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F-1 Students

F-1 Visa

The F-1 visa is for non-immigrants to enter the United States solely for the purpose of full-time study. In order for prospective students to obtain this type of visa, they will have to show evidence that after completing studies, the individual will return to the country of their permanent residence.

After the student is admitted to WVU, the student must request a Form I-20 after being invited by ISSS to the International Student Request Portal. If you have not received the invite e-mail with the link from ISSS within 3 business days after receiving confirmation of admission, please email isss-students@mail.wvu.edu to inquire about how you may be invited to the request portal to begin the I-20 process.

After receiving a completed request for an I-20, international student advisors (DSOs) will review eligibility. ISSS cannot guarantee turnaround times for processing an I-20, but strive to complete requests within 15 business days. Once complete, an I-20 is issued by ISSS to the student and an email confirmation will be sent to the student's WVU Mix Email address about the method of delivery and how to access the form. (Be sure to read the entire I-20 before signing the first page. The back page of the I-20 will contain important regulations for you to know while in F-1 status in the U.S.). The student will then pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. Once the fee has been paid and the student has a receipt of payment, the Form I-20 is then used to apply for an F-1 visa from an American embassy or consulate abroad.

To be admitted to the US, it is necessary to have the Form I-20, a valid F-1 visa, and a valid passport (valid at least 6 months beyond the date of entry).

More information concerning F-1 visas and status can be found here - https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students.

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding I-20 issuance, please click on the FAQ Link.

US Immigration Regulations for F-1 Students

After being admitted to the US in F-1 status, the student is then eligible to stay in the US for “duration of status” (D/S on the Forms I-94 and the I-20). Duration of status (or to be “in status”) means the time during which the student is in compliance with F-1 regulations. Upon completion of studies, the student has an additional 60-days grace period to depart the US.

Students in F-1 status are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the F-1 visa. Failure to do so will violate the student's legal status in the United States. Summaries for many of the rules and regulations for F-1 students can be found on the third page of the Form I-20. Additional information about maintaining your F-1 status here - https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/maintaining-status .


Important F-1 Documents

Passport

Your passport must be valid at all times. Keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place, such as a bank safe-deposit box or somewhere where it won’t be damaged . Report a lost or s tolen passport to the police because your government may require a police report before issuing a new passport. To renew or replace your passport, contact your country’s consulate in the U.S. for further instructions. It is recommended that you keep 6 months validity remaining on your passport at all times or begin the process to renew the passport if within the 6 months remaining time period.

Visa (Foil)

The visa is the foil (sometimes called a sticker or stamp) that the U.S. consular officer placed on a page in your passport. The visa permitted you to apply for admission into the U.S. as an F-1 student, and does not need to remain valid while you are in the U.S. Once you use the valid visa to enter the U.S., you may remain in the U.S. on an expired visa (not an expired I-20), but must renew the visa outside of the U.S. before returning if you exit the country. Visas can only be obtained outside of the U.S. at a U.S. consulate.

Note: Neither citizens of Bermuda nor Canada are required to have a visa.

Please remember: If your visa expires while you are in the U.S., the next time you travel abroad you must obtain a new F-1 visa before returning to the U.S. You do not need to depart the U.S. due to visa expiration.

Please Note: Automatic Revalidation DOES NOT renew your visa. This is a temporary measure for trips less than 30 days to adjacent North American countries and nearby islands when the visa is expired and WILL NOT renew your visa. Please see Automatic Revalidation for further info and we highly recommend contacting isss-students@mail.wvu.edu before attempting this maneuver for complete information and advising.

Form I-20 "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status"

Issued by WVU, this document allows you to apply for an F-1 visa if you are outside the U.S, apply for F-1 status within the U.S., enter and reenter the U.S. in F-1 status, and prove your eligibility for various F-1 benefits. The I-20 indicates the institution in which you are permitted to study, your program of study, and the dates of eligibility.

The I-20 is a printout from your SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) record. SEVIS is an internet-based database that allows schools and federal immigration agencies to exchange data on the status of international students. Information is transmitted electronically throughout an F-1 student’s academic career in the U.S. Each student has a unique SEVIS ID number, which is printed on your I-20 in the top left corner.

