International Student FAQs
Is University of the Cumberlands Accredited?
How do I get a driver’s license?
You will need to contact your local County Clerk’s office for specific application requirements. However, at minimum you will need to take your valid I-20 and a letter from UC stating you are in good standing and currently enrolled at the institution. To obtain this letter complete the DMV Request Form.
Can I request a Social Security Number (SSN)?
I am eligible to apply for an SSN?
You are only eligible to apply for an SSN if you have a job offer letter and work permission. Please note, F-2 dependents are not eligible for an SSN.
How do I apply for a SSN?
You must be currently in the US before you can apply for your SSN.
You must apply with your local SSN office no earlier than 30 days before your start date of employment as recorded on your I-20.
You need to take your employment letter and I-20 with you to the Social Security Office in order to apply for a card.
You can find your closest SSN Office by clicking here.
Can I work while I am waiting for my SSN card?
Yes, you can work while you are waiting for your SSN application to be processed.
Can I complete CPT or OPT?
What if I want to change my degree program or major?
If you select to change your program of study or your degree program, you must set up an appointment with the Office of Student Services or the Department of International Graduate Services to review your I-20 and any admission requirements to the new program of study. Once it is determined that you can begin the new program, the respective office will update your program of study on your I-20 and extend your program if necessary.
What if I need to extend my program of study?
If you have a delay in your studies and cannot finish your degree by the end date noted on your I-20, you need to contact the following offices to request your program of study be extended:
Please note, this request must come at least one month prior to the program end date listed on your I-20.
Can I take online classes?
US immigration regulations limit the number of online classes an F-1 student can take in a given semester. No more than one (1) course can count towards the student’s full-time enrollment. Please contact the Office of Student Services or the Department of International Graduate Services for additional clarification regarding the online enrollment restrictions.
Can I take a reduced course load?
F-1 students can only drop below full-time enrollment with prior permission from their assigned Designated School Official (DSO). A reduced course load request must be submitted in writing and include a detailed justification for the course reduction and medical documentation (if necessary).
How do I transfer to another school?
From time to time, an F-1 student elects to transfer to another US institution to complete a program of study. SEVIS has a specific process all approved US institutions must follow in order to transfer records within the SEVIS system. Before UC can transfer a student’s records, the following steps must be completed:
- Apply and be admitted to the new institution.
- Email a copy of your acceptance letter and new school's SEVIS transfer form to a DSO at University of the Cumberlands.
- Once the request form has been completed and approved we will release your record in SEVIS to the new school.
Who do I contact for help?
6178 College Station Dr.
Williamsburg, KY 40769
Department of International Graduate Services
649 S. 10th Street Suite B
Williamsburg, KY 40769
What do I do if I lose my passport?
If your passport is lost/stolen there are several key reporting steps that must be completed.
Step 1: You must file a police report for a lost or stolen passport. Make sure you make a copy of the report for your records and to present to your consulate office.
Step 2: You must report that your passport has been lost/stolen to the Embassy or Consulate office that issued your visa. When you report the missing document, you want to list your full name, date of birth, place of birth, address in the US, and email address. You are also asked to state when and where it was lost/stolen.
Step 3: You cannot replace the passport within the US. As a result, when you go home for a break period you will have to apply for a replacement visa. You must take all of the documentation referenced above with you when you apply.
Please note that once you complete these steps, if you find your passport it will no longer be valid and you still have to replace the document.
What is the I-901 SEVIS Fee?
An I-901 is a fee that all F and M students and J exchange visitors must pay before the Department of State can issue a visa. Students pay this fee after receiving their Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” at FMJfee.com.
- Regulation requires all prospective F-1 students to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee before the U.S. Department of State issues them a visa to study in the United States.
- The I-901 SEVIS Fee is different from the fees for visa services issued by the Department of State.
- F-1 students must pay their I-901 SEVIS Fee in order to study in the United States, to remain compliant and to maintain their student status.
- To pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee , visit FMJfee.com to access the SEVIS Form I-901.
- F-1 students must print their I-901 SEVIS Fee payment receipt to present as proof of payment at their visa interview and to enter the United States at a U.S. port of entry. Showing an email notification alone will not be sufficient.
