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Students Studying Outside

Hayfield University
International Student Handbook 


450 W Holt Ave, Pomona, CA 91768
Tel: 909.671.4466
E-mail: /


  1. SEVIS


SEVIS is Student & Exchange Visitor Information System.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information (SEVIS) is a web-based system that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on F and M students in the United States and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools that enroll them. Hayfield University is responsible for keeping accurate records in SEVIS about the institution, its academic programs, and non immigrant students and their dependents. Your SEVIS ID number is printed on your I-20 form.

 Relevant Government Agencies


  • Department of Homeland Security(DHS)

  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS)

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE)

  • Customs and Border Protection(CBP)

  • Student and Exchange Visitor Program(SEVP)

  • Designated School Official(DSO)




International students are required by U.S. law to abide by immigration regulations throughout their stay in the U.S. F-1 non immigrant students are admitted to the U.S. for the sole purpose of being full-time students. Participation by students in any other activity in the U.S., from employment to vacation, is considered to be a benefit of maintaining status and is only allowable in accordance with strict Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations. Penalties for violations of immigration law can be severe and can include deportation and 10-year bars from re- entry to the U.S., so it is essential for students to understand their responsibilities. This handbook outlines several rules F-1 students MUST follow to maintain legal non immigrant student status and the documents they must have to enter the U.S. and remain here legally, but does not address all regulations relating to F-1 status nor immigration in general. It is the STUDENT who is responsible for knowing and abiding by all immigration rules and for maintaining legal F-1 non immigrant student status. Hayfield University is required by law to report information updates and violations of status to the government via the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), an electronic government tracking database, within 21 days of the change or violation. It is our desire that you will abide by the immigration regulations required to remain in the U.S. legally and complete your academic program.



Documentation of Legal F-1 Student Status


International students are typically admitted to the U.S. for "Duration of Status" (D/S). This means that they are allowed to remain in the U.S. for as long as they maintain legal F-1 student status, NOT necessarily for the length of time indicated on their visa and/or I-20. If you fail to follow all the F-1 regulations, your legal status in the U.S. expires on the day the violation occurs. If students complete their degree prior to the I-20 end date, their SEVIS records and I- 20 will be shortened to the last day of the completion term. For F-1 students in valid status, there is a “Grace Period” which gives F-1 students 60 days from the last day of the degree completion term to stay in the U.S. to pack up belongings, travel within the U.S., and depart the U.S. in a timely fashion.

Immigration Documents F-1 Students Must Keep


1)  Passport           2) I-20 3) I-901          4) US Entry Visa

5)  US Admission Stamp            6) I-94 Arrival/Departure Record


Documents that F-1 students MUST have while they are residing in the U.S. to remain legally present in valid non immigrant status are listed below (#1-6). They provide a history of your stay in the U.S. and you will need them if you apply for a change of status in the future. The office of International Student Affairs is required by immigration law to save records for only three years after students leave or complete their program.

  1. Passport: The passport is the legal identity document issued by your country of citizen- ship. It must be valid for 6 months into the future beyond your date of entry into the U.S. and must remain valid at all times while you are in the United States. The passport can usually be renewed through your embassy or through one of your consulates in the United States.

  2. I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non immigrant F-1 Student Status) :I-20 is a legal document issued by a U.S. school, through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) SEVIS database, as evidence that you have been accepted to a full course of study at the institution and have sufficient funds for the first year of the program. It is valid only for the period of time specified on the form and for the academic program at the school indicated on the I-20.You must present your I-20 to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to obtain a visa and to port of entry officials to enter the U.S. each time you travel abroad and return to the U.S in F-1 non immigrant student status. The expiration date on the I-20 or DS-2019 is just an estimate. Your SEVIS record and I-20 will be shortened if you complete your degree prior to the end date on your I-20. If you fail to follow all the F-1 regulations, your legal status in the U.S. expires on the day the violation occurs. Keep ALL of these and any other immigration documents for your records, even if you get new ones in the future. If any of the information on this documents changes, you MUST report the updated information to the office within 10 days of the change so a new document can be issued

  3. I-901(Fee Receipt) All Initial F-1 student must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee before they can apply for a visa to enter the United States as a student. F visa applicants will pay $350.

