F-1 and J-1 Requirements
Maintain Full-Time Enrollment
You must be enrolled in 12 units each quarter.
You can deviate from this schedule only with prior authorization from an international student advisor and only under very limited circumstances. Students must attend UCR fall, winter and spring quarters. Summer quarter is optional.
Enrolling Under 12 Units (Reduced Course Load)
A reduced course load (RCL) approval allows F-1 or J-1 students who are eligible to enroll in less than 12 units during a normal academic quarter. Students must apply for and receive a RCL authorization from International Affairs before dropping below 12 units.
Type of RCL?
- Final Quarter
Who is qualified?
- Initial difficulty with the English language and/or with reading, requirements during student’s first academic year; or
- Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods during student’s first academic year; or
- Withdrawal from a course due to improper course level placement during a student’s first academic year.
- Students must maintain a minimum of 6 units.
- RCLs for academic reasons can be approved only once
A reduced course load (RCL) or no course load at all can be granted for up to 12 months due to illness or medical condition at a particular program level.
- Medical RCLs must be submitted and approved on a quarter-by-quarter basis.
- Students must provide medical documentation from a UCR Student Health Services medical physician or a UCR Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) clinical psychologist (preferred). Students seeing a U.S. medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy or licensed clinical psychologist outside of UCR /CAPS should also provide documentation.
Final Quarter RCL
If you are in your final, graduating quarter and need less than 12 units to complete your degree, you are eligible for a Final Quarter Reduced Course Load (RCL).
How to apply for Reduced Course Load (RCL)?
For Undergraduate students
- Fill out the Reduced Course Load (RCL) form
- An International student advisors will help you to submit the part-time fee request on Myforms.
[The RCL form must be submitted to International Affairs no later than noon on Thursday during the second week of classes.]
For Graduate Students
Please contact the graduate division to see if you are eligible for a reduced course load and reduced fees before submitting a reduced course load form. Most graduate students are required to pay full fees in their final quarter regardless of any part time enrollment approval.
All F-1 and J-1 visa holders are required to report a local U.S. address with the Department of Homeland Security within 10 days of arrival or within 10 days of an address change.
To report or update your local U.S. address to comply with the address notification requirement use one of the methods below:
2. Document request form
3. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to notifying our office, you should also update your local address and phone number in R’web.
Keep your Passport Valid
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future.
- Contact your home country's embassy in the U.S. for information about renewing your passport validity.
Keep your I-20/DS-2019 Valid
If your I-20 (F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 students) will expire soon and you need additional time to complete your academic program, you must apply for a program extension at least 10 days before the program end date listed on your documents.
- Fill out the Program Extension Request form
- Attach financial documentation and funding letters if applicable
- Submit to the front desk of International Affairs
- Within 3 days, you will receive an updated I-20
Update the information on your I-20/DS-2019 when it changes
Degree level update
If you have been accepted into a higher program level (ie: bachelor's to masters or masters to Ph.D.) you must apply for and receive a program level change I-20 or DS-2019 prior to beginning your higher level program of study.
- Fill out the New I-20/DS-2019 request form
- Attach your admissions letter and financial documents
- Submit documents to the International Affairs front desk
- Within 3-5 business days, you will receive an updated I-20 with a new degree level
Major or Minor update
If you have changed your major or minor, please notify our office.
- Fill out the Document request form
- Submit the completed form to the front desk of International Affairs
- Within 3 business days, you will receive an updated I-20/DS-2019 with a new major
Financial sponsorship update
If you have a change in your financial sponsorship, please request an updated I-20/DS-2019
- Fill out the New I-20/DS-2019 request form
- Submit the completed form and any required documentation to the International Affairs front desk.
- Within 3 business days, you will receive an updated I-20 with an updated financial information
- Make sure that you have Health Insurance
Notify us in advance if you plan to take time off or withdraw from UCR
It is important to speak with an international student advisor before you decide to take time off or withdraw from your program. We will help you determine the best course of action so that you can maintain your legal immigration status.
- Speak with an international student advisor in International Affairs
- Speak with your academic advisor and your college office (undergraduates) or the graduate division (graduate students) about your plans and complete any required forms.
- Complete the early authorized withdrawal form and submit it to our office
J-1 students should make an appointment with an advisor to discuss J-1 requirements.
Returning from approved leaves less than 5 months (F-1 students)
- If you were approved for a leave and notified us in advance, your SEVIS record was terminated due to authorized early withdrawal. If you are returning to your academic program within 5 months of your last day of attendance, you may be eligible for a reactivation of your current SEVIS (electronic I-20) record.
- Up to 60 days before the start date of your intended quarter of return, you must request a reactivation of your SEVIS record. We will submit the reactivation request to SEVIS and SEVIS will either approve or deny the request. You will not be permitted back in the U.S. until your record is returned to active status.
