United States Department of Homeland Security regulations require all international students coming for Summer Sessions to obtain an F-1 student visa. F-1 students are required to be enrolled full-time throughout the entire period of study. Enrollment in 8 (eight) units or more per six weeks of Summer Sessions classes is considered full-time.
IMPORTANT: In order to guarantee the timely processing of your documents, the I-20 request must be completed NO LATER than May 15th for Session A and June 15th for Session C. Requests made after that date may not be processed in time for consular appointments and legal entry into the United States.
NEW I-20 REQUEST PROCESS
If you have never had an F-1 Visa, or you have been outside the U.S. for more than 5 months, you will be required to obtain an I-20 from UCLA and apply for an F-1 Visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to you.
After you complete the registration form and are confirmed enrolled in at least 8 units on URSA, you will be sent an e-mail wtih the link to the I-20 Requset form. This online form will allow you to upload your documents and communicate with our office regarding your I-20. Please note that it can take 2-3 business days to receive this e-mail and you will not be able to access the link until the e-mail has been sent to you directly.
Important note about E-mail Notifications!:
As a summer student at UCLA you will be assigned a .ucla.edu e-mail address. In URSA you will be asked to select a defualt e-mail for notifications from our office and the university. If you choose the UCLA e-mail as your default you will need to activate the account immediately after completing URSA registration by going to www.mail.ucla.edu to ensure that all e-mails are received. Any e-mails sent to this account before it is activated will be lost.
Below are the documents you will need to have prepared. All documents should be electronically scanned and saved in digital format to be uploaded via the online I-20 Request. They will not be accepted via e-mail, fax or regular mail!
A scanned copy of the biographical page in your passport that shows your full name, passport number, birth date, expiration date and photograph
Confidential Financial Statement (CFS) and proof of sufficient funds
You will need to complete the Confidential Financial Statement (CFS) and either have it stamped by a bank official or submit additional documents such as a bank statement or letter from the bank showing available funds.
Proof of English Proficiency
We require one of the following to prove your English proficiency:
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) minimum score of 550 paper-based test; 213 for the computer-based test; 79 for the internet-based test
TRANSFER I-20 PROCESS
(For students who are currently in the U.S., please consult with your F-1 Advisor to find out if this is the best option for you)
You will need to request a transfer I-20 if you are currently in the U.S. with an F-1 Visa and:
- You will be graduating from your university or high school before the Summer Session and you will not apply for OPT
- You will be permanently leaving the U.S. following the summer at UCLA
- Your I-20 has a program end date that expires before or during the Summer Session
- Your current program is ending and you will start at a new school in the fall
Upon completing the registration form and enrolling in 8 or more units, you will receive an e-mail prompting you to complete the I-20 request. You will need to provide your SEVIS number and program end date. You will also need to contact your F-1 Advisor at your current school and request that they release your SEVIS record to UCLA Summer Sessions. Your transfer I-20 will not be issued until after the program has ended and your advisor has released your record to us.
CURRENT F-1 VISA HOLDERS
You won’t need to obtain an additional F-1 visa to attend UCLA Summer Sessions if you already hold an F-1 visa and I-20 at another U.S. school AND you plan to continue your studies at your current school. You can register as a regular visiting student. There are no unit requirements and you won’t be required to complete the I-20 request form or upload any documents.
GETTING YOUR F-1 VISA
- In most cases, you will need to wait until you have received the I-20 form in the mail to make an appointment at the U.S. Embassy.
- To apply for the F1 visa, first register with SEVIS and make your payment at www.fmjfee.com at least 3 days before your visa interview.
- Students from Canada are NOT required to visit the U.S. Embassy, but ARE required to complete the I-20 request, pay the SEVIS fee and have it recorded before arriving at a U.S. Port of Entry.
- Please have the paper receipt from your electronic SEVIS fee payment available at the time of entry into the U.S. and at your interview appointment.
OVERVIEW OF DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS) REGULATIONS
To maintain legal F-1 student status at UCLA, you are required to:
- Complete the mandatory check-in procedure. (Orientation)
- Maintain full-time enrollment (8 units per six-week session) and earn a passing grade in all your courses. All courses must be taken for credit.
- Purchase health insurance for the duration of your studies.
- Conform to regulations for travel outside of the U.S. and keep your passport valid for six months beyond the summer sessions program.
- Accept no off-campus employment without written permission from the Department of Homeland Security; work no more than twenty hours per week on campus while attending school on a full-time basis.
- Notify the Dashew International Office before you transfer to another U.S. school.
