Programs before going to a Social Security Office. You cannot begin employment before getting the Social Security card. If you have not received your card within 3 weeks of applying, you should contact the Social Security Office where you applied to inquire as to the delay.
NEED YOUR I-94 FORM?

If a school, local, state or federal agency requests your I-94 information, go to https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94 to print it out.

Click on the “Get Most Recent I-94” tab.

In the next window, you will be required to read and accept terms of the website (“Consent & Continue).

You will need to provide:
1. First (Given) Name – as it appears on the passport/visa.
2. Last (Family) Name/Surname – as it appears on the passport/visa.
3. Birth Date – Day/Month/Year (i.e. 18/MARCH/1991).
4. Passport Number – as it appears on the passport/visa.
5. Passport Country of Issuance – country of citizenship as it appears on the passport.
6. Click “NEXT”.

If your I-94 record is unable to to be found, please contact your International Student Advisor for assistance.
What International Students Should Know Before Opening a Bank Account

You can click this link to access the flyer for How to Open a Bank Account or read the information below.

SAVINGS OR CHECKING ACCOUNT?
 
Checking accounts allow you to deposit and withdraw money frequently and are a great way to pay your monthly bills. When you open a checking account is usually comes with checks and a bank card and allows you to use them to make purchases and pay bills. Often there are minimum monthly balances and service fees which varies by the type of account you open. Savings accounts are for long term deposits for earning interest. The interests, minimum balances, service fees vary from bank to bank. It also depends on the amount of money you deposit. Savings accounts are not for immediate use of the funds. ATM (Automated Teller Machines). Usually banks will not charge extra fees when you are using your bank’s ATM. When you use an ATM in a store or at other banks, you may be charged an extra transaction fee.
INTEREST FROM A US BANK ACCOUNT
Income unconnected to U.S. trade or business is excluded from taxable income if the primary purpose of opening the account(s) was to
transfer funds from your home country to pay for expenses while here as a student or scholar. This includes income from—
  1. Deposits, including certificates of deposit, with persons in the banking business;
  2. Deposits or accounts from which withdrawals can be made—e.g., mutual savings banks, credit unions, domestic building and loan associations, and other savings institutions; and
  3. Amounts held by insurance companies under agreements to pay interest.
If investments were made to earn money - e.g. interest, dividends, and capital gains on investments in stocks via mutual funds or directly — they may be taxable. The general tax rate on such earnings is 30% unless reduced by a U.S. tax treaty.
OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT
When researching local branches, international students should inquire about their specific requirements for opening a new account. Examples of requirements for some of the banks listed here have been provided for your convenience. We strongly recommend researching the kind of account you want, as well as the bank locations, and using this as a general guide.

International students should inquire about the bank’s specific requirements for opening a new account. The following are commonly requested documents to open an account:
  • Passport
  • Enrollment verification letter on University of Tampa letterhead showing your local address
  • A second piece of individual identification
  • Recognized credit card (this may be issued in the home country)
  • Foreign Driver’s License
  • Bank issued debit card
  • A school ID
  • A voter registration card
  • Proof of residency in the United States (documents that show your address in the United States. e.g., utility bills, apartment contract... or if you leave on campus ask the International Programs Office for a proof of address letter).
Many banks will ask for a Social Security Number (SSN) to open an account. If you do not have a SSN simply inform the bank of your F-1 or J-1 visa status and they will explain what other forms of identification you may need. Likely, you will be asked to show one of the items listed above.
NEARBY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
Bank of America - Hyde Park Branch and ATM 249 S. Hyde Park Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606 813-251-2786
Bank of America - Tampa Downtown 101 East Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602 813-225-8153
Bank of America - UT Vaughn Center ATM 304 University Dr. Tampa FL 33606  
Regions Bank 100 North Tampa St. Tampa, FL 33602 813-226-1100
Wells Fargo Bank 4950 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609 813-276-6035
JP Morgan Chase 2202 N West Shore Blvd # 150, Tampa, FL 33607 813-286-2309
You can click this link to access the United Student Health Care Flyer or you can read the information below.

United Health Care Student Resources (UHCSR) Online Registration

Follow these steps to access your health plan and print your health insurance ID card:

1. Go to web address https://www.uhcsr.com/.
2. Click on “Find My School’s Plan”.
3. Enter University of Tampa in the “School/Association Name” Field, then click on the search result “Univ. of Tampa”.
4. The page will direct you to the plan brochures where you will find the details of your plan.
5. To create an online account, click “Create an Account” on the menu.
6. Enter the information requested and click “continue”. Be sure to enter your UT related information in this section:
7. You have now created your account on the UHCSR website.
8. Go to web address https://www.uhcsr.com/.
9. Click “Login To My Account” and enter the username and password you created.
10. The page will direct you to your plan information.

You can now view claims, update your personal information, and request/print a permanent ID card.

- If you print an ID card, you are able to use it immediately for medical coverage per your plan details.
- If you request a permanent ID card, one will be mailed to the address noted on your account.