Submit your Request for Reactivation of your SEVIS Record
Send email to email@example.com to request the reactivation of your I-20 Form. We will need a copy of the following items to submit the reactivation request:
- Passport Picture Page
- Most recent I-94 card
- Unofficial copy of your transcripts and course registration for the upcoming quarter.
- Please do not purchase an airline ticket until we have notified you that your SEVIS record has been reactivated.
- Once you have re-entered US, please let us know so that we can update your SEVIS record.
Returning from approved leaves greater than 5 months (F-1 students)
If you were approved for a leave of absence and notified us in advance, your SEVIS record was terminated due to authorized early withdrawal. When you are ready to return, you need to apply for a new I-20.
Submit your Request for New I-20 of your SEVIS Record:
- Fill out the New I-20 request form and send the completed form with the required supporting documents to our office.
- We will review the documentation and send you a new initial attendance I-20 Form. You will need to pay the SEVIS fee again.
- If your visa is expired, please make an appointment for a new one with the US consulate in your country.
- Have a safe trip back to UCR
Notify us if Ending Your Program Early
If you are ending your program early, please notify us before your program ends. We will issue you a new I-20/DS-2019 and shorten the duration of your record.
Note: Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to end your program earlier than the date that is reflected on your I-20/DS-2019.
If you are academically disqualified from UCR, your academic department will inform us of the change to your student status, and you may lose your F-1/J-1 student status. To maintain status, a student who may be dismissed should contact us in advance to review their options. You may be able to transfer your SEVIS record to a new school. Students who are outside the U.S. at the time of dismissal cannot re-enter the U.S. with the UCR I-20 or DS-2019.
You need to choose one of the following:
- Transfer out to other school (eligible students only)
- Leave the U.S.
What are the steps?
-Please make appointment with International student advisor by calling 951-827-4113
Transferring to another U.S. School
F-1 and J-1 Students planning to transfer from UCR to another school in the U.S. must follow the SEVIS transfer process to maintain valid visa status - this is called a SEVIS record transfer. You must follow this process if your I-20 or DS-2019 is currently from UCR:
- Receive admission from a new school.
- Complete a Document request form and attach a copy of your admission letter or other proof of admission (to your new school) and submit the information to our office. J-1 students should also attach a letter from the Responsible Officer at the school they are planning to attend confirming that they will accept the legal sponsorship of your J program
- Some admitting schools may also have their own ";Transfer In" or "Transfer Verification" form.
- If you have completed your degree at UCR, your F-1 SEVIS record must be released within 60 days of the end of your final quarter at UCR. Students in J status should see a J advisor before their program end date to arrange for a transfer of their record to the new school.
- We will release your record on the date you have indicated on the request form. Upon the SEVIS release date, the new school will have access to your SEVIS record and will be able to issue you a new I-20/DS-2019. Your UCR I-20/DS-2019 will no longer be valid.
After Your Program Ends
Within 60 days of your program completion date (which may be different than your graduation date) you need to choose one of the following:
- Leave the U.S.
- Transfer to another school.
- Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). Once you complete OPT, you have 60 days to leave the U.S. or transfer to another SEVIS-approved school.
- At the end of your 60 day grace period, if you travel outside of the U.S., you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. as an F-1 student before returning to your home country.
- You may not work during the 60-day grace period.
Note: Email email@example.com to let us know about your post-program plans
Within 30 days of your program completion date (which may be different than your graduation date) you need to choose one of the following:
- Leave the U.S.
- Transfer to another school.
- Begin Academic Training. You must apply for academic training before your DS-2019 expires.
- Unless you have been authorized for Academic Training, you must leave the U.S. within 30 days of your program completion date or transfer to another SEVIS-approved school.
- You may not work during the 30-day grace period.
Note: Email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know about your post-program plans
If you would like your spouse and / or children to live with you while attending UCR, please contact us about getting them visas.
Request to add a dependent to your I-20 (F-2) or DS-2019 (J-2):
1.Complete our I-20/DS-2019 Request Form
2.Attach the required financial documentation and a copy of your spouse and/or child’s passport to the form.
3.Submit the form to the front desk of International Affairs.
J-2 Dependent F-2 Dependent Show financial support for the entire length of the program when requesting adding dependent to Form DS-2019. Show financial support for one year when requesting to add a dependent to Form I-20 J-2 dependents can apply for permission to work in the United States as long as the income is not used to support the J-1 student. F-2 dependents cannot work in the United States J-2 dependents can study in the United States F-2 dependents can only study part time at an approved school. Please contact ISS for details
International students and their family members must be covered by health insurance while in the U.S. This is especially important for J-2 dependents because they must follow specific Department of State requirements.
As an international student, you may be able to add your dependents to your UCR insurance policy for an additional fee. Please contact Student Health Services for details. You may also purchase separate insurance plans for your dependents.
When your dependent arrives, please check in with us, so that we can record their arrival and offer our support. Call 951-827-4113 to make an appointment to meet with an International Student Advisor upon arrival.
Living in Riverside
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