- Leave the U.S. or transfer to another U.S. school within sixty days after the completion of your program.
In order to comply with Department of Homeland Security regulations for F-1 student visa holders, you must complete at least 8 units per 6-week period of study. If for some medical or emergency reason you are unable to attend full-time study, you must contact an advisor at the International Education Office (1332 Murphy Hall) immediately. In exceptional and rare circumstances an advisor can approve a course load of fewer than 8- units if you have an illness or other medical condition (substantiated by a physician's statement).
To protect students from the high cost of health care in the United States, UCLA automatically enrolls all registered international students in a two-part health insurance plan. Plans are outlined further at http://www.summer.ucla.edu/International/healthinsurance.htm
Temporary Travel outside the U.S.
If you plan to travel outside of the U.S., you must meet with an advisor two weeks before you plan to leave, in order to have your I-20 signed. The advisor will review your enrollment, I-20 and passport to make sure that you will be allowed to re-enter the U.S. Travel signatures will only be issued to current, full-time students. Please note that once you have completed your courses, you will not be eligible to receive a travel signature. All traveling outside of the United States should be done prior to completion of study.
As an F-1 student, you are eligible to work on campus for up to 20 hours per week. To apply for on-campus employment, visit the ASUCLA site were you can browse for current job openings. If a department is hiring and is interested in you, a representative will contact you for an interview. You will need to have a social security card in order to get paid for your work. If you do not have this card, please contact an internaitonal advisor for information on how to apply for one. Summer positions are limited. You should not rely on employment to fund your session at UCLA.
Transferring Out of UCLA
If you are transferring to another school after you complete your studies at UCLA Summer Sessions, you must make an appointment with an adviser at the Dashew International Office. Contact the Dashew International Office at email@example.com before transferring to another school in the U.S. An adviser will check your courses and your status and release your SEVIS record to the new school. You must make this transfer within 60 days after the program end date on your I-20. Please complete the SEVIS Transfer Out Request before going into see an advisor.
Preparing to Leave the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security requires you to leave the U.S. within 60 days of your program completion date. You may use this time for travel within the U.S., but you must not stay in the U.S. beyond the 60-day period.
Example: Your last day of study in Session A is August 1. You have 60 days, until October 1, to leave the U.S. From August 1 to October 1 you may travel within the U.S. but you may not travel to another country (including Canada and Mexico) and return to the U.S.
COMMONLY USED IMMIGRATION TERMS
Department of Homeland Security
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is responsible for administering and enforcing the regulations related to immigration and non-immigration policies.
The Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant (F-1) Student Status. This document is evidence of your admission to the school which issued the I-20. It is issued so that you can apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Your I-20 is proof of your status and should be kept with your passport.
- F-1 Visa
A Non-Immigrant student visa. This is an entry visa issued to "bona fide students qualified to pursue a full course of study" at an academic or language institution authorized to admit international students. The visa is issued at a U.S. embassy or consulate. It indicates the date of issue and date of expiration. If you have not yet completed your program and the visa has already expired, you do not have to renew it until you leave the U.S. and plan to return. F-1 visas are not renewed within the U.S.
- B1/B2 Visa
The visitor's visa for business (B1) or pleasure (B2). (UCLA will not accept students with this visa category. Make sure you apply for the F-1 visa if you want to take classes during the summer).
- I-94 Card
The arrival/departure document in your passport, commonly known as the "white card" . This is issued at the port of entry when you present your I-20 to the Department of Homeland Security officer. The arrival portion is kept by Department of Homeland Security and the departure portion is stapled on the F-1 visa page in your passport to show your status. It is important not to lose this card as it must be returned to customs upon leaving the U.S. at the end of your program.
Duration of Status. This is written by Department of Homeland Security on the I-94 card and indicates that your stay is valid for the duration of your program and as long as you attend school on a full-time basis.
Visa waiver (green I-94). This I-94 does not allow you to attend school on a full-time basis or remain in the U.S. past the date indicated on the card.
- In Status
You are considered "in status" if you are attending school on a full-time basis. For UCLA Summer Sessions this means eight units per six week session, making satisfactory progress toward completing the coursework and keeping your health insurance current.
- Out of Status
When you fail to meet F-1 visa requirements, for example, by attending school less than full-time, you are considered out of status and may lose your right to study at UCLA or to stay in the United States.
To return to F-1 student status, you may apply for reinstatement, a procedure whereby you will be required to explain to an Department of Homeland Security officer why you failed to comply with the F-1 regulations.