Current International Students

Have a Question?

Use the links below to find answers to most of your advising questions.

Still have questions? Make an advising appointment or come to walk-in hours.

Employment Questions

STEP 1:  Search and apply for on-campus jobs online through Student Employment: http://studentemployment.appstate.edu/pagesmith/3

STEP 2:  Interview with potential on-campus employers.

STEP 3:  Receive job offer.

STEP 4:  Notify ISSSO of where you will be working

To confirm and report your on-campus employment please complete the online form here. Please note that failure to report your on-campus employment is a violation of your visa status and can have serious consequences. 

STEP 5:  Apply for your Social Security Number.

In order to receive a Social Security Number you must take a letter from your employer and ISSSO to a Social Security Administration office along with your passport, I-94 number, and Form I-20 or DS-2019. The closest Social Security Administration Office to Boone is located 31 miles away in Wilkesboro, NC. ISSSO will be arranging transportation to Wilkesboro at least once a semester. Email issso@appstate.edu for information.

STEP 6:  Make an appointment with Student Employment.

Please call (828) 262-2879 or (828) 2624099 or email Stephanie Hickey <hickeyss@appstate.edu> to make an appointment with the Student Employment Office. The meeting will take approximately 1 hour if all required documents are ready. You may also make an appointment in person by visiting the Student Employment office in John E. Thomas Hall, Room 389.

STEP 7:  Attend the appointment at Student Employment and bring all completed documents and forms (listed below)

You will need to complete the following forms and bring these to your appointment:

  1. Student Temporary Authorization (completed with your supervisor)
  2. Form I-9 Identifying documentation (Employees may present one selection from List A or a combination of one selection from List B and one selection from List C)
  3. Section 1 of Form I-9
  4. NC-4NRA
  5. Foreign National Information Form (instructions for completing this form will be given when you make your appointment)
  6. The online direct deposit form must be completed on AppalNet under the employee Self Service tab. 

Please also bring the following original documents to your appointment:

  1. Passport
  2. All US issued visa(s)
  3. Your I-94 Travel History
  4. Social Security Card or a letter of proof that you applied for an SSN
  5. I-20 or DS-2019

"Employment" is any work performed or services provided (including self-employment) in exchange for money or other benefits or compensation (i.e. free room and board in exchange for babysitting or a free meal in exchange for volunteering).

IMPORTANT: All types of employment authorization require permission of International Student and Scholar  Services and Outreach. Engaging in unauthorized employment is a violation of your student visa and can result in the termination of your visa.

F-1 Students:

For F-1 students, types of employment authorization include:

  • On-campus employment (hired and paid by Appalachian State University)
  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT): This is an internship or practicum training required by your degree program, or by a course you are taking and must appear on your transcipt or be required of your program of study. For more information and to begin a new application go here.  If you have already started an application please access it here.
  • Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT): This is training used either before you graduate, over summer breaks, or part-time during enrolled terms, and must be directly related to your program of study. In order to apply for pre-completion or post-completion OPT you must first attend an OPT workshop conducted by an ISSSO advisor. Please contact an ISSSO advisor to learn when OPT workshops will be offered.
  • Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT): This is training used after you graduate and must be related to our program of study.  In order to apply for pre-completion or post-completion OPT you must first attend an OPT workshop conducted by an ISSSO advisor. Please contact an ISSSO advisor to learn when OPT workshops will be offered.

IMPORTANT: All types of employment authorization require permission of International Student and Scholar  Services and Outreach. Engaging in unauthorized employment is a violation of your student visa and can result in the termination of your visa.

J-1 Students:

For J-1 students, the primary types of employment authorizations include:

  • On-campus employment (hired and paid by Appalachian State University). To confirm and report your on-campus employment please complete the online form here. Please note that failure to report your on-campus employment is a violation of your visa status and can have serious consequences. 
  • Academic Training: This is an internship or work related to your degree or non-degree program of study. For more information and to begin a new application go here. If you have already started an application you can access it here.

 


ALL students on post-completion OPT MUST report their employer information to Appalachian State University every time there is a change. Please click on the link below "Report my OPT Employment" to do so. Failure to report your employer information can result in a loss of legal  visa status. If you are currently a student on active post-completion OPT and need to update your employer information, please do so here.

All international students who have been approved for either on campus or off campus employment will need to apply for a Social Security number. You must apply in person at the Social Security Administration office in Wilkesboro.