  4. US Entry Visa: request to enter the U.S. to engage in the activity associated with the visa type, that is, F-1. The entry visa may expire while you are in the U.S. You cannot and need not renew your U.S. visa while you are in the U.S.! If you travel outside the U.S. during your program, you will require a valid visa to re-enter the U.S. Remember, the visa does not indicate how long you are permitted to stay in the U.S. It is only an entry document. Your permission to stay ends once you complete your program of study (plus grace period) or when you fail to maintain legal F-1 student status

  5. US Admission Stamp: The stamp Customs& Border Protection(CBP) enters into your passport at the Port of Entry (POE) indicating 1) the date of entry into the U.S.; 2) visa status (F1 or F2); and the date your permission to stay in the U.S. expires. For F-1 visa holders, the expiration date should be written as D/S (duration of status), which implies the date of program completion (not always the same date as graduation, I-20 expiration, or visa expiration). So, D/S means that you can remain in the U.S. in your current immigration status until you finish your program as long as you maintain your F1 status and all of your other immigration documents are valid and up to date.Note: the expiration date of the status should be D/S, not actual calendar date. If your document indicates an actual calendar date, please contact the office for requesting correction.

  6. I-94 Arrival/Departure Record: record of your arrival in the U.S. The record is complete when you depart the U.S.; a new record is created after a new arrival.


Maintaining valid F-1 status during the duration of your program is your responsibility. ISA is here to advise you on how best to do that and you are encouraged to come to the ISA if you have any questions or concerns about how to stay in status. International Student Affairs with my passport, visa, I-94 and HU I-20 to show proof of my current F-1 visa status and complete the required "check-in" procedure at the beginning of each semester.



Students planning to take a temporary leave of absence from their academic program will need to notify ISA in advance so that appropriate reporting can be made to SEVIS. The SEVIS record of students on a temporary leave of absence who do not qualify for an academic reduced course load or medical reduced course load will be terminated for authorized early withdrawal (if the students inform the DSO of this need before withdrawing) and they will have 15 days to depart the U.S. A non immigrant student cannot remain in the United States in F-1 immigration status if s/he is not enrolled full-time in school. An F-1 student taking a temporary leave of absence must either:1) leave the U.S.;2)apply for a change of status to another immigration classification; or 3) transfer their SEVIS record to another school. F-2 dependents must also leave or apply for a change of status to another immigration classification if the F-1 student is taking a leave of absence. However, if the students withdraw from the school before program completion without informing the DSO, students ’SEVIS record will be terminated for unauthorized withdrawal which may delay or prevent future entry into the United States.



For Re-Entry to the U.S. after International Travel, travel with the following documents with you and have them in your possession, not in the suitcase. You must be enrolled full-time in the current semester and the next semester if enrollment is possible at the time of requesting a travel signature. F-students with valid status should be prepared to present the following documents when seeking reentry to the U.S. after a temporary absence, less than five months.

  1. Form I-20 with valid travel signature: A travel signature is generally valid for re-entry to the U.S. within 1 year of the signature date or until the end date on your I-20, whichever occurs first During OPT, the travel signature is only valid for re-entry to the U.S. within 6 months of the signature date

  2. Valid Passport: Must be valid for six months after the date of your reentry to the U.S. Passport may be renewed at your country’s embassy or consulate in the U.S. Valid U.S. Visa: Visa must be valid at the time of re-entry and allow for additional entries

  3. Current Financial Support Documents

   4. If you do not have your original receipt, you can print a confirmation of the payment Verification of Enrollment showing Full-time status   


    5.Travel within the U.S.: You are expected to carry your immigration documents with you when you travel within the U.S. You could be stopped by law                             

       enforcement officials and if you are unable to provide adequate documentation you could be detained while they verify your situation. This is more

       common at transportation centers (bus and train stations) and near the borders

6. Employment Opportunity

The U.S. government takes working illegally very seriously. F-1studentsareadmit- ted to the

U.S. to be full-time students and are not supposed to work, in general. For this reason, before coming to the United States, F-1 students must prove they have the financial ability (e.g., present bank statements) to pay for tuition and living expenses while studying. However, there are limited work opportunities available in the United States for F-1 students. If you decide that you want to work, the first step is always to talk with your designated school official (DSO). If your DSO knows you are working without permission, they must report it through SEVIS and your record can be terminated. That means that you will have to leave the United States immediately, and you may not be allowed to return.

