Immigration regulations

It is important that you understand and follow the immigration regulations below. Please consult the Office of International Student Success and Global Engagement (ISS&GE) if you have any questions or concerns:

Full-time enrollment

F-1 students must maintain full-time enrollment each fall and spring semester (and summer if it is your first or last term at Marian University). Full-time is considered at least 12 credits for undergraduates and at least 9 credits for graduate students. You may be able to be under enrolled, with approval from ISS&GE, if you are experiencing academic difficulties, a medical condition, or if it is your final term. Please reference the reduced course load webpage for additional information and consult the Office of International Programs BEFORE your drop any classes.​ ​

Valid passport

Make sure your passport is valid at all times. To renew your passport while in the United States, you need to contact your local embassy or consulate.​ If you plan to travel, please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended entry date; otherwise, you may not be readmitted to the U.S.

Travel signature

You must have a valid travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019 in order to return to the United States. We recommend you obtain a travel signature every six (6) months that you travel. The travel signature can be used multiple times; there is no need for a new travel signature for each trip. Please come to ISS&GE at least one week before you travel to obtain a signature. DO NOT wait until the day of travel to get a new signature.​ For guidelines on travel, please see our travel webpage.

U.S. address

F-1 and J-1 students must report any change of address within ten (10) days of making that change. Please contact the Office of the Registrar for a change of address form and inform ISS&GE of your new address as well. Be sure to update us with your phone number, personal email, and emergency contact should they change as well. ​

Completion of academic program

F-1 and J-1 students are expected to complete their academic program by the end date shown on their I-20 or DS-2019. If you plan to depart the United States after you complete your studies, F-1 students can remain in the country no more than 60 days after the program end date on your I-20. For J-1 students, there is a 30 day grace period. Contact ISS&GE well in advance of that end date if:

  • You need additional time to complete your program.

  • You plan to apply for optional practical training (OPT) upon program completion (F-1) or apply for  J-1 academic training.

  • You plan to enroll in another degree program either at Marian University or transfer to another U.S. school.

  • If you will not complete your degree by the end date noted on your immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019), you must inform ISS&GE at least two weeks prior to the end date so you can request an extension. Extensions cannot be given after the expiration date.

​I-94 arrival/departure record

You should check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s I-94 website each time you return to the United States to make sure your arrival and departure history is accurate. A copy of your I-94 record is needed when applying for a Social Security Number or a Driver’s License.


If you are in F-1 or J-1 status and a non-resident for tax purposes, you are required to file Form 8843 if you were present in the United States for any amount of time in the previous calendar year. For example, if you were in the United States for any amount of time in the prior year, you must complete the Form 8843 and mail it to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the deadline, typically June 15.

If you had any U.S.-sourced income, you may also be required to complete the Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ. This form is due typically on April 15.

We recommend you use a software to assist you with the document-filing process. There are various software options available, such as GLACIER Tax Prep and Sprintax. Marian University has purchased user codes for the GLACIER Tax Prep system and more information will be available in February.

Marian University does not endorse any specific software plan, and more are available beyond the ones listed above. We do recommend, however, that you use one that specifically helps non-resident aliens as they are built according to their unique tax laws and treaties.

Unfortunately, tax scams are ubiquitous. Never give personal information, such as immigration or banking information, on the phone or via email to people who claim to be at the IRS. More information about the scams and how to handle them are found on the IRS website.

Marian University does not have tax experts and therefore cannot, by law, answer specific tax questions. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to meet your tax obligations.

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