If you are a F-1 or J-1 student and need a social security number for employment, you will need to bring the following documents with you:

  • A letter from your employer with: your job, employment start date, the number of hours you are or will be working, your supervisor's name and telephone number. This letter must be signed and dated by your supervisor. 
  • Passport
  • Your I-94 number. You can print out your I-94 number online at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
  • Your most recent Form I-20 (F students) or DS-2019 (J students)
  • A letter from our office that: identifies you, verifies your status and identifies your employer and the type of work you will be doing. To request a letter, please compete and submit our request online (TDS). 
  • A completed application for a social security number (form SS-5). You can find the form here: https://www.ssa.gov
  • IMPORTANT: If you are are an F-1 student and need a social security number for off-campus employment (CPT or OPT), you must bring your I-20 with CPT/OPT endorsement and your EAD card. 

If you are a J-1 Scholar or an international faculty member, you will need to bring the following documents with you:

  • Passport
  • Your I-94 number. You can print out your I-94 number online at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/ 
  • Your DS-2019, Employment Authorization Document (if on OPT) or H1B approval notice (Form I-797). 
  • Your offer letter and or contract from Appalachian. 
  • A completed application for a social security number (form SS-5). You can find the form here: https://www.ssa.gov
  • A letter from our office that: identifies you, verifies your status and the type of work you will be doing. To request a letter, please compete and submit our request online (Link Coming Soon).

F-1 students and J-1 Exchange Visitors who wish to obtain a North Carolina driver’s license may be able to do so.

The documents you will need to present to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are:

  • Passport
  • Social Security card or W-2 form (optional but highly recommended)
  • Print out of your I- 94 record
  • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
  • Proof of residency.  If you live off campus, an official document showing your physical address, such as a utility bill, will do.  If you live on campus, please come see ISSSO and we can provide you with an official letter verifying your address.
  • Proof of liability insurance unless planning to drive only rental vehicles.  This means that you must have car insurance if you are planning to drive your own private car.  Without car insurance, you will ONLY be able to obtain a driver’s license for driving rental vehicles.
  • Social Security card or W-2 form (optional but highly recommended)

The closest DMV office is located:

4469 Bamboo Road
Boone, NC 28607

For more information about their hours and other policies and procedures, please visit their website.

Please see http://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/driver/license for more information about the requirements of obtaining a driver’s license. This page also includes a link to the North Carolina Driver’s Handbook, which you will need in order to prepare for the driver’s license examination.

You can find additional driving information for new residents of North Carolina at http://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/moving/ and information about vehicle registration at http://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/vehicle/ for those who own a car.

  

Orientation Presentations

Here you will find copies of the presentations and tutorials that were provided during orientation.

Tax Questions

A: All international faculty members, scholars, and students in F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2, H-1B, H-4 status, and others must complete and file tax forms regardless of whether or not you earned income during your time in the U.S.

A:  There are two factors that determine which forms you must complete and file:  

  1. Whether you are considered a resident or nonresident for tax purposes.
  2. Whether or not you received income from a source in the U.S. during the previous calendar year.

 

A: It depends on the length of time you were physically present in the U.S.

  • F-1, F-2, J-1 or J-2 students (not scholars) who were physically present in the U.S. for fewer than 5 calendar years as a student are probably considered nonresidents for tax purposes
  • J-1, J-2 Exchange Visitors in the Professor, Research and Short-term Scholar categories who were physically present in the U.S. for fewer than two calendar years are probably considered non-residents for tax purposes.
  • H-1B, H-4 visa holders: If you were physically present in the U.S. for more than 183 days in the prior calendar you are probably considered residents for tax purposes.

A: You need to complete and file the same tax forms as U.S. citizens. You will file a Form 1040, 1040EZ or 1040A. You are not eligible to file a Form 8843

A: If you are required to file a Form 1040, 1040EZ or 1040A you must have a Social Security Number or ITIN number to file

A: For information about acquiring a Social Security number visit our page here. If you are applying for an ITIN, you can submit that application when filing your tax forms.

A: Each year our office partners with VITA, the Volunteers in Tax Assistance program, to provide free one-on-one assistance for all international faculty, scholars and students who attended Appalachian the prior calendar year. Our office will email you with information on how to schedule an appointment.

A: All of the forms you need to complete and file can be found online at www.irs.gov.

Additionally, there are other VITA sites in the community where you may be able to receive free assistance. For more information visit the VITA website at: www.irs.gov/vita

A: No, unfortunately, our office will not be able to assist you with your taxes.

Travel Questions

In order to leave the U.S. and re-enter in valid student status, you will need to plan carefully, and have all your papers in order.
A student who is returning to enroll in classes needs the following documents to re-enter the U.S.:

  • valid passport
  • valid F-1 visa sticker in the passport
  • unexpired Form I-20 ID signed by a Designated School Official within the last 12 months.