I-94 (Arrival/Departure Form)

Paper Form I-94

If you have a paper Form I-94, regulations require that those individuals holding non-immigrant (temporary) status turn their I-94 arrival/departure record card when leaving the U.S. only if you have an I-94 that was attached in your passport. Failure to do that will result in the departure not being recorded properly in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) system and the individual being regarded as overstaying his/her authorized stay. This can have serious consequences on future entry into the U.S. 

Online Form I-94

The issuance of I-94 arrival/departure record cards is now electronic for air and sea travelers. Once a student enters the U.S, a paper I-94 card will not be issued at the point of entry (for air and sea travelers). Students will have to access the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website to print out the paper copy of their I-94 card for their records. The Form I-94 is required for processing social security cards and Driver Licenses. To obtain your I-94, you can visit CBP's I-94 website, click on "get most recent I-94," enter your passport information, and print.

More information concerning the Form I-94 can be found on the CBP website.

Maintaining Your Status

This section will cover:

  1. Extension of the I-20 Program End Date
  2. Full-time Enrollment Requirements for F-1 status
  3. Reduced Course Load Requests
  4. Online Class Limits
  5. Requesting to Withdraw Entirely From the Semester
  6. Physical U.S. Address Requirement and Changes
  7. Reporting Changes to your Program or Major
  8. Changing Educational Levels
  9. Abiding by Employment Regulations
  10. Obtaining a Travel Endorsement on the I-20 for Travel Outside of the U.S.
  11. Transferring your SEVIS Record to Another Institution to Continue Your Studies
  12. Removal for Non-Payment from Courses/Financial Holds
  13. Departure Requirements and End of Your Program Options

Please scroll down to the appropriate section needed, but it is recommended that you read and familiarize yourself with all policies and regulations for maintaining your F-1 status.

ISSS Disclaimer

Students in F-1 status are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing their F-1 status. Failure to do so will violate the student's legal status in the United States. Summaries for many of the rules and regulations for F-1 students can be found on the third page of the Form I-20. Additional information about maintaining your F-1 status here - https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/maintaining-status .

1. Extension of the I-20 Program End Date:

If the student will not be able to complete their program by the program end date listed on their Form I-20, they will need to apply for an I-20 extension.

The I-20 must remain valid at all times. You may request an extension prior to the I-20 expiration date by logging into your request portal, going to "Requests and Documents", selecting the Extension of I-20 icon, completing all required fields, and submitting the request to ISSS.

When completing the I-20 extension request, the student will need to:

  • certify continued financial ability to meet expenses.
  • submit a recommendation via the Approver Request field to their academic advisor who will explain why you need an extension, etc. and answer the other questionnaires required.

Please Note: if the need for an extension is due to medical reasons, an additional letter from an MD/DO/Licensed Clinical Psychologist explaining the situation will need to be provided

Once we have reviewed your completed request, we will e-mail you about your newly updated I-20 and how you may access it.

***I-20s may only be extended up to one (1) additional year per extension request.

Further Important Information About I-20 Extensions:

- Allowing the I-20 to expire before you complete your academic program is a violation of F-1 status. ISSS CANNOT EXTEND your I-20 past your program end date and YOU MUST request an extension from our office if you believe you will need additional time to earn your degree. If for any reason you feel you will need an extension (not sure if you will pass a course or complete program requirements by the time your I-20 expires ), please place the extension request as a precautionary measure prior to your I-20 expiring and within the semester in which it will expire.

- If there is a chance you may fail a course that will lead to needing more time in your degree and delay graduation, it is advised you place the extension request prior to taking the final for the course(s). If you do pass the course and do not need the extension, ISSS can then assist with withdrawing your request.

- If you allow your I-20 to expire and do not request an extension in a timely manner, you most likely will be required to depart the U.S. after I-20 completion/termination, will need to request a new I-20 with new SEVIS number in order to return to the U.S. to complete your program, pay a new SEVIS fee, and if your visa is expired, obtain another or renew the visa prior to returning to the U.S. to finish your studies.

- Allowing your I-20 to expire without requesting an extension for more time in your program is a serious matter and you should always be aware of your program end date on your I-20 and communicate needs for an extension with ISSS at isss-students@mail.wvu.edu prior to expiration of your I-20.

- Although ISSS does its best to provide information about the I-20, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand when their program end date is approaching and communicate the need for an extension to an ISSS staff member. After a program end date has passed, an extension of the I-20 is unlikely and you may need to depart the U.S., complete the onboarding process again, and re-enter on a new I-20/SEVIS record if you failed to request an extension in time.

