WELCOME NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS!
UTSA welcomed 189 new international students this spring semester. International Student Services and the Office of International Programs are here to assist you to be successful at UTSA.
International Student Services provides support for visa-related issues. If you have questions, you can visit our website or call us and speak to an international student advisor.
International student advisors are available:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday & Friday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
To maintain your visa status, F-1/J-1 visa students must be registered full time. Full-time enrollment for undergraduate students is 12 credit hours. It is 9 credit hours for graduate students. Remember, only one online course is counted toward the full-time requirement each semester.
F-1/J-1 visa regulations state that students must make normal progress toward completing their course of study by the program end date noted on the Form I-20/DS-2019. It is important that you meet with your academic advisor every semester to learn about your degree requirements and update your degree plan.
KEEP YOUR LOCAL ADDRESS CURRENT
Remember to keep International Student Services informed using our online Change of Address form of any change of residential address. This is a requirement under U.S. immigration law. F-1/J-1 visa students must report any change of residential address to International Student Services within 10 days of the change.
International Student Services and UTSA Enrollment Services use two different databases to track local addresses: International Student Services uses a database that is linked to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and UTSA Enrollment Services uses ASAP to track local addresses.
When reporting a change of address, it is important that you update your address in both systems: International Student Services and ASAP!
CHECK YOUR EMAIL
International Student Services often emails students asking for information or calling for some action to maintain their visa status. Some students do not respond to our emails until it is too late. Please check your email frequently, so that you will not jeopardize your visa status. Be sure that we have your correct email address.
When you change your email address, you also should report the new email address to International Student Services, so you do not miss important notices. You can update your email through our online Change of Address form.
EMPLOYMENT AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT
F-1/J-1 visa students are allowed to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week. While working on campus can be a great opportunity to learn English and immerse yourself in American culture while obtaining work experience, it also can take up your time to study and be physically exhausting. Be sure to manage your time successfully. To find an on-campus job, visit the Career Center website. A student holding a visa other than F-1/J-1 visas should check his or her eligibility to work in the United States.
OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING WORKSHOP
All F-1 visa students who are expected to graduate this semester are invited to Optional Practical Training workshops. The workshop schedule is on our website. Register now!
Federal law requires all visa holders ─including visa holders who do not earn money in the U.S.─ to file income tax forms.
The deadline to file income tax forms for those who had income in the year of 2013 is April 15, 2014, and for those who had no income June 15, 2014. Christine Bodily from the UTSA Payroll Office will provide a tax workshop for international students and J-1 scholars. She will explain the basics of filing taxes and answer your questions. The workshop will be held at the University Center Retama Auditorium at 2 p.m. on February 27, 2014.
SPRING BREAK TRAVEL
Spring Break 2014 will be March 10 through March 15. If you are F-1 or J-1 visa students and you are planning to travel outside the United States during Spring Break, remember to get a travel signature on your I-20/DS-2019 form before you depart.
Request a travel signature at least one week before your travel plans start. International Student Services will take up to two business days to process your request.
The Customs and Border Protection officers at the airport and border towns may not admit you if your I-20/DS-2019 is not signed. Make sure you have all of your original immigration documents with you even when you travel inside the United States.Be sure to bring:
- I-20/DS-2019 with recent travel signature from an international student advisor
- Approval notice from USCIS, if it is available