Student HUB


Visa Status

Maintaining Your Visa Status

Your immigration status is just that – your responsibility. Take ownership of this important responsibility.

It is important for you understand your responsibilities as an international student on a non-immigrant visa. Upon initial arrival to campus, you must check-in with International Student Development (located on the second floor of Walvoord) so we may register your Form I-20 and activate your immigration record.

Here are a few other basic requirements to maintain your immigration status:

Visa Violations

With immigration, it is important to remember many decisions are outside of our control as a seminary. If a DSO learns you have violated your immigration status in any way, he our she must take appropriate action, which may include the termination of your Form I-20.

Common termination reasons include:

  • Failure to request program extension before program end date
  • Failure to maintain active full-time enrollment
  • Failure to make “satisfactory academic progress”
  • Working without authorization

If you go “out of status,” inform International Student Development staff immediately to discuss your options for regaining status. We will do everything we can to support you, but please help us by always reading and responding to emails!

Most issues can be resolved with your cooperation.

Travel Documents

International students are permitted to travel outside the US as long as the student has the appropriate documents and has received travel signatures from a DSO. Please have the following documents when planning to leave the US. Remember,  DO NOT LEAVE THE US WITHOUT THIS SIGNATURE!

You must have a valid passport at all times when studying in the US. As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel. 

You must have your I-20 each time you enter the US.

Please don’t forget the I-20 should be re-signed by the International Student Office staff each year for international travel. DO NOT LEAVE THE US WITHOUT THIS SIGNATURE! If your I-20 is not signed, you may not be permitted to re-enter the US. 

If you requested OPT, but have not received approval from the USCIS, travel is not recommended. Leaving the US during this period may cause you to forfeit your OPT request.  

The visa is the travel document required to enter the US.  Even if the visa expires while you are in the US, this is not a problem and does not mean you are out of status.  The visa is only used to enter the US. However, we recommend that you keep a current visa throughout the duration of your studies.

If your visa has expired and you plan to travel outside the US, you will need to get a new visa before entering the US. This can be done from your home country by having a visa interview. Please check with the local consulate in your home country to determine what you need to do to receive a new visa.

If your visa is expired and you plan to visit a country other than your home country, please contact the international office. 

The I-94 is the record you have entered the US.  In addition, it lists the immigration status and confirms you may stay in the US until you finish your program.

  • Please visit to access your I-94
  • If you are having issues accessing your I-94, please make sure you are typing your name exactly as it appears on your visa.  At times, CBP accidentally transposes the passport number and the visa foil number.  You may need to type in the visa foil number in place of the passport number.

Each time you re-enter the US, please bring a printed copy of your most recent I-94 stamp to the international office. 


All international students are eligible for a total of 20 hours per week of on-campus employment during the fall and spring semester. If you have multiple on-campus jobs (such as grading for multiple professors), you must make sure your total hours from both jobs combined cannot exceed 20 hours per week.

International students may work additional hours during official school breaks such as

  • Reading Week
  • Thanksgiving Week
  • Christmas Break (between semesters)
  • Spring Break
  • Summer Session

*Please Note: WEC Week is not an academic break – the 20 hours per week cap still applies during that period.

Read more under Employment Guidelines