ISSS can be contacted at isss-students@mail.wvu.edu with questions.

2. Full-time Enrollment

To maintain in good standing with your student status at WVU you must take at least 12 credit hours per the fall/spring semesters at the undergraduate level and meet all the WVU requirements. At the graduate level full course of study is defined by your college but usually 9 credit hours per the fall/spring semesters.

Please note: If you begin your studies at the beginning of the summer semester (May), you must be enrolled full-time for the summer semester (12 credit hours for undergraduate & 9 credit hours for graduate). If you begin your studies during the second half of summer, you must be enrolled for 6 credit hours undergraduate/graduate to be considered full-time.

Authorization to register less than or drop below full-time (see below) must be obtained through International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) prior to less than full-time enrollment or dropping below full-time. Dropping below full-time without prior authorization is considered a violation of status that would result in your F-1 status being terminated if not corrected.

YOU MUST REMAIN ENROLLED FULL-TIME AT ALL TIMES UNTIL YOU RECEIVE AUTHORIZATION ONLY FROM AN ISSS INTERNATIONAL ADVISOR AFTER PLACING A REQUEST TO DROP BELOW FULL-TIME (REDUCED COURSE LOAD). APPROVAL FOR SUCH REQUESTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED. Further info can be found below.

Please Note:

  • A grade of "W" (for withdrawal) does not count towards full-time enrollment.
  • Neither the "Winter Intercession" nor the "Maymester" count towards full-time enrollment.

3. Reduced Course Loads: Request to drop below full-time & Obtaining Prior Authorization

Pursuing a "full course of study" is one of the cornerstones of maintaining status. A student must continue to pursue that full course of study throughout each semester in order to maintain status and be in good standing. The maintenance of status is principally the responsibility of the student.

If you feel that you will need to drop below full time, you must first request permission to do so and have been notified by a Designated School Official ("DSO") within ISSS that you have received authorization prior to enrolling in less than a full course of study or prior to dropping any courses during the semester.

International students must have authorization for a "Reduced Course Load" ("RCL") and have this information updated in SEVIS prior to reducing their course load. Dropping below a full course of study without the prior approval of a DSO in the ISSS office will be considered a violation of status.

To obtain permission to drop below a full course of study for academic or medical reasons, you must complete a request for a Reduced Course Load. The request for a reduced course load in a final semester should be made before the beginning of the semester for which you are requesting it. If the request to drop below full-time occurs during the semester, it must be authorized before dropping any courses.

Please remember: You must maintain full-time enrollment at all times. If seeking to drop a course then add a course that will place you at full-time again, it is best practice to add the course first to ensure there are no issues before dropping a course. Withdrawals, or W's", do not count toward full-time enrollment.

Please note that some university scholarships may require full-time enrollment. Be sure to speak to the appropriate office managing your scholarship(s) for more information on how it may be impacted by dropping below full-time.

***DO NOT DROP ANY OF YOUR COURSES TO BE BELOW FULL TIME UNTIL YOU RECEIVE NOTIFICATION FROM ISSS THAT A REQUEST HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED.

If you have dropped a course(s) in error or prior to authorization and cannot add the course or another course in STAR, please e-mail registrar@mail.wvu.edu IMMEDIATELY and indicate the error and ask to be added back into the course(s) after discovering the error. Permission to be added back is not guaranteed, so this should be done as soon as possible. E-mail isss-students@mail.wvu.edu immediately if you have dropped below full time without authorization and cannot fix the error and we can further advise; however, this may still be considered a violation of status that would result in the termination of your F-1 status.

If you are enrolled full time and would still like to proceed with a reduced course load request, eligibility requirements can be found here as well - Study in the States.

Directions for making a Reduced Course Load (RCL) request:

  1. Be sure you are enrolled full-time.
  2. Complete a request for a Reduced Course Load by logging into your student request portal, going to the "requests and documents" section, selecting the icon for a reduced course load, completing all questions and uploading all documents, and submitting the request to ISSS once complete. When you make the request, you will need to:
  • Remain enrolled full-time before and during the time you are making the request and not drop below full-time until approved.
  • Obtain a recommendation from your Academic Advisor. To get your academic advisor's approval, you will need to add your advisor name and correct e-mail to the "Approver Review" section of the request. The recommendation from the academic advisor (approver) must be completed before we can review the request. You are responsible for following up with your academic advisor to whom you sent the request to alert them that it needs to be completed.
  • If the request is for a Medical Reduced Course Load you will also need a completed Medical RCL Form from your licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist explaining the need for you to drop below full-time or withdraw from all classes and upload this form to your request.

