If you earned your bachelor’s degree or equivalent outside the United States, in addition to all required application documents, you must submit:
An official evaluation (in a sealed envelope) from a foreign credential evaluation service confirming that the foreign degree earned is equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate. Students must order this evaluation independently. Below are two recommended resources (not affiliated with Tai Sophia) for credential evaluation services.
- National Association of Credential Evaluation Services
- World Education Service
Phone: 212-966-6311 Web: www.wes.org
The Institute is authorized under U.S. law to enroll non-resident alien students. Tai Sophia Institute requires that all applicants who intend to hold F-1 student visa status while enrolled in a program submit a financial statement to determine eligibility to receive an I-20 Form. In order to receive the I-20, applicants must be able to support themselves or be able to receive financial support from a sponsor.
When considering study in the United States, applicants should carefully consider how they will support themselves financially. Students should not expect to support themselves through employment, as immigration laws limit employment for international students. Additionally, Tai Sophia is not responsible for changes in students’ financial circumstances while enrolled. Applicants must complete and return the I-20 Application Form along with a current bank statement providing evidence of the required funds. Applicants with dependents who will apply for F-2 visas must also provide proof of financial support for their dependents as well.
Individuals already in the United States who are applying for admission must present proof of a valid passport, visa stamp page and I-94 arrival/departure card, and any other document that may involve the student’s current visa status.
Maintaining Legal F-1 Status
As an international student, it is essential that you adhere to the Department of Homeland Security regulations that govern your status. This is your individual responsibility of which you must be aware and for which you are accountable. Please be advised that these policies are enforced and that ignorance of the law is not considered an excuse for
non-compliance. Therefore, it is essential that you maintain your legal F-1 status. The following is provided solely for informational purposes:
- Ensure that your passport is valid at all times. Contact your embassy regarding extension issues at least six months prior to your passport expiration date (www.embassy.org).
- Students must be registered for a full course load in each trimester to maintain F-1 status.
- Should you move to another address, ensure that the registrar’s office is notified in writing within 10 days of the move.
- Should you leave the U.S., make sure the F-1 visa in your passport is valid. If this is not the case, you must apply for a new one overseas before attempting to re-enter the U.S. (see Department of State Visa Services). Make an appointment with the associate vice president for student services and registrar to have your I-20 endorsed for travel before departing from the United States.
- F-1 students are not permitted to work.
- Should you change your program or need an extension of time to complete the program, you must apply for an extension, one month before your I-20 expires.
- New students with a Form I-20 are required to pay the SEVIS fee, which is non-refundable (subject to change). This is a separate fee paid to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program in the Department of Homeland Security. You can fill in the Form I-901 online at www.fmjfee.com. For more information on the SEVIS I-901 non-refundable fee, please visit http://www.ice.gov/graphics/sevis/i901.
In December 2003, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implemented a new system for recording information on international visitors entering and exiting the U.S. As part of this initiative, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) was implemented and administered by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which is a division of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and considered the largest investigative division of the Department of Homeland Security. SEVIS is a centralized and automated web-based information system that manages and maintains data for international students and exchange visitors who are studying in the United States and their dependents. We do realize this is an involved process and have provided the SEVIS information and website (http://www.ice.gov ) to assist you in learning more about this process.