Transitions, Travel, and Taxes

T. Transitions, Travel, and Taxes

  • F-1 students intending to change schools must submit an EWU transfer out request. Please note you will need to submit an acceptance letter from the new school in addition to your transfer form. If you are transferring during the acadmeic term before you actually complete your program of studies, you must remain enrolled and attend classess until you actually transfer, or you will be out of status.
  • J-1 students wishing to transfer should discuss with program sponsor or ARO
  • F-1 students should request a new I-20 whenever you make a change in degree levels and/or declare/change/ add a major.  
  • Travel -- Obtain travel endorsement on Page 2 of your I-20 (page 3 of old format) or bottom of DS-2019 before leaving the U.S. if you will be returning in the same status to continue your program. The most recent signature should be no more than 1 year old on the day you return to the U.S. J-1 students must have the signature from the Program SPonor that issued the DS-2019 and may need additional steps please contact your OGI advisor for guidance as soon as possible.
    • Travel in the U.S.: Anyplace outside of the immediate campus area, you should carry at least a copy of your passport, I-94 information, and I-20 or DS-2019 to prove legal presence in the U.S.
    • Travel outside the U.S. with intention to return in same visa category, you need to bring:
      • Valid passport (valid for at least six months from the date you plan to re-enter the USA);
      • Visa for destination (if required) and valid visa for U.S. return in correct status (F-1/J-1);
      • Valid travel signature on I-20 DS-2019; ; and
      • Take proof of financial support, and other documents you may need to show that you are a serious student (transcripts, letter of enrollment from the Registrar’s office, previous I-20/DS-2019s etc.).
    • Bring I-20/DS-2019 to OGI at least 2 weeks in advance to request a signature, or as soon as you know you might be traveling.  You do not need to have specific travel plans to request a signature.
    • You must be maintaining your stuats in order for the immigration advisor to sign your document; your status has to be confirmed and validated before a DSO can sign, so signatures are rarely available on a same-day basis.
    • U.S. visas and extensions for U.S. visas are not available in the United States.  All U.S. visas must be obtained abroad.
    • If you are in valid status, are continuing your studies, and have an expired visa but want to go to Canada or Mexico or a few of the “adjacent islands” for less than 30 days, it is possible to use “automatic visa revalidation.”  Please come talk to us before trying it.  Adjacent islands eligible for this benefit are currently defined as Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Netherlands territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea, but NOT Cuba. If you apply for a visa on your trip, this nullifies the automatic revalidation benefit.
  • Completing Your Program at EWU:
    • Your program of studies does not end on your graduation date or at commencement, but on the last day of finals in your last quarter, or when you complete all program requirements.  Immigration advisors are required to “shorten” the program end dates in SEVIS for students who complete their stuies earlier than planned.
    • F-1 students who finish their program of studies have 60 days to apply for OPT (this may change in 2016), transfer, change level of study, apply for a change of status, or leave the U.S. If transferring, you must be enrolled in your new program within 5 months of completing your studies.
    • J-1 students have 30 days to leave the U.S. after completion of program or post-studies Academic Training employment
  • Completion of OPT period with less than 90 days of accumulated unemployment time–  you are permitted a 60 day grace period to transfer, change level of study, apply for change of status, or leave the U.S. If you are transferring, you must be enrolled in your new program within 5 onths of completing OPT.
  • F-1 Authorized early withdrawal (see OGI before withdrawing) -- F-1 students who complete the authorized early withdrawal are permitted a 15 day grace period to leave the U.S.  Authorized early withdrawal may be used by F-1 students both for permanent withdrawal from EWU or when a leave of absence outside the U.S. is needed and a vacation term is not available. Students wishing to return from a leave of absence should contact a DSO as soon as possible, as government reactivation of immigration records can be time-consuming.
  • J-1 Authorized early withdrawal (see OGI before withdrawing) -- J-1 students who need to withdraw early are not permitted a “grace period” under the regulations, so it is important to coordinate with your immigration advisor and/or Program Sponsor on the date of your withdrawal and departure from the U.S.
  • Unauthorized withdrawel -- Students who withdraw from classes without authorization must leave the U.S. immediately. Complete an authorized withdrawal process if leaving EWU permanently whether or not you have completed your studies.
  • Notify OGI when you finish your academic program (completing your studies is the end of your program, no matter what the end date on your I-20 or DS-2019 says).  Your SEVIS record will be updated to reflect your correct end date.
  • Taxes -- All individuals present in the U.S. during a calendar year must submit tax information to the U.S. government for that year, whether or not you have been employed.  OGI offers a tax workshop each February or March to help students fill out this paperwork, and provides free access to tax software designed for nonimmigrants; however, you are responsible for filing your tax forms each year. You will be sujbect to the tax filing requirement even after program/degree completion and departure from the U.S. Access codes to the software will be sent to your Eagles email address when available the next spring.