After the request is made, you must wait to be notified by ISSS that your request has been authorized before enrolling in less than or dropping below full-time. An international advisor will communicate with you about any issues regarding meeting the regulations for a reduced course load or inform you of authorization via MIX email.

Please Note: RCL requests for academic reasons still require a student to be enrolled in at least six credit hours (or half the clock hours for IEP).

Consequences of not Enrolling in or Dropping Below a "Full Course of Study" Without Prior Authorization: You will be considered out of status and your SEVIS record will be terminated. You will need to depart the U.S. immediately if you cannot regain a full-time course load. To regain status, you would be required to complete an on-boarding request for a new I-20, pay the SEVIS fee again, and travel outside and re-enter the U.S. on the new I-20. Please e-mail isss-students@mail.wvu.edu for any questions related to maintaining full-time status.


4. Online Classes (Distance Education) Limits

It is best practice to enroll in all in-person courses if possible to maintain full-time regulatory requirements for F-1 status. If you do need to enroll in online (including hyflex) course(s), no more than the equivalent of one on-line/distance education class or 3 credits per session/semester may count towards the “full course of study” requirement per semester if enrolling in the required 12 credits for undergraduate and 9 credits for Graduate study. 

After this full course of study requirement and online limit is met, you may add additional online courses as needed, but remember:

Undergraduate Students and AMP - Full time enrollment is 12 credits. At least 9 credits must be in person.

Graduate Students (Masters and PhD) - Full time enrollment is 9 credits. At least 6 credits must be in-person.

If you have requested a reduced course load for less than full-time credits in your final term and will only be taking one class, that class CANNOT be an online designated course. You must then either enroll in an additional in-person course or enroll in the equivalent in-person version of the course.

Please check with the ISSS advising staff (isss-students@mail.wvu.edu) for confirmation if needed or further information.


5. Request to withdraw from the semester

To withdraw from the entire semester, you must:

  1. Email both isss-students@mail.wvu.edu and copy ("cc") the registrar@mail.wvu.edu that you wish to completely withdraw from the semester.
    1. Please note, refund requests are processed through Student Accounts. Please inquire with their office at the Mountaineer Hub to discuss the possibility or eligibility for any refund of payment already made toward tuition, fees, or other university billed expenses.
  2. Your SEVIS record & I-20 will be terminated for "authorized early withdrawal."
  3. You must depart the US within 15 days of your request to withdraw.
  4. Send us a PDF copy of your I-94 travel history (click "view travel history") to evidence your departure from the US.
  5. At least 2 months before you intend to return to the US to resume your studies, contact International Admissions ( internationaladmissions@mail.wvu.edu) to see whether you need to be readmitted into your academic program.
  • If you are readmitted, please contact ISSS at isss-students@mail.wvu.edu to re-invite you back to the request portal and activate your ability to sign in and place a request for a new I-20.
  • If Admissions does not need to readmit you to your program, please still contact our office ( isss-students@mail.wvu.edu) to o re-invite you back to the request portal and activate your ability to sign in and place a request for a new I-20.

6. Complete the request to obtain a new I-20 with a new SEVIS number using the Request Portal.

7. Pay the SEVIS fee ($350) at fmjfee.com once your new I-20 has been issued.

8. Apply for a new F-1 visa if your old F-1 visa is no longer valid at a US embassy/consulate abroad.

9. Complete Pre-Arrival Orientation, a Contact Information Update, and SEVIS Check-in upon your return to Morgantown by placing the three separate requests through your Student Request Portal.

Note: A leave of absence follows the same basic procedures. Please be sure to coordinate with your department about any assistantship requirements before departing and what requirements you may need to meet before returning.

6. Report any address changes to ISSS within 10 days

U.S. federal regulations require all F-1 students to report a change of address within 10 days (of the address change) to an international student advisor in ISSS. You may do so through a "Contact Information Update" request in the Student Request Portal.

