Newly Admitted Students
Congratulations on your acceptance to St. Thomas University. We look forward in welcoming you to STU in the coming weeks!
An F-1 student is a nonimmigrant who is in pursuit of a “full course of study” to attain a specific educational objective at an academic institution in the United States that has been designated and certified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Once the objective has been attained, the F-1 student is expected by the U.S. government to return to his or her home country.
Who can obtain an F-1 visa?
A non-immigrant may obtain F-1 student status using Form I-20 issued by a DHS approved academic institution. There are two ways for non-immigrant to obtain F-1;
- If outside of the U.S., by entering the country with the I-20 and F-1 visa issued and obtained at a U.S. embassy or consulate (Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirement).
- If the student is already in the U.S. and does not wish to travel abroad and re-enter with a new status, the student may apply for a change of nonimmigrant status with USCIS.
- Note: Students requesting a change of nonimmigrant status from B-1 to F-1 will not be allowed to attend classes until the change of status has been approved by USCIS.
Obtain an I-20
The Form I-20 is issued by the U.S. school you will attend and allows you to:
- Apply for an F-1;
- Enter/re-enter the U.S. to pursue your program of study; and
- Receive specific immigration benefits.
CLICK HERE to see what documents are missing from your admissions file. Missing admissions documents may delay the issuance of your I-20.
International Students fully admitted to St. Thomas University will receive in the admissions packet an I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Students) along with the Pre-arrival information brochure. This brochure will guide you through every stage of your arrival process.
What is a School Transfer?
In accordance with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), a “school transfer” is the process that allows an international student to leave one U.S. institution (before or after program completion) to attend another U.S. institution. A school transfer, with regard to immigration, does not refer to the transfer of academic credits or records between institutions.
- F-1 students: must request the transfer no later than 60 days after their current program end date.
Students in F-1 status is eligible to transfer to or from St. Thomas University if they:
- Have been fully admitted to St. Thomas University.
- Are maintaining current non-immigrant status;
- Are currently enrolled full-time, between semesters, or participating in approved OPT/academic training.
- The new program at STU will begin within 5 months of after your current F-1 program end date.
Transfer to St. Thomas University
- Student is admitted to St. Thomas and receives the following from the Office of admissions:
- Student informs current International Student Advisor of intent to transfer to St. Thomas University
- Your current International Student Advisor releases your SEVIS record to STU as soon as possible. The release date will probably be the end date of your current school’s academic session. STUS’s F-1 school code is MIA214F00988000.
- Once the release date has passed, STU will have access to your SEVIS records we can issue a transfer I-20 (F-1). You will keep the same SEVIS number.
Visa & Pre-Arrival Information
All new F-1 international students are required to report to ISSS within 15 days of their program start date. Failure to complete check-in may result in the termination of your SEVIS record and loss of your F-1 status. Please remember all students are also required to attend their assigned mandatory orientation.
To complete the SEVIS Check-in, you must report at the International Student and Scholar Services office after you have registered for classes.
You must bring in person the following documents with you:
- Photocopy of the F-1 visa (Canadian citizens exempt)
- STU I-20
- Printed Form I-94 (accessible online)
- Proof of class registration
You must also update your local (U.S. residential address) and permanent home country address in your student (MyBobcat) portal.
New Student Orientation: The St. Thomas Experience is designed for first time undergraduate students or transfer students. To reserve your St. Thomas Experience Spot, please access this link.
International Student Orientation: is required for new and transfer international students. This orientation covers immigration regulations and many topics that will help you get acquainted with the campus and life in the United States. The date, time and location for this orientation can be found in the letter you received from our office included in your admissions packet. A reminder will be sent to your STU e-mail a week before the orientation.