- The SEVIS ID on the payment confirmation receipt must always match the SEVIS ID on the student’s most current Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” unless the F or M student is considered a border commuter student. If the SEVIS ID is different, please email FMJfee.email@example.com to confirm if a new I‑901 Fee payment is required.
How do I pay the I-901 SEVIS fee?
Are F-1 International Students Required to file US Tax Forms?
All F-1 international students are required to file tax forms with the United States federal government. You must file taxes regardless if you worked in the U.S., earned income in the U.S., or received a scholarship. International Services does not have tax experts and therefore cannot, by law, answer specific tax questions or help you prepare your tax forms. If you are not familiar with how to file taxes, we recommend students see expert advice from an accountant or other tax professional.
The deadline to file taxes in the U.S. is April 15.
Steps to Consider to Complete Fax Forms
Step 1: Collect Tax Documents: These documents may have come from an employer or the university.
Step 2: File Tax Paperwork by April 15: There are several tax professionals available for international students to consider. UC does not endorse one specific program. However, we do like to highlight Glacier Tax Prep, which is a specific tax preparation service that is trained in working with international students. You can access their site at https://www.glaciertax.com/.
Commonly Used Tax Forms
1040Z: Income Tax Return
Form 8843: Statement for Exempt Individuals (This form is required even if you don’t file taxes.)
Taxpayer Identification Number: Students without a Social Security Number
Form 4868: Application for Extension of Time to File Taxes
What is the Graduate International New Student Orientation, and am I required to attend?
Have more questions about being an F1 student?
What if I want to Extend my Program?
If you are not able to finish your degree program by the end date noted on your I-20, you can request an extension of your program. The length of time allowed for an extension is based on course completion and the recommendation of your academic advisor.
An extension of your I-20 must be completed before the program end date indicated on your I-20. If your I-20 expires while you are still a student, you will be considered in violation of your status. Note that students are only eligible for two program extensions.
To request a program extension, send a written request for extension including explanation of the need for program extension. Requests should be sent to International Student Services.
What do I need to do for a Change in Academic Level?
Undergraduate to Graduate
If you need an extension because you are changing academic levels from an undergraduate to a graduate program, you must complete an I-20 Request form, providing required financial documentation to request a new I-20 with the change to Graduate Level.
Master's to Ph.D.
Your Ph.D. I-20 will be issued when your admission to the doctoral program is officially recognized by the Academic Program or after your last day of Masters-level authorized employment. When changing your level from Master’s to PhD, students are required to complete a Change of Status.
What do I do if I am traveling out of the US to update my visa status?
This process requires traveling out of the US, applying for a visa, and paying the SEVIS Fee. Since traveling requires visiting a U.S. consulate outside the U.S. to obtain the new visa stamp, the length of time is dependent on how long that process will take. Due to delays, long processing times and security checks, we recommend talking with a DSO before choosing this option.
Your re-entry date to the U.S. can be up to 30 days prior to the program start date on your I-20. If your re-entry date is delayed, it could jeopardize your enrollment for the planned term.
How do I change my non-immigrant status?
A person's nonimmigrant status must match the purpose of his/her stay in the U.S. A change of status may be necessary when the objectives of the visit have changed.
Changing nonimmigrant status can be a complex and time-consuming process. The timing of the change is critical and must be done with care to avoid falling out of status during the transition. Before pursuing a change of status, it is recommended that you discuss your situation with a DSO.
There are two ways to change nonimmigrant status:
1. Travel outside the U.S. and re-enter in the new status, or
2. Remain in the U.S. and request a change of status by application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
To learn more about the Change of Status Process review resources provided by DHS on Study in the States: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/change-of-status
**The above information is to be used as a general reference only. University of the Cumberlands does not issue change of status I-20’s. If you have questions regarding this information please contact the Department of International Graduate Services**
What do I need to travel?
You will need your I-20 with a travel signature on page two that is within six months of your return date. Additional information regarding travel can be found on http://www.ucumberlands.edu/student-life/international-students/graduate-forms.
Can I travel if I am participating on CPT?
Yes, however if you are participating in CPT you may not work when you are traveling out of the country. It is our suggestion to be able to provide documentation that you are not working during your travel and are on approved holiday.