Valid Passport

A valid passport means that the passport has an expiration date of no less than 6 months in the future. A student who needs to renew a passport should contact the embassy of the home country located in Washington, DC. Renewal procedures and processing times are different for every country. Information about foreign embassies located in Washington, DC can be found at http://www.embassy.org.

Some students who renew passports during their stay in the U.S. will have 2 passports, the old passport containing the valid F-1 visa and the new valid passport which does not contain a visa sticker. USCIS will honor the unexpired F-1 visa sticker in the old passport if both passports are presented at the same time.

Valid Visa

Before you make plans to travel outside of the U.S., you should check to see if the F-1 visa stamp in the passport is still valid for re-entering the United States. If the expiration date has passed, a new visa must be obtained at a U.S. consulate or embassy while out of the U.S. It is not possible to obtain F visas while in the United States. Information about U.S. Embassies is available at http://www.usembassy.gov.

It is best to apply for a new F-1 visa sticker in the student's home country. Obtaining a new visa in a third country can be difficult, because the U.S. embassy performs a series of background checks on all visa applicants. Student visas are issued in Canada and Mexico by appointment only. Appointments can be made with the U.S. embassies in Canada and Mexico by visiting the following internet site: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-CA/niv.

Form I-20 or DS-2019 with travel authorization (travel signature)

All F/J students must have a signature from ISSSO on their I-20/DS-2019 before they leave the U.S. This signature must be no older than 12 months from the date you reenter the U.S. To obtain the required signature on your I-20 or DS-2019, schedule an appointment with a staff member online at (Link Coming Soon).

In a few cases, you may be able to re-enter the U.S. without applying for and receiving a new student visa. This is called "Automatic Revalidation" of your expired student visa, and it is only possible if:

  1. You are traveling to and returning from Mexico or Canada, or one of the islands adjacent to the contiguous United States
  2. You are out of the U.S. less than 30 days
  3. You are not applying for a new visa while you are out of the U.S.
  4. You can present to the U.S. immigration officers, upon return to the U.S., your original I-94 card showing F-1 or J-1 status, or F-2 or J-2 status for your dependents

For more information on Automatic Revalidation, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Travel signatures are valid for travel for re-entry for one year.

U.S. regulations require international students to enroll in full -time classes, or for full -time thesis research for two semesters (9 months) each year. If you are not enrolling for full time classes during a term you would otherwise be expected to enroll, it is likely that you will not be able to remain in the U.S. in legal student status. When you plan to depart the U.S. you will need to work with our office to get new paperwork BEFORE you make plans to return to the U.S.

Please contact issso@appstate.edu as soon as you know you will not be enrolling for a term during which you would otherwise normally be required to enroll.

If you have completed all degree requirements and / or you have graduated, travel outside the U.S. with the intent to re-enter in F-1 or J-1 student status can be problematic.

If you have applied for post-completion F-1 OPT (Optional Practical Training) or J-1 AT (Academic Training), you will need:

  • I-20 form with OPT recommendation on page 3 OR DS-2019 form extended for Academic Training
  • Valid F-1 visa or J-1 visa
  • For F-1 students only: 
  1. Receipt notice for pending OPT application OR approved OPT work card
  2. If you have received the work card, you will also need proof of your employment under OPT, in the form of a letter for your employer confirming the terms and dates of your employment.

Visa Questions

International Student and Scholar Services and Outreach are here to help you maintain legal status. If you need more information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

International students at Appalachian must be enrolled in 12 credit hours for undergraduate students or 9 credit hours for graduate students to be considered full time. You are not allowed to drop below full course of study without prior authorization from an ISSSO and only under very limited circumstances. You will need to request permission to drop below full-time status by completing and submitting request online. For more information and to begin a new application please go here. If you have already started an application please access it here

You must complete your degree requirements within the normally allowed time-frame as indicated on your immigration form (I-20 or DS-2019). If you would like to request more time to complete your degree or academic program, please complete and submit a request online. 

To request a program extension (F-1 visa) please submit an application here. If you have already started an application please access it here.

To request a program extension (J-1 visa) please submit an application hereIf you have already started an application please access it here.

 


International students may work no more than 20 hours per week on-campus while school is in session. These 20 hours include the work you do for your assistantship if you have one. You are not permitted to work off-campus without receiving prior authorization. If you have any questions about employment as an international student not covered on this website please contact an ISSSO advisor.