For F-1 students, there are 4 main types of opportunities to work in the United States:

1 .On-Campus Employment

 On-campus employment is work that F-1 students whose status is Active in SEVIS status may apply for.On-campus employment is specific to work that takes place on campus or at an off-campus location that is affiliated with the school. Examples onOn-campus employment includes working at a university book store or cafeteria. Active F- 1 students may apply for on-campus employment up to 30 days before the start of classes. In order to apply, talk to your DSO. If approved, your DSO will provide you with a letter of approval. Take this letter from your DSO and a letter of approval from your employer to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). All students who wish to work must apply for a Social Security Number.If you participate in on-campus employment, you may not work more than 20 hours per week when school is in session. If you have additional questions, please visit the F- 1Student On-Campus page on

2. Off-campus employment:


Off-Campus Employment:is work that that takes place outside of a school campus. Off- campus employment is only available to F-1 students who have completed at least one full academic year of their program of study, and who have an economic hardship that qualifies for the Department of Homeland Security’s emergent circumstances.To apply for off-campus employment, you must explain your economic hard- ship situation and receive approval to work from your DSO. If your DSO deters- mines that the situation applies, he or she will recommend you and give you an updated Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Non immigrant Status." Once you have the new Form I-20, you must file a Form I-765, "Application for Employment Authorization," with USCIS within 30 days of receiving your recommendation.If USCIS approves you to work, they will send you a Form I-766, "Employment Authorization Document," (EAD) with the dates that you may work off-cam- pus. Please note that you cannot begin to work while the Form I-765 is pending with USCIS. If you are approved, you may work 20 hours per week when school is in session. As with on- campus employment, you must also apply for a SSN. Please see the F-1 Student Off- Campus resource page on for additional information.mmendation for employment.

3.Curricular Practical Training (CPT):

CPT is "Curricular Practical Training" and is temporary employment that the USCIS allows certain F-1 students to engage in so that they may gain practical experience in their field of study. CPT can only be authorized prior to your degree completion for a work experience that is in your major field of study and considered to be "an integral part of an established curriculum." The USCIS has defined CPT as "alternate work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum which is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school." CPT can be authorized for work (e.g., internship, job in your major field of study) that is part- time (20 or fewer hours per week) or full-time (over 20 hours per week) if you meet the CPT eligibility requirements and are in good academic standing.However, if you participate in 12 months or more of full-time CPT, you lose eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT) after you complete your studies. Participation in "part time" training programs does not affect your eligibility for OPT. In order to qualify for CPT, you must have completed one full academic year of study, unless you are a graduate student whose program requires immediate CPT. to apply for CPT, your DSO needs to authorize it in SEVIS and provide you with a Form I-20 indicating your reco

CPT Requirements

  1. To qualify for CPT you must be a degree-seeking student in valid F-1 status at the time you apply for CPT.

  2. You are currently enrolled full-time at HU.

  3. You must have been enrolled at Hayfield University as a full-time student for at least one academic year time enrollment.

  4. You maintain an on-campus presence through enrollment in at least one on-campus course requiring physical presence on campus even in your final semester.

  5. You are in good academic standing and meet the minimum GPA requirements of your degree program; Students who are suspended or on academic probation are not eligible for CPT.

  6. CPT must be related to the student's major area of study. This is not established by the location or type of business of the employer, but by the duties/ responsibilities you will be performing.

  7. You may engage in CPT only for the specified employer, location and period approved and recorded by the DSO in SEVIS. You must secure a written letter of offer from an employer offering work in your major field of study (not minor or previous major). The decision as to whether the work qualifies for CPT is made by the DSO.

  8. The duration of the CPT depends on the specific period granted by the DSO. The DSO may grant the student CPT in increments of six months, or until the expected date of employment completion, whichever is shorter. There is no cumulative maximum, but CPT can only be approved before completion of the academic subject, or program end date.

