International Student and Scholar Services

F and J Visa Holders

  F -1Visa Holders | J Visa Holders | Medical Insurance | Employment and Taxes

F-1 Visa Holders

Maintaining Status

As an undergraduate or graduate degree student, your primary purpose for being in the United States is pursue your college degree as a full time student, so you have the responsibility of ensuring that you maintain your status as an F- 1 student.  Failure to comply with the requirements is a violation of your F-1 status which may result in serious consequences, including termination of your student status and deportation. You must comply with the following requirements:

  • Your passport must be valid at all times.
  • You must be a full time student and make normal progress toward your degree. If you are an undergraduate student you must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours during the semester, except during winter and summer vacation. As a graduate student you must be registered for a minimum of 9 credit hours, except during winter and summer vacation. You can register into only one online course to meet your minimum credit requirements.
  • You must ensure that the travel signature on page 2 of your I-20 is valid or signed at least once a year.
  • You must not work off- campus without employment authorization on your I-20
  • You must notify the ISSS office of your change of address within 10 days of your relocation

Extension of Stay

If you are not able to complete your degree by the expected program completion date due to the reasons stated below, you must submit an ISSS application and file for an extension of stay to receive a new I-20 with a new program end date. You must file for an extension of stay BEFORE your current I-20 expires.  Failure to do so will result in loss of your F- 1 status.

To be eligible for an extension of stay you must demonstrate that:

  • You are currently in valid F 1 status AND
  • You have maintained F-1 status and continually been a full time student
  • You are making normal progress towards completing your course of study AND
  • The delay in completion of your studies was caused by compelling academic or medical reasons such as change of major or research topic, unexpected research problems, loss of credits upon transfer to SUNY Oswego, documented illness. 
  • You are not on academic probation or suspension
  • The final course you require to satisfy degree requirements is not an online course

To apply for an extension you must submit the following documents to the ISSS office:

  • Academic advisor's recommendation form (available at the ISSS office)
  • Financial documentation to show sufficient funds
  • Full time registration into courses for the next semester

The U.S. Department of State site on F visa.

 J Visa Holders

Maintaining Status

As an exchange student, your primary purpose for being in the United States is to pursue your course of study as a full time student, so you have the responsibility of ensuring that you maintain your status as a J- 1 student.  Failure to comply with the requirements is a violation of your J-1 status which may result in serious consequences, including termination of your student status and deportation. You must comply with the following requirements:

  • Your passport must be valid at all times.
  • You must be a full time student and make normal progress in your courses. If you are an undergraduate student you must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours during the semester. As a graduate student you must be registered for a minimum of 9 credit hours. You can register into only one online course to meet your minimum credit requirements.
  • You must ensure that the travel signature on the front page  of your DS-2019 is valid or signed each semester
  • You must not work off- campus without employment authorization on your DS-2019
  • You must notify the ISSS office of your change of address within 10 days of your relocation

 The U.S. Department of State site on J visa.

 Medical Insurance

Medical insurance and a completed SUNY Health Form are mandatory for international students and scholars attending SUNY Oswego.

  1. The State University of New York Medical Insurance Plan is mandatory for all F and J visa students and scholars attending SUNY Oswego. Exceptions apply only to those scholars and students officially sponsored, covered, and thoroughly documented by a national government or international agency.
  2. The SUNY medical plan offers comprehensive coverage. It also provides on-campus claims assistance through the International Student and Scholar Services Office.
  3. The cost for a month's coverage of medical insurance is $US 92.75; a full semester of coverage is $649.25; a calendar year's coverage is $1113.00. Minimum coverage runs from the 15th of any given month to the 15th of the following month.
  4. As long as a student or scholar remains in the USA on SUNY Oswego's F or J visa, medical insurance will be required.
  5. All new international students will be expected to pay their medical insurance as part of their bill, at the Bursar's Office, within five business days after their arrival on campus. Major credit cards are accepted by the Bursar's Office. Neither the Office of International Education, nor the ISSS, can accept credit card payments.

Students who do not have appropriate medical insurance prior to the start of classes may have their course registration blocked or cancelled. Subsequent registrations may also be blocked or cancelled unless students can show the appropriate and necessary coverage for any continuing semesters.

Employment & Taxes

Students holding F or J visas may work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during extended holiday periods. Students should be aware that this employment is not guaranteed, and that income derived from this work may not be enough to have any major impact on campus costs. Off-campus employment for F and J visa students is permitted only under restricted circumstances defined by INS regulations. illegal employment may result in deportation. Students should pay close attention to this fact.

On-campus work includes employment in the dining halls, restaurants, residence halls, bake shop, computer centers, tutoring center and campus techology. Graduate students may waive some of their tuition costs through a limited number of assistantships, which are occasionally available in the second year of study. No student should count on the availability of on-campus work to pay tuition, fees, room, or board.

Curricular Practical Training for F visa holders and Academic Training for J visas holders is authorized by the ISSS office upon satisfaction of requirements. Please visit the ISSS office for eligibility to conduct an internship while studying.

Optional Practical Training for F visa holders is authorized by the ISSS office upon satisfaction of requirements. Please visit the ISSS office if you are interested in applying for pre or post optional practical training.

Taxes

All F and J visa holders are required to file tax papers, even if you have earned no income in the United States. The Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Tax Form 8843 is required of each student, whether or not s/he has found work. Here are some of the forms that you may have to complete:

Federal Forms:

For tax purposes:
http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index.html

For employment purposes:
Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement - Gives you a tax receipt of your earnings and taxes and benefits paid out from your check.
Form W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate - Must be completed prior to receipt of your first pay check from any employer. Claim "1" in lines A, B, and E.
W-9 Request for ITIN Number - Required for tax purposes if you have no Social Security Number.
Form I-9 Department of Justice - Employment Eligibility Verification

New York State Forms:

For tax purposes:
http://www.tax.state.ny.us/forms/

Forms required for non-residents:
http://www.tax.state.ny.us/forms/income_nonresident_forms.htm

For employment purposes:
IT-2104E - Certificate of Exemption from Withholding
IT-2104 - Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate


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