Passport & Visa Questions
I noticed that my passport has already expired. What should I do?
Contact your embassy or consulate for instructions on applying for passport renewal. Not all countries have a consular office in Boston. You may need to contact a consulate in New York or in other parts of the U.S., or an embassy in Washington D.C.
The renewal procedure may take a few weeks or a few months, depending on the policies of your government. Also your consular office may require you to provide information such as proof of your enrollment at Fisher (you may request Proof of Full-Time Study at CIPS) or official transcript (you may request at the Registrar's Office)
My passport was stolen or lost! What should I do?
You should contact the local police and/or Fisher Campus Police and ask them to file a police report. If the passport was stolen or lost on campus, you MUST contact Fisher Campus Police. This is important because some consular offices may require a copy of the police report when they issue a replacement passport.
I lost my passport and I-94 card. What should I do?
You should contact the embassy of your home country in Washington D.C to report the loss and request a new passport. To replace your I-94 card, you need to file Form I-102 at CIPS and send it to USCIS with the appropriate fee.
How can I get a replacement for my I-20?
You can request a replacement at CIPS. You will be asked to complete a Lost/Stolen I-20 Form. It takes up to 5 business days to process this.
What should I do if my visa stamp has already expired? Can I travel and re-enter as a tourist?
If you are currently staying in the U.S. on an F-1 student visa to study full-time, DO NOT re-enter on the B-1/B-2 Visitor visa or Visa Waiver program. If you need to travel and your visa has already expired, refer to the section on applying for a visa.
My visa expired. Do I have to renew it?
You will need to renew it only if and when you travel outside the United States and intend to return to resume your program of study.
I have a valid visa in my old passport, but I have a new passport. Can I still use my visa?
Yes, you can use your valid visa in your old passport. When you travel, you must carry both your new passport, and the old one that has the valid visa stamp. If you are required to return your old passport when you get a new one, you will have to apply for a new visa before you return to the U.S. You should confirm your home country and U.S. requirements as they apply to your country of citizenship.
Can I renew my visa without leaving the United States?
No. Visas can only be obtained and renewed outside the U.S. Visas usually must be renewed in the student's home country. Visa renewal applications filed in a "third country" (outside of your country of permanent residence) are not recommended.
About the I-20 and DS-2019
Can my parents be included in my I-20?
No. Only spouses and dependent children are eligible for F-2 nonimmigrant visa status.
If I decide to change my major, do I need a new I-20?
Yes. Your documents should always reflect the program in which you are currently enrolled. Hence, you should obtain a new form from CIPS every time you change majors or academic levels.
About OPT and Work
When can I apply for Optional Practical Training?
You may apply as early as 90 days before you complete your requirements (last date of finals). Your practical training must begin within 60 days after you complete your academic requirements.
How long does it take to process Optional Practical Training?
Usually it takes 2 months for USCIS to process applications for OPT. However, in the peak periods in December and May it may take as long as 12 weeks to receive authorization from USCIS.
Can I work on campus?
Yes, you may, if you are in valid F-1 status and have the proper approval/authorization from CIPS. On campus employment is incidental to your status, but you cannot work more than 20 hours during the academic year. You may work more than 20 hours during authorized vacation periods.
Where can I find a part-time job on campus?
Please see our Career Services Office.
I want to bring my family members to stay with me in the U.S. What should I do?
Please contact CIPS about the issuance of appropriate documents for your family once you show proof that you will be able to support them, as required by federal regulations.
Can my wife/husband work when they are in US?
Spouses in F-2 status cannot work under any circumstances.