- Am I required to pay I-901 SEVIS fee?
- How do I “check-in” when I arrive to begin my program?
- I'm planning on traveling outside the United States. What do I need to do to re-enter the United States?
- What happens if I try to enter the U.S. without an I-20/DS-2019 or without a travel signature? What is an I-515a?
- How can I renew my F or J visa? What if my visa expires?
- How does my spouse/child under 21 join me in the U.S. as my F-2/J-2 dependent?
- How do I invite family members to visit?
- Can I get a driver's license?
- Do I have an opportunity to participate in club or other activities as an international student?
- I'm interested in finding a job while attending classes. Can I work?
- Can I work in the U.S. after I graduate? When can I apply for OPT?
- How do I get a Social Security number?
- Do I need a Social Security number before I begin working?
- How can I find assistance regarding taxes?
- What is the International Student full-time enrollment requirement?
- Can I take an online class and how many online class can I register for?
- What should I do if my I-20/DS-2019 will expire and I am not finished with my academic requirements?
- What financial support do I need to maintain the F1/J1 status?
- What do I need to do if I want to change my major or degree?
- How do I report my new home address?
- I will go to a different academic institution in the United States. What is the procedure to move/transfer to a new school?
- I've changed my immigration status and am no longer F-1 or J-1. How should I report this?
- Where can I find information about the “green card lottery”?
- I have some more questions. How can I meet with an advisor?
- My documents got lost/stolen. What should I do?
- Can I bring food from my home country to the US?
Yes. You can go to the official website for SEVIS fee information and payment. You should print a copy of the receipt and take it to your visa interview and when traveling to the U.S.
Upon your arrival to the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 status, you are required to report to the International Center for a mandatory immigration check-in. Please bring with you your passport, visa, and I-20 or DS-2019. Failure to check-in may result in the loss of your legal status.
- Valid I-20 (signature on the 3rd page within 12 months)
- Valid F-1 or J-1 visa
- Valid Passport
- Additional documents such as transcripts and certificate letter is recommended
Students/scholars who travel outside the U.S. and do not have all the required documentation may be denied entry to the U.S. However, Customs and Border Protection has the authority to admit F-1/ J-1 students/scholars (and accompanying dependents, if applicable) to the U.S. for 30 days by issuing a Form I-515A if they are otherwise eligible for readmission but have some documentary deficiency. A student issued the Form I-515A will be given a date specific I-94 (with a 30 day validity period). It is essential that the I-515A be resolved. Please see an advisor for assistance.
You do not need a valid visa in the US if you have maintained your F-1 or J-1 status. Howeever, if you travel outside of the country you will need to return with a valid visa.
To obtain F-2/J-2 DS-2019 documents for your spouse and/or minor children under 21 years, please contact an International Student/Scholar Advisor.
Family members who are NOT children (under 21) or the spouse of the F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor should apply for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa.
California Driver's Licenses and Personal Identification Cards are issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For more information, you can refer to the Social Security/DMV section of our website.
Yes, you are strongly encouraged to do that. You can email them at email@example.com
On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session and available full time during school vacation and holidays.
Under certain conditions you may be eligible for off-campus employment either in the form of practical training related to your academic program, or severe economic hardship employment authorization. You may not begin employment unless you have received official authorization. For more information, refer to the Employment section of our website.
Employment in the U.S. requires having a social security number. For more information on obtaining a social security, please refer to Social Security/DMV section of our website.
Yes, please see the Optional Pratical Training (OPT) page.
J1 students only:
J-1 students can apply for an internship after your exchange program. The length is determined by the time enrolled in classes at Cal Poly Pomona. For example, if you are enrolled in school for one semester, you are allowed only one semester of internship.
Please see the International Advisor for more information.
F-1 students are only eligible for a Social Security number (SSN) when employed on-campus or approved for off-campus work permission. For more information on the procedures please refer to Social Security/DMV section of our website.
You can begin work (and be paid) while you are waiting for your Social Security number to be issued. However, you must have applied for a Social Security number if you are employed in the U.S. or if you have received and plan to accept an offer of employment in the U.S.
International students must maintain a full course load at all times. For undergraduates, 12 units is full time and graduates must take 8 units. If you are in final term, please notify the International Center Advisor in which case you can take less than the required units.
Yes, you may register for an online class, but you may only register for one online class per semester.
If you need longer than the end date listed on your current I-20 or DS-2019 to complete your program, you must request an “Extension” of your I-20/DS-2019 to continue your studies. To do so, please visit the I-20 Extension page for instructions.
You must have evidence that you have sufficient funds to pay tuition and living expenses for one year.
To change your major, contact the major department to learn about its requirements for changing majors. Once your major is changed, request the International Center for an updated I-20.
You are required to report these changes within 10 days. If you are a current student, please update bronco direct with your new address. If you are on OPT, you can update the information at the link below.
If your immigration status is no longer sponsored by Cal Poly Pomona (such as F or J) it is your responsibility to notify the University of any change of status. To officially record your new status, the Office of the Registrar will need a copy of the approval form(s) you received from USCIS.
The U.S. Department of State Diversity Immigrant Program (green card lottery) enables randomly chosen people to obtain permanent residence in the United States. For Diversity Visa information updates, please check the U.S. Department of State's Diversity Visa Program page.
Please check with the "lost and found" desk or office in the building or department where you think you lost your passport. You should also contact campus police to report the stolen documents.
If your documents are never found, there are different procedures that you must follow to replace each one of the documents you lost:
- To replace your passport, you will need to contact your home country’s embassy or consulate in the U.S. and follow their instructions on what you need to do to obtain a new passport.
- You cannot replace your visa (a sticker with your photo placed in your passport) while in the U.S. Next time you leave the U.S., you will need to apply for a new visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. Fortunately, you do not have to have a visa in your passport while you are in the U.S., it is only required for travel.
- To replace your I-94 card, you can retrieve it from DHS.
- You can request a replacement of your I-20 or DS-2019 from our office.
- If you are an F-1 student on OPT, and your EAD card was lost/stolen as well, you will have to apply for a replacement card with USCIS. Check box for “Replacement of lost Employment Authorization Document” at the top of Form I-765.
Per USDA, bringing or mailing food, plants, animals, and other agricultural items from your home country may seem harmless, but without knowing it, you could also bring along a dangerous stowaway – an invasive pest. To keep invasive pests out of the United States, our country has laws that prohibit or restrict the entry of many agricultural products from other countries, including meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, soil, seeds, and some plant-based handicrafts, among other items.
To find out whether the food or agricultural products you’d like to bring to the United States are allowed, please visit USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Web site or contact APHIS at the numbers below.
- Plant and plant products, including fruits and vegetables Phone: (301) 851-2046; Toll free: (877) 770-5990 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Meats and other animal products, live animals, and animal by-products Phone: (301) 851-3300 Email: AskNCIE.Products@aphis.usda.gov