The U.S. federal government requires international students to report directly to ISSS. ISSS is required to provide this and other data to the federal government electronically. No other university office is authorized by the federal government to process this data.

You may update your U.S. physical address by signing into your Student Request Portal, going to the "Requests and Documents" tab, choosing the "Contact Information Update" icon, providing the new address and info needed, and submitting your request to ISSS within 10 days of the change.

7. Report any changes in program to ISSS

Students must notify ISSS whenever there is a change in their academic program or program dates. To notify ISSS to add/change your major, please login to your Student Request Portal, go to the "Requests and Documents" tab, select the "Add/Change Major" icon, complete the required fields, and submit the request to ISSS. We will then need to confirm the change in your official WVU academic record and may need to reach out to your academic department or advisor if the major change is not currently reflected in your academic record. Please ensure that this change is reflected in your academic record by speaking with your academic advisor in your college/major when placing the request. If you have questions, please contact us at isss-students@mail.wvu.edu.

8. Change of Education Level

To change education levels (e.g. Bachelor’s degree to Master’s degree or a even a second Bachelor's degree after completing the first) while remaining at WVU, a new I-20 with the new educational program noted needs to be issued after the student has been admitted.

A CHANGE OF EDUCATIONAL LEVEL MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO THE END OF THE 60 DAY GRACE PERIOD ALOTTED AFTER THE PROGRAM END DATE IS REACHED ON THE CURRENT I-20.

If graduating early, your I-20 will be shortened to reflect your new program end date and your 60 day grace period will begin after that date.

Student should allow for at least 15 business days for ISSS to process the change of educational level and should make the request as soon as they have received acknowledgement from international admissions that they have been accepted into their new program.

A change of educational level cannot be made after the 60 day grace period and completion of your I-20/SEVIS record. If a request is made after the 60 day grace period, you will need to complete onboarding requirements for a new I-20 and SEVIS record while paying a new SEVIS fee and must depart the U.S. and return 30 days prior to the start of your new program in order to activate your record.

To apply for a change of education level I-20, login to the Student Request portal, go to the "Requests and Documents" tab, select the Change Educational Level icon, complete all required fields and upload all required documents, and submit the request to ISSS. In the request, the student will need to provide:

  • complete information for all fields required
  • valid passport
  • admission e-mail for the new program
  • financial proof to cover the cost of attendance for the program for the equivalent of one academic year

    - Continuing evidence of financial ability to meet expenses for the cost of attendance of the first academic year is required: (ex. official bank statement)

    Undergraduate, IEP, & Exchange Student - estimated cost of attendance
    Graduate & Professional Student - estimated cost of attendance

    - If you have dependent(s), you must provide additional funding in the amount of $6,171 for each dependent (spouse or child) per year.

    - Please note evidence must be a liquid asset & less than six (6) months old

    - Once we have reviewed your completed request, we will email you about your newly updated I-20 and how it can be accessed electronically.

9. Abide by employment regulations

F-1 student status permits you to work on campus for no more than 20 hours/week while school is in session and full-time during university breaks (winter, spring, summer). These 20 hours include the work you do for an assistantship (if you have one).

*Working more than 20 hours per week on-campus is considered a violation of status leading to termination of your SEVIS record.

You are not permitted to work off-campus without prior authorization. Off-campus employment is allowed with prior permission from ISSS (and usually an application to USCIS) during and/or after the completion of your studies. These off-campus employment types are CPT/OPT .

Off-campus economic hardship application to USCIS is for unforeseen and dire financial circumstances. Approval by USCIS is not guaranteed and requires a detailed application process to USCIS with application fee. It requires the help of a DSO (Designated School Official) in the ISSS office who will need to first discuss with you your eligibility. Application for off-campus employment for severe economic hardship is also not immediate and could take several months or more for USCIS to adjudicate. Please contact isss-students@mail.wvu.edu if you need to discuss your eligibility.

*Working off-campus without prior authorization or participating in CPT/OPT prior to being authorized is considered a violation of status likely leading to termination of your SEVIS record.

For more information about on and off campus employment, payroll processing, and frequently asked questions about employment, please visit our student employment webpage.

Additional Information Concerning Worker's Rights

Know Your Rights (Wilberforce Pamphlet) from the Department of State. An information pamphlet describing your rights while working in the United States.