  9. In principle, CPT is to be kept for part-time (20 hours a week or less). Employment for 20 hours or less per week while you are enrolled for classes is considered “part time” CPT. The employment authorization printed on the 2nd page of your I-20 should therefore specify permission to engage in “part time ”training and you must be careful to limit your work to no more than 20 hours per week. Be careful to work no more than 20 hours per week.

  10. There is no cost for applying CPT.

Application Process

Obtain a job offer letter from your employer on company letterhead

Letter should indicate your name, the company name, job title, start date, end date, number of hours you will work each week, address of employment and name and contact information for your supervisor. It must be signed by your employer.

Employment start date should be at least 1 week from the day you submit your CPT request to International Student Affairs. If your requested employment start date is before the date ISA attempts to process your request, you will have to provide ISA with an email or letter from the employer indicating

  1. Your new start date and 2) that you have not worked for the employer without authorization.

  2. Take the completed CPT Request Form and your offer letter to the office of Student Affairs when you register the Field work program.

  3. Optional Practical Training (OPT)


Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a form of temporary employment that directly relates to your program of study. You can apply for OPT During your program of study, which is known as pre-completion OPT,

Or after you finish your program of study, known as post-completion OPT. In order to apply for OPT; F students must request approval from their DSO. A DSO makes this recommendation by endorsing a student's

Form I-20. Then the student must file the Form I-765 with USCIS, if Approved, USCIS will issue a Form I-766. You cannot begin to work until you receive your Employment Authorization Document from USCIS.

You can apply for 12 months of OPT attach education level, (i.e., you may Have 12 months of OPT at the bachelor’s level and another 12 months of OPT at the master’s level.)If you have additional OPT or CPT questions please visit,

OPT Requirements 

  1. To qualify for OPT you must be a degree-seeking student in valid F-1 status at the time you apply for CPT.

  2. You are currently enrolled full-time at HU in the semester in which you apply for OPT.

  3. You must have been enrolled at Hayfield University as a full-time student for at least one academic year (Fall & Spring semester of continuous full-ti

  4. enrollment) before OPT may begin.

  5. OPT must be directly related to your major area of study and this is not established by the location or type of business of the employer, but by the duties/responsibilities you will be performing.

  6. The total amount of OPT time permitted is 12 months initially, and cannot extend past 14 months of your program end date. You must complete OPT within a 14 month time period following the completion of the study.

  7. OPT is full-time (over 20 hours)

  8. OPT stops once you transfer to another school or begin your study at another educational level.

  9. Cost: $410

  10. It is best not to travel while the application is pending at USCIS. However, if you must leave the U.S., travel with the following documents: Receipt Notice (Form I-797), SEVIS I-20 with a travel endorsement on page 3, F-1 visa and passport and if you have a job offer, bring that too. OPT can take place only during your present educational level. Thus, if you have applied and been accepted for OPT in another school and transferred to another school at the same educational level, you are ineligible for OPT. You will be eligible for OPT when you change your educational level to a higher Level and complete the attendance requirements of one academic year.

When to Apply


PLAN AHEAD! Once the application is received by USCIS, processing could take 3-4 months before it is approved and work may only begin when you possess the Employment Authorization Document (EAD), otherwise called the OPT card. Electronic notification may not be used in lieu of the EAD card to begin work. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a small card with your photo, fingerprint, and signature and authorized dates of employment on it. It is issued by the USCIS. Your employer will need the EAD to hire you.

Application may be submitted as early as 90 days before your program completion date (or graduation) or your program completion date.

International Student Affairs recommends applying as early as possible, but no later than the following:

Apply at least 1 month before graduation to give International Student Affairs to process the I-20

Graduate students with no thesis: Apply at least one month before you finish all of your Course work and before graduation.

How to Maintain F-1 Status While on OPT


Remember you are still in F-1 status while on OPT and International Student Affairs has SEVIS reporting responsibility for your F-1 record

You must have the EAD (OPT card) in your possession BEFORE you begin work. You may only work during the dates listed on the EAD (OPT card).

You must be EMPLOYED (paid or unpaid) to maintain your status.

Accumulating 90 DAYS OF UNEMPLOYMENT means you are out of status and your SEVIS record may be terminated.

