Fei Tian College is authorized under U.S. federal law to enroll eligible nonimmigrant students under the F-1 category.
The Office of International Services is the primary resource for international students seeking advice on maintaining lawful status. Each F-1 student is responsible for complying with the law and consulting the Office when matters arise which may affect his or her status.
INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION AND ENTRANCE PROCEDURES
Prospective international applicants generally follow the normal admission procedure. As a special consideration, however, the College may grant international applicants permission to send samples or videos of their performances in lieu of a live audition.
Upon being admitted to the College, international students will receive in their admission package important travel and F-1 information and an I-20 Application Form. If a student decides to enroll in Fei Tian under the F-1 category, he or she must submit to the Office of Admissions and Records a completed and signed I-20 application package along with the signed Intent to Enroll Form.
Upon review by the Office of International Services, the College will create an initial SEVIS record for the student and send him or her an I-20 Form.
It is the student’s responsibility to sign the I-20 Form and keep it safe, pay the required I-901 SEVIS fee (refer to www.ice.gov/sevis for detailed information), and obtain an F-1 student visa if the student is outside the U.S., unless he or she is from a visa-exempt country.
After entering the United States, all international students must report to the Office of International Services within 30 days of their program start date to validate their intended participation at the College and to register for courses. Failure to do so may invalidate a student’s legal status in the U.S.
International students must keep all versions of their I-20 Form and their passport, visa (I-94 form for Canadians), and other official documents in a safe and accessible place and pay attention to their respective expiration dates.
APPLYING FOR A STUDENT VISA
Nonimmigrant students who are not in the United States and not from a visa-exempt country must obtain an F-1 student visa issued by the Department of State at a local U.S. consulate or embassy. Students must complete the online DS-160 visa application and schedule an appointment for a visa interview. The following documentation must be brought to the interview:
- I-20 Form from Fei Tian College, and any old I-20s
- Printed Form DS-160 “Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application” confirmation page
- Passport valid for at least six months after the student plans to enter the United States
- Two-inch by two-inch passport-style photograph
- Receipt for the $160 visa application fee payment, and any reciprocity fee
- Receipt for the I-901 SEVIS fee payment
- Evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses for at least the first year of study (e.g. Scholarship Award Letter from Fei Tian College)
- Fei Tian College Catalog
- Transcripts and diplomas from previous study
- Scores from standardized tests, such as the TOEFL or IB
Students from visa-exempt countries should bring the relevant documents to the U.S. port of entry and apply for F-1 nonimmigrant student status upon entering the United States.
TRANSFERRING THE SEVIS RECORD
F-1 students currently studying at another U.S. institution (including high school) who intend to begin full-time studies at Fei Tian College must pre-arrange to have their SEVIS records transferred to Fei Tian College. In addition to the normal international admission and entrance procedure, such students must submit a completed and signed F-1 SEVIS Record Transfer Request Form with the I-20 application package in order so that their SEVIS records can be transferred to Fei Tian College. Contact the Office of International Services for detailed instructions.
MAINTENANCE OF STATUS
Maintaining status means complying with the law. Each international F-1 student bears ultimate responsibility for maintaining status from initial entry to the United States until final departure. The Office of International Services can advise and assist students but only if students follow the regulations and request assistance in a timely manner. For detailed information about studying in the United States as an international student, visit: StudyInTheStates.dhs.gov
F-1 students must comply with the following requirements in order to maintain lawful status:
- Report to the Office of International Services within 30 days of the program start date that appears on the I-20 Form.
- Be registered full-time for at least two semesters each year. Failure to maintain the requisite course load could result in severe consequences.
- Follow transfer procedures if applicable.
- Obtain a new Form I-20 for a change in educational level of study.
- Abide by the F-1 grace period regulations (see below).
- Report a change of address to the Office of International Services within 10 days of the change.
- Maintain a valid passport.
- Refrain from engaging in unauthorized employment.
- Make satisfactory progress in a program of study.
- Apply for a timely extension of studies if applicable.
- Depart the United States, change programs, or adjust status in a timely manner.
A student who has completed a program and any authorized post-completion optional practical training has 60 days to depart the United States, transfer programs, or file for a change of status. A student who has been authorized for withdrawal from the College by the Office of International Services has 15 days to depart the United States. A student who is terminated or withdraws from a program without authorization by the Office of International Services is not granted a grace period and must immediately depart the United States.
Dropping Below Full-Time Studies
F-1 students must obtain prior authorization from the Office of International Services before undertaking to drop below a full course of study. Failure to obtain such authorization is a violation of U.S. immigration regulations and will result in the immediate loss of F-1 status and possible other sanctions.
Leavetaking and Travel Abroad
Any F-1 student who intends to take a temporary leave of absence for personal reasons during a semester in which he or she is registered or travel abroad must notify and consult the Office of International Services.
If the leave will be longer than five months, the student should consult staff at the Office of International Services at least 15 days prior to departure. The student’s SEVIS record will be terminated and the I-20 Form cancelled. Two months prior to returning to the College, the student must contact the Office of International Services and complete the procedures to return for studies in F-1 status.
Before traveling abroad, F-1 students should check the expiration dates on their passport and visa, and obtain a new travel endorsement on the I-20 Form by the DSO, if needed. If the visa is expired or will expire while the student is abroad, he or she may need to renew it while abroad in order to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status.
Coursework Outside the United States
Students who wish to remain outside the United States for an extended period of time for activities related to their programs may qualify to retain F-1 status but must maintain full-time registration during two semesters of the year. Consult the Office of International Services for details.
Failure to Maintain Status
Examples of failure to maintain status include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Dropping below full-time studies without proper authorization
- Attending a school other than the one a student is authorized to attend
- Failure to apply for a timely I-20 extension, SEVIS record transfer, or change in level of education
- Engaging in unauthorized employment
- Failure to notify before travel abroad, leave of absence, or withdrawal
- Failure to report within 10 days a change to any of the following: official name, address, email, phone number, program, adjustment of status.
The College is required to manage all F-1 student records in SEVIS each semester. Any student who fails to maintain lawful status will lose the privileges of his or her student status and become subject to deportation and possible other sanctions.
Employment eligibility and options for F-1 students are limited by U.S. immigration regulations and are available only to students who have maintained lawful status and are in good standing. Prior to beginning employment, such students are required to obtain the prior written authorization of the Office of International Services and/or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Failure to obtain proper authorization constitutes a serious violation of U.S. immigration regulations.