10. Obtain a travel signature prior to departing the U.S. for your return to WVU

When preparing to travel abroad, and in addition to obtaining a travel endorsement from ISSS, it is important to ensure you have the required documents for entry to another country and re-entry to the U.S.

Entry requirements to other countries are typically available on the website of their embassy. Depending on the country to be visited and the student’s nationality, there may be the need to apply for a visitor’s visa.

In order to return to the U.S., a student in F-1 status must have:

  • a valid passport - Check your passport expiration date. Make sure it will not expire sooner than six months from your re-entry date. If your passport expires in less than six months, it is crucial that you renew your passport in the US through a consulate or embassy before traveling, or renew it while you’re back in your country of citizenship (if home for a long enough period).
  • a valid U.S visa - Check your visa expiration date. If the F-1 visa foil in your passport will expire before your intended re-entry date to the U.S., you’ll need to obtain a new visa to re-enter the US. Please see ISSS if you need a new I-20.
  • a current/valid I-20 with a travel endorsement from a DSO on the 2nd page of your I-20- Carry your most recent original I-20 that is signed by an ISSS Staff member (DSO) for the most recent semester.
  • verification of enrollment - a copy of enrolled courses (highly recommended)
  • proof of I-901 SEVIS fee payment - You can find this at fmjfee.com.
  • Financial Verification - Financial information showing proof of necessary funds to cover tuition and living expenses (highly recommended)
  • been out of the U.S. for less than 5 months (please consult with ISSS for exceptions to this regulation during the pandemic).
  • Emergency contact information for ISSS - (304) 293-9456

    - Travel endorsements can be made via your Student Request Portal. Please login and go to the "Request and Documents" tab, select the "Travel Endorsement" icon, answer all questions, upload all required documents, and submit your request to ISSS.

    - Signatures can be provided electronically by a DSO and you can access your newly signed I-20 via your request portal. You will be notified once the endorsement is ready via your WVU MIX email with directions on how to access the I-20.

    - Please be sure to try to make this request prior to travelling and as soon as possible. Though a travel endorsement is not needed for exit from the U.S., it will be required by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon re-entry. If you already departed the U.S. and did not request the travel endorsement, please place the request as soon as possible prior to your return. An advisor will review the request and can provide the document electronically to you to access, print, and sign prior to your return from abroad.

    - Travel signatures are valid for one year (6 months if on OPT), but it is generally good practice to acquire an updated signature and have ISSS check your record prior to any travel or at least every 6 months prior to travel.

11. Transferring Out your SEVIS Record to Another Institution to Continue Your Studies (for current WVU students only)*

(*Please Note: If you are seeking to transfer-in your SEVIS record to WVU from another institution, please see the ISSS New Student Onboarding webpage under "Are you transferring from another U.S. institution...?")

To Transfer-Out your SEVIS record from WVU to another SEVP approved school:

Students must request a transfer-out of their SEVIS record (I-20) if planning to attend another institution.

Please note: you must maintain your F-1 status at the school that holds your SEVIS record (WVU) until your transfer out is completed.

For example, if you request to transfer out at any time during a required semester, you must remain enrolled full-time until the transfer is approved.

You will then need to coordinate with your new school your full-time enrollment as well and their "Transfer-In" procedures for your SEVIS record. It is recommended that you contact the new school to keep them updated of your plans and alert them when the transfer out is completed.

Please be in contact with a DSO at your new institution when placing a "Transfer Out" request. You will need them to provide you with information for questions within our transfer out request along with their contact information if ISSS should need to contact the DSO at your new school for any reason.

To transfer your SEVIS record out of WVU, please login to the Student Request portal, go to the "Requests and Documents" tab, select the "Transfer Out" icon, complete all required fields and information for the new school and DSO at the new school (this is the "approver form" and information from your new school's DSO should be the only contact included. Please also ensure the e-mail address is correct so that the new school's DSO will receive the approver request) , upload all required documents including proof of admission to the new school, and submit the request to ISSS.

Please follow up with the approver (the new school's DSO) after submitting the request to let them know they will be receiving a form from our office to complete. We cannot complete your transfer out of your SEVIS record until the DSO at your new school completes the electronic approver form.

Please allow at least 15 business days for processing and monitor your WVU MIX e-mail for updates. An international advisor at WVU will alert you once your SEVIS record has been transferred.