Unpaid employment is considered employment if it is reported, in your field of study, and consist of at least 20 hours per week.

Employment must be in the field of study indicated on the OPT I-20. Students with multiple majors must select 1 major for employment.

You must immediately report the following to International Student Affairs while on OPT:

  • Any name change

  • Any address change within 10 days after move

  • The name and address of your employer

  • Any interruptions in employment

  • Any days of unemployment

  • Any change of status to another category, e.g., H1B, etc., or to another program of study


OPT employment will automatically terminate when you transfer to a new program/school or begin a new level of study. Consult with International Student Affairs to plan the timing of the transfer and beginning of new levels of study. Do NOT leave the U.S. if you have a change of status pending.

Re-entering the U.S. while on OPT


Please carefully plan your travel and consult with International Student Affairs well in advance of your departure from the US. Re-entry to the U.S. while on OPT is allowed for “temporary absences” only. In order to re-enter the U.S. while on OPT, you must have your EAD in hand and proof of a job offer or employment.



If you leave the U.S. while on OPT, you must have proof of employment or a job offer in order to re-enter the U.S. You will also need to have a recent travel signature (within the last 6 months) from International Student Affairs on your I-20 before you travel. You should

Carry the following with you:


  • Our I-20, Signed for travel within the last 6months

  • The Employment Authorization Document(OPT card)

  • A valid passport

  • A valid F-1visa)

  • Proof of employment or job offer


If you are gone for more than 5 months while on OPT, even if you have a job offer, your Absence will not be considered “temporary” and you may be denied entry to the U.S. Do not travel if you have a change of status pending.



Transfer Out to another School


Your DSO will then work with you to choose a transfer release date, which is when the DSO at your transfer-in school takes responsibility for your SEVIS record.  Several factors go into selecting this date:


  • Academic needs

  • Travel and employment plans

  • Projected start date of your new program


Once your transfer release date arrives, the DSO at your previous school will not have access to your SEVIS record, and your new DSO can create a new Form I-20“, Certificate of Eligibility for Non immigrant (F-1) Student Status, for you. It is important to get a new Form I-20 (signed by your new DSO and you) as soon as possible. To maintain your status, register for classes and contact your new DSO within 15 days of the program start date listed on your new Form I-20. If you have arrived in the United States but want to transfer to a new  school before you begin classes at the school listed on your Form I-20, talk to the DSO at the school listed on that form. You need to inform the DSO that you have arrived in the United States and want to transfer immediately to another SEEP-certified school. You must show proof of acceptance to your new school. You must report to your new school and enroll in full course of study within 30 days of arriving in the United States.

  • Student's SEVIS record must be in Active status for at least two days before applying for an SSN.

  • DSOs are required to verify students ‘full-time enrollment

  • Student must wait at least 10 days from the date of entry into the U.S. to apply for an SSN.

  • Must have a proof of employment: obtain an employment letter Obtain the Social Securit Letter from the Director of International Student Affairs

  • Take your original I-20, passport with I-94, visa, employment letter, & social security letter with you to the SS office



  1. F-1 students may be admitted to the U.S. up to 30 days before the “report date or program start date “indicated in SEVIS and on Form I-20.


  1. 60-Day Post-Completion Grace Period an F-1 student may remain in the U.S. for up to 60 days beyond: the completion date on Form I-20, or the completion of the program of study, if earlier than the date on Form I-20 the completion date of any authorized optional practical training following. Completion of studies his time is intended to provide students with time to pack up belongings, travels within the U.S., and depart the U.S. in a timely fashion. No employment and travel abroad during this period. If they travel abroad, they will not be able to re-enter.


15-Day Grace Period After Authorized & Approved With drawls


  • An F-1 student who has been granted an authorized withdrawal by the Inter- national Student Affairs office may remain in the U.S. for up to15days following the with drawl reported in SEVIS to prepare to depart the U.S.

  • The regulations refer only to "preparation for departure" as an activity permissible during the 15-day period following with drawl authorized by the International Student Affairs office. No employment is permitted.


No Grace Period after Unauthorized With drawls or Terminations If student fails to maintain status; the student is not eligible for any grace period.

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