Students must obtain a new Form I-20 before changing their academic program from one degree level to another (e.g., from Bachelor's to Master's level) or one major/field of study to another (e.g., from Chemical Engineering to Physics). International students must receive a new I-20 or DS-2019 from ISSSO before beginning the new program/degree level. To request a new I-20 or DS-2019 because of changes to your academic program, complete and submit a request online (Link Coming Soon)

You must apply for an extension of your program prior to the expiration date on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 if you cannot complete your program by that date. Requests for extensions should be submitted prior to the expiration date of the Form I-20 or DS-2019 so the extension process can be completed prior to the expiration date on the document F-1 or J-1. 

To request a program extension (F-1 visa) please submit an application here. If you have already started an application please access it here.

To request a program extension (J-1 visa) please submit an application hereIf you have already started an application please access it here.


If you change your physical address, you must inform ISSSO within ten days. Failure to do so is violation of your visa status. To report a change of address, please update it in Appalnet self service.  

International students in F or J status are eligible to transfer their immigration records in SEVIS to a new U.S. school. This is a separate process from the academic transfer and involves sending the new U.S. school your active SEVIS F or J record.

To request that your SEVIS record be transferred to a different school, please complete and submit the application onlineIf you have already started an application please access it here.

About Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a benefit of the F-1 visa that allows students to engage in a paid or unpaid temporary training, internship, practicum, or other off-campus employment to gain practical experience directly related to their field of study. 

In order to be authorized for CPT the training opportunity must be an integral part of an established curriculum or academic program. To be eligible for CPT, the training opportunity must be approved by the F-1 student’s academic advisor and reflected on the student’s transcript (practicum, internship or directed study course) or be required to complete a course or degree requirement as evidenced by a document program of study. 

CPT is not simply a form of employment authorization. It is an opportunity for a student to accept training in his or her field of study. CPT will not be authorized for employment that is not an integral part of an established curriculum or academic program. For example, a psychology student will not be authorized for CPT to offer tennis lessons in the summer.

A student is only eligible for CPT if he or she meets the following requirements:

  • Has been enrolled on a full-time basis for a full academic year (two semesters) or enrolled in a graduate program that requires participation in a practicum or internship course during the first two semesters. 
  • Will continue to be enrolled during a full course of study during CPT.
  • The training is an integral part of an established curriculum.
  • The training is directly related to the student’s major area of study.

CPT will only be authorized within the terms that the student is enrolled in the practicum/internship/directed study related to the training opportunity. For example, a student enrolled in a practicum course over the summer will not be eligible for CPT once the fall semester begins.

  • Summer term CPT dates.
    Earliest possible start date is the day after spring commencement as determined by the official academic calendar.
    Latest possible end date is the day before the first day of classes in the fall semester.
  • Fall semester CPT dates
    Earliest possible start date is the day after the last day of classes as determined by the official academic calendar of the second summer session for undergraduate students or the second graduate/teacher term for graduate students.
    Latest possible end date is the day before the first day of classes in the spring semester.
  • Spring semester CPT dates
    Earliest possible start date is the day after fall commencement ceremonies.
    Latest possible end date is the day before the first day of classes of the first summer session for undergraduate students or the first graduate/teacher term for graduate students.

To begin a brand new application for CPT visit our website here. To continue a previously submitted application please login here

A student should apply for CPT as early as possible. It can take several days or weeks to gather all of the required documents, register for the appropriate course and receive approval from your academic advisor and International Student and Scholar Services and Outreach (ISSSO). You cannot begin working until you have been approved by ISSSO and are in possession of an I-20 with a valid CPT authorization.

A student can only begin working when in possession of an I-20 with a valid CPT authorization and only within the dates authorized on the I-20. Working without authorization is a violation of a student’s F-1 status and has serious consequences that may impact a student’s ability to remain in the United States or return in the future.

In order to apply for CPT a student must provide a letter of employment from the organization they will be working with. The letter must be on company letterhead and contain:

  • A description of the work the student will be doing.
  • The physical address where the work will take place.
  • The hours per week to be worked.
  • A description of how this work is related to your educational objective.
  • The name and contact information of the student’s supervisor.

In addition to the letter from the student’s employer, the student must provide proof that he or she is enrolled in a course that relates to this training experience or proof that it is required for his or her course of study.

A student will only be authorized for CPT in SEVIS after registering for the corresponding course. ISSSO will not authorize CPT before seeing registration unless the academic advisor sends proof that this experience is a requirement for completion of the academic program or objective.

Please contact issso@appstate.edu if you have any questions about CPT.