***Please note that you are responsible for all other requirements for transferring out of WVU including, but not limited to, contacting your academic department and being aware of policies regarding student accounts and dropping/withdrawing from courses.

If needing to order an official transcript for your transfer, please see:

https://registrar.wvu.edu/academic-records/request-transcript


12. Removal for Non-Payment from Courses/ Financial Holds

F-1 and J-1 students attest on the form I-20/DS-2019 that they have adequate finances to meet cost of attendance requirements for the university and their academic program. All WVU students are expected to pay their student account balance and any other fees by established deadlines in order to remain enrolled or to enroll in future semesters.

U.S. federal regulations require that international students must be enrolled *full-time to maintain status and remain in the U.S. (*unless a Reduced Course Load has been approved or pending approval through the ISSS office). 

Removal for Non-payment

If you are an F-1 student and have not: coordinated payment with the Mountaineer Hub by established billing deadlines; have not sought a remedy with the Mountaineer Hub for a balance owed by the published deadline; are removed from all of your classes by the Mountaineer Hub for non-payment; and have not been reinstated back into courses by the Mountaineer Hub and can no longer enroll full-time, you are then considered out of status for failing to maintain full-time enrollment.

If removed from courses and not reinstated, you will receive notice of termination of your F-1 status and will then need to depart the U.S. immediately per federal regulations.  In order to return to the U.S. after departure to resume your academic studies, you will need to onboard for a new I-20/DS-2019, ensure you can re-enroll full-time in the semester in which you choose to return, and coordinate your return by contacting isss-students@mail.wvu.edu.

Students who are removed from courses will need to contact the Mountaineer Hub and monitor communication from their office regarding strict deadlines for reinstatement and how you can be placed back into courses. If removed from courses, complete payment must be made or a payment plan arranged with the Mountaineer Hub. A promise to pay will not be sufficient.

Financial Holds

If a financial hold on your WVU student account for a balance/payment owed or any other type of registration hold is preventing you from registering full-time for courses in a current or future semester, you risk termination of your F-1 status if you cannot remedy the situation by the university's strict add/drop deadline and enroll full-time in courses. If terminated for failing to enroll, you will need to onboard for a new I-20/DS-2019, ensure you can re-enroll full-time in the semester in which you choose to return, and coordinate your return by contacting isss-students@mail.wvu.edu.

For complete information about financial responsibilities, please visit the WVU Student Accounts Policy webpage.

13. End of Program Departure Requirements and Options
Depart the U.S. within 60-day grace period

F-1 visa holders must depart the U.S. within 60 days of their I-20 expiration date or within 60 days upon completion of their degree program and new I-20 program end date if not utilizing one of the following options (which must be completed within the 60 day grace period):

- Changing Educational Levels (See above)

- Transferring to another U.S. institution in order to change educational level (See Transfer Out above)

- Applying for Post Completion Optional Practical Training

- Speaking with an immigration attorney to change to another status that would allow you to stay in the U.S. for work and/or study.

Report departure date and reason to ISSS

Sometimes, and for a variety of reasons, students leave the university early or unexpectedly. Some of these reasons include early graduation, completion of practical training, leave of absence, suspension, or expulsion.

U.S. federal regulations require F-1 students to inform ISSS if they plan to leave the university before the expiration date of their I-20 form as well as the reason for doing so. Please send us an email at isss-students@mail.wvu.edu.

Other Obligations To Consider:

    • Strive to understand and tolerate a host country’s educational and cultural setting, including standards of conduct, law, respect for others, honesty and integrity.
    • Respect the rights of self-determination of others.
    • Observe the laws and respect for culture of the host country.
    • Participate as fully as possible in the life of the host university and country.
    • Seek to participate in joint and cooperative ventures of an educational, social or cultural nature with citizens and students of the host country and with other international students and scholars.
    • Individually and in groups, act with respect for the rights of persons from other countries, cultures and subcultures, without abridging those rights even in pursuit of one’s own rights.
    Academic Integrity

    The American classroom culture and expectations are very different from most of the other countries. Plagiarism, (taking someone else’s ideas and claiming them to be your own) is considered "cheating" and can lead to suspension or expulsion, any of which would prevent you to enroll full-time. Using someone else’s ideas in written work may be permitted as long as you give the originator of the idea their due credit through proper citation.

    To learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it, visit: