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Immigration Support

Immigration Support

F-1 Student Visa & I-20 Form

You need an original form I-20 to study in a full-time program in the U.S. Before you can apply for an F-1 student visa, you must qualify for an I-20.

The I-20 (also called a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status) is an official nonimmigrant document issued by UCR IEP to a student who has been accepted into a full-time program of study (18+ hours of instruction per week for language programs and 12+ units of enrollment for academic programs). All of our programs are full-time, except Conversation and American Culture, and certain custom programs.

If you are outside the U.S., you must apply for an F-1 (student) visa at your local U.S. embassy or consulate after you receive your acceptance packet and Form I-20.

If you are currently under any other visa type in the United States, please contact the UCR IEP Immigration Advising Office.

How To Receive an I-20

You must meet all admission criteria, show adequate proof of funding, and gain acceptance into one of our full-time programs. You can find a list of programs and the minimum amounts of funding below.

Once your I-20 has been issued, you will be mailed an acceptance packet via FedEx Express mail. There is no additional cost for mailing. If you would like your acceptance materials mailed to a different address or are requesting to pick up your acceptance materials, please contact the UCR IEP Admissions Office.

Funding Requirements

Before we can issue you an I-20, you must provide financial documentation showing you have sufficient funding for your program fees, and estimated living expenses while you study in the U.S.

Acceptable Types of Funding:

  • Bank Statement (Self) - Must list your full name as the account holder.
  • Bank Statement (Other) - Must list the full name of the person who will be sponsoring your education in the United States and also include a Statement of Financial Support endorsed by your sponsor. The Statement of Financial Support is valid for 6 months from the date of signature.
  • Letter from financial institution - must list the full name of the account holder, and contain an official signature, stamp or seal (Statement of Financial Support also needed if account is not in your name).
  • Proof of scholarship or government sponsorship - must list full name of student, be on letterhead, and contain an official signature, stamp or seal.

Not Acceptable Types of Funding:

  • Documents older than 6 months
  • Income statements
  • Funds not immediately accessible
  • Life insurance statements
  • Pension/Retirement funds
  • Tax returns

All Documents:

  • Must be dated within the past 6 months.
  • Must state required information in English (name, date, funding amount) or be accompanied by an English translation.
  • Must state currency used.
English Language Programs Funding Requirements
2-week English Program $2,300
4-week English Program $4,100
6-week English Program $5,800
10-week English $8,500
12-week English $9,500

 

University Preparation & Pathways  Funding Requirements
9-month Admission Preparation Program (APP) $42,900
9-month Graduate Preparation Program (GPP) $42,900
9-month Master's in Business Preparation Program (MBPP) $37,900
12-week University Credit Program (UCP) $11,300

 

Certificate, Diploma and
Master's Pathways
Funding Requirements

9-month Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) Program

  • Big Data Technologies
  • Bioengineering Management
  • Digital Marketing
  • Engineering Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Event Management
  • Leadership & Organizaitonal Excellence
  • Management
  • Project Management
  • Public Policy International Relations 
  • Tourism & Hospitality Management
  • Sports Management
  • Tourism & Hospitality Management
$31,100

12-month Postgraduate Diploma Program

  • Entertainment Media Management
$47,800
12-week Postgraduate Certificate Program (PGCM) $13,200
Professional Certificate in TESOL and TEFL (16 units) $11,800

Processing Times

IEP normally processes applications within one week from the date all required information has been received by IEP. Your I-20 and acceptance materials will be sent by FedEx express mail and will take approximately 3-5 days for delivery.

More questions? Contact UCR IEP Immigration Advising.

Transferring to UCR IEP from another school in the U.S.

If you are currently studying in the U.S.at another SEVIS-approved school, you may be able to eligible to transfer to UCR IEP. However, there are requirements you must meet to qualify for a transfer.

You must apply to UCR-IEP and gain acceptance like any other applicant. There can be no more than a five-month gap between your last day of classes or Optional Practical Training at your previous school and the start of your program at UCR-IEP.

UCR-IEP's SEVIS School Name is University of California, Riverside Extension and our school code is LOS214F01959000.

Important: UCR-IEP does not accept students transferring in Terminated or Completed status. Your SEVIS record must be in Active status to request a transfer. Please contact UCR IEP Immigration Advising if your current status is terminated or completed.

