Compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
All F-1 and J-1 students and scholars are part of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) tracking and monitoring database. It is important that you understand what this means. Being a student or scholar with F-1 or J-1 status, you are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with the U.S. laws and regulations that apply to you. If you fail to do so, you could be deported from the United States and barred from returning for an extended period of time, thereby jeopardizing your academic career. We want you to successfully complete your program at the University of Cincinnati.
Your failure to be aware of and comply with these requirements could jeopardize your academic plans. It is extremely important that you read and fully understand this information.
Report Address Changes
You are required to report any address change to the University within 10 days of the address change. This includes address changes of any of your dependents as well. You can do by completing our Change of Local U.S. Address eForm at https://ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu. If you have any questions about reporting changes of address, please check out our change of address reporting FAQ page.
Get Authorization before Dropping Below a Full Course of Study
If you are a student you are required to pursue a full course of study during normal enrollment periods (Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters). The Reduced Courseload Certification must be completed prior to dropping below a full time status. Full time at the University of Cincinnati is 12 credit hours for undergraduate students or 10 credit hours for graduate students. You are allowed to deviate from this full course of study only with prior authorization from a UC International Services advisor, and only under very limited circumstances. You will need to complete a Reduced Courseload for Academic Reason eForm which can be found at https://ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu.
Report Departure Date and Reason
Sometimes, and for a variety of reasons, students and exchange visitors leave the University early or unexpectedly. Some of these reasons include early graduation, leave of absence, suspension, expulsion, or family emergencies. You are required to inform UC International Services if you plan to leave the University before the program completion date on your I-20 or DS-2019 immigration document and the reason for doing so. You can do this by completing the Departure Certification eForm at https://ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu.
Abide by Employment Regulations
Students may work no more than 20 hours per week on-campus while school is in session. These 20 hours include the work you do for your assistantship if you have one. You are not permitted to work off-campus without receiving prior authorization from the U.S. Federal Government and/or UC International Services depending upon your visa status type.
Employment possibilities are very limited. Scholars are permitted to work as stipulated on the DS-2019 for the University of Cincinnati or Children’s Hospital Medical Center. You are not permitted to work anywhere else while in the United States, this includes being paid for a lecture or speech, without written authorization from the UC International Services. If such opportunities arise, please schedule an appointment with a UC International Services advisor.
Report Transfers to Another School
You are currently authorized to study or conduct research at the University of Cincinnati. If you decide to study or work at another school in the U.S., you must notify UC International Services of your intent to transfer and what school you plan on transferring to. You can do this by completing a SEVIS Transfer Out eForm Request at https://ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu. UC International Services will then enter a "Release" date in SEVIS. After this date is reached, the new school can issue you a SEVIS I-20 or DS-2019. You will then have to report to the Designated School Official/Responsible Officer at the new school within 15 days of the program start date.
Apply for an Extension of Program
You must apply for an extension of your program prior to the expiration date on your Form I-20 or DS-2019 if you cannot complete your program by that date. Requests for extensions should be submitted prior to the expiration date of the Form I-20 or DS-2019 so the extension process can be completed prior to the expiration date on the document F-1 or J-1. Students must submit an Extension of I-20 or DS-2019 Document eForm at https://ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu. Research scholars must have their host departments submit the request for an extension.
When Changing your Academic Program or Degree Level
Students must obtain a new Form I-20 or DS-2019 before changing your academic program from one degree level to another (e.g., from Bachelor’s to Master’s level) or one major/field of study to another (e.g., from Chemical Engineering to Physics). You must receive a new I-20 or DS-2019 from a UC International Services advisor within 15 days of beginning the new program/degree level. Students must follow the instructions for the Notification of Change of Degree Level or Program of Study eForm found at https://ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu.
Get Authorization Before Traveling
You must notify UC International Services prior to traveling outside the U.S. so that the Form I-20 or DS-2019 can be endorsed for travel, or a new form can be issued, if required. Students and scholars must complete and submit a UC International Services Request for a Travel Signature eForm at least 5 days prior to the anticipated travel date, although you are strongly encouraged to submit the form even earlier. The form can be found at https://ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu.
Adhere to Your Grace Period
Your grace period depends on your visa classification. After the end-date on form DS-2019, a J-1 student has a 30-day grace period following completion of their program. After completing a program of study an F-1 student has a 60-day grace period. During the grace period, you are expected to depart the U.S., transfer to another institution (F-1 students only, J-1’s must transfer prior to starting a grace period), or change to another non-immigrant status (if eligible). Failure to adhere to the grace period requirement is a violation of status.
Provide Documentation of Your Dependents
You must notify UC International Services of any accompanying dependents in F-2 or J-2 status and provide biographical information (e.g., full name, address, country of birth, etc.) and immigration information (e.g., passport information, visa information, etc.) regarding those dependents using the UC International Services Add a New Dependent eForm found at https://ibearcatsglobal.uc.edu. Each dependent will then receive his/her own I-20 or DS-2019 to apply for the appropriate visa.
For More Information
This information is not exhaustive and is subject to change without notice. International students and scholars should contact the UC International Services office at 513-556-4278 with questions on any of the information presented above. To keep up with changes in immigration law and UC International Services policies, you need to be subscribed to our email listserv called "The Advisor".