Bringing a Spouse and/or Child with You

The first step is to indicate on your application that you wish to bring dependents with you to the United States and submit copies of their passports for F-2 dependent I-20 issuance. Only the legal spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) are eligible to enter the United States in F-2 dependent status. All dependents must receive an F-2 dependent I-20 and apply for a dependent visa at a US consulate or embassy.

F-2 dependent spouses may study part-time in the United States, but are not permitted to enroll full-time or engage in any employment. F-2 children may study at the elementary and secondary levels (K-12th grade) and may also enroll full-time at a college or university until 21 years of age.

As you will be bringing your family, you must show proof of funding to cover their expenses. Add the appropriate amounts from the chart below, to the program amount you chose above for the total amount of funding you must show.

Dependent Expenses (only calculate for those coming to the U.S., if any)
Spouse $500 per month of your initial program.
Each Child $250 per month of your initial program.

(Example: Student studying Intensive English wishes to bring his wife and one child as F-2 dependents. He must show a funding amount of $1500.00 (spouse) and $750.00 (child) = $2250.00 in addition to the $8200.00 to cover the total funding of $10,450 for the initial three-month period.)

Please note: Other family members are not permitted to enter as F-2 dependents (siblings, parents, grandparents, etc.).

After you receive your I-20

Step 1. Obtain your Form I-20 and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online at www.fmjfee.com (This must be done before your visa appointment)

Step 2. Complete the DS-160 non-immigrant visa application at www.ceac.state.gov and be sure to print your confirmation page.

Step 3. Schedule your visa interview at www.usembassy.gov and pay the non-immigrant visa fee

Step 4. Prepare for your F-1 visa interview. Come prepared with all of the following materials to your interview:

  • DS-160 confirmation page
  • Visa fee payment receipt
  • Original, valid passport (not a copy) - passport must be valid (unexpired) for at least six months past program start date 
  • Photos for your visa
  • Original I-20 from UCR-Extension (not a copy)
  • School transcripts (if applicable)
  • Proof of financial funding

 

Helpful Tips: Bring photocopies of all of your documents, plan ahead, dress professionally, and speak to the consular officer with clear and simple answers. It is important to know why you are choosing UCR-IEP, what you hope to gain from the program, and what your future goals back in your home country are.

Wait times for a visa appointment vary greatly by consulate. Be sure to plan ahead and if you have visa delays, contact UCR-IEP as soon as possible. If your passport will expire soon, plan accordingly for a renewal.

If you have questions about the F-1 visa interview process, please contact UCR IEP Immigration Advising and we will try to assist you.

Working while I am in the U.S. on an F-1 (student) visa

The purpose of an F-1 visa is to study, not work. Full-time work is not allowed while you are enrolled full-time and studying on an F-1 visa.

Students may engage in part-time employment (20 hours or less) on-campus during their studies. No off-campus work is permitted without work authorization.

If you are enrolled for a full academic year (30 weeks of instructional time, 3 quarters, 9 months) and complete a certificate or diploma program, you may be eligible to apply for a benefit called Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) upon successful completion of your program. English language programs are not eligible for OPT.

An F-1 student who has successfully completed an academic year, as well as a certificate or diploma program through UCR-IEP can add valuable U.S. work experience through OPT.

The benefits of OPT include:

  • Acquiring skill sets vital to your career path
  • Ability to enhance your resume/curriculum vitae
  • Continuing to use and refine your English skills
  • Seeking full-time employment at a company in your field of study
  • Enjoying financial rewards
  • Networking with local employers and professionals
  • Working anywhere in the U.S.
  • Enriching future academic pursuits in graduate or professional schools (e.g., MBA)

OPT is your opportunity to work in a full-time salaried position for up to one year on your F-1 (student) visa.

OPT Application Process

UCR-IEP does not grant work authorization. OPT is only granted by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

OPT workshops are regularly offered by the IEP Immigration Advising staff each quarter. You will learn about:

  • Application procedures
  • Deadlines
  • USCIS requirements while on OPT

You should attend a workshop several months before your expected completion date. You will need to plan to apply for OPT early in your final quarter of academic study.

Working in the U.S. on OPT

Students can expand and enhance their experience in the U.S. by applying for, and being approved for, OPT. If approved by USCIS for OPT, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card. It's important you do not lose or damage your EAD card. You must keep it with you and you must be able to show it to your employer and to the Social Security Office for the duration of your OPT period.

Interested in learning more about OPT? Attend a workshop or contact the UCR IEP Immigration Advising office.

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