FAQ's

Where is your office? When are you open?

The International Student & Scholar Institute (ISSI) is located at 405 Ell Hall. Our normal business hours are Monday-Thursday from 8:30am-7:00pm, and Fridays from 8:30am-5:00pm. During the summer (May through August) the ISSI has reduced hours of 8:30am-7:00pm on Mondays only, and 8:30am-5:00pm hours from Tuesday-Friday.

Where can I find information on financial aid for international students?

While the ISSI does not directly sponsor any scholarships for the general international student community, there are plenty of organizations that you can contact who will offer scholarships to students in center majors, or whom are from specific nations. A great resource is the Intsitute of International Education's online Funding for U.S. Study database.

Do I need to register for a full-time course load during my final term of study?

If you do not need a full-time course load in your final term to complete your degree, then you do not need to register for more credits than you need to finish your program.

OPT

Can I change my jobs while engaging in Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Yes, you may work for more than one employer and /or change your employers during the period of authorized optional practical training provided each position is directly related to your field of study and commensurate with your educational level. When you do change your job, you must inform the ISSI by completing the online OPT Employer Update Information form if you are on OPT, or the Address and Employer Update form if you are on STEM Extension.

When should I apply for OPT?

Since it can take up to three months to receive your OPT card, we recommend that you apply at least three months before you want to begin working, or three months before your graduation date, whichever comes first. Please note that you will not be permitted to return in F-1 status after your graduation date without your OPT card and if you return in any other status you will lose your OPT.

Do I need a job to apply for OPT?

No, but you should be actively searching for one.

May I travel during my period of Optional Practical Training?

Yes. In order to re-enter the United States, you must present the following at the border: a valid passport, a valid visa, your OPT authorization card, proof of employment, and an I-20 with a valid travel signature. Please note: while you are engaged in OPT, travel signatures are valid for only six months.

Traveling Outside the U.S.

How do I request a travel signature?

To request a travel signature, bring your current I-20 or DS-2019 to the ISSI at least five business days before you plan to travel. After you fill out a request form at the front desk, you will leave your document at the ISSI until you receive an email at your NU account advising you that your document is ready for pick up. At that time you will need to return to the ISSI with your valid Husky Card to obtain your signed document.

How long does it take to get a travel signature?

While it normally will take two business days, due to the heavy volume of travel requests at certain times of year, especially at the end of academic terms, it can take up to five business days to receive authorization.

I am not on OPT. How often do I need to get my I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel?

The ISSI travel signature on Page 3 of your I-20 or Page 1 of your DS-2019 should be no older than 12 months when you re-enter the United States from travel abroad. When you travel to Canada, Mexico or most of the islands in the Caribbean, you may be able to re-enter the United States on an expired visa. Please consult the SEVIS website for all relevant details.

I am currently on OPT. How often do I need to get my I-20 or DS-2019 signed for travel?

If you are on OPT, then the ISSI travel signature on Page 3 of your I-20 or Page 1 of DS-2019 should be no older than 6 months when you re-enter the United States from anywhere else in the world.

VISA

Can I renew my visa in the US?

No, you can only get a new visa outside the United States at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

How can I renew my visa?

You should renew your visa by going to a U.S. Consulate in your home country and making an appointment beforehand. While for most nationalities it is possible to apply for a new visa at a U.S. Consulate in another country, if your visa is denied for any reason then you will not be allowed back in the U.S. and will have to return to your home country to reapply for a visa. In addition, some U.S. Consulates will not handle third party nationals, so it is wise to contact the consulate before you plan to renew your visa.

What do I do if the visa in my passport has expired?

You do not need a valid visa to legally reside in the United States. However, you do need a valid visa to enter the U.S. from abroad, unless you are entering from Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands (except Cuba) after a stay in these countries of less than 30 days. Please note that nationals from states sponsoring terrorism (currently Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba) must have a valid visa even if returning from these contiguous territories. The adjacent islands include the following: The Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Jamaica, Martinique, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Trinidad and Tobago, The Leeward Islands (Anguilla, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Nevis, St. Kitts and the British Virgin Islands), the Windward Islands (Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent) and other British, French or Dutch territories or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea

Work

Can I work off campus?

You must have special work permission to do so. You can apply for permission by making an appointment with an ISSI advisor. The most common types of off-campus work permission for F-1 students are OPT and CPT. To qualify for either one you must have been a full-time student for at least nine months before seeking employment off campus.

May I work on campus?

Students are allowed to work anywhere on campus, but for no more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. You may work full-time while classes are not in session. When you have been hired for an on-campus job, you must come to the ISSI with your documents (passport, visa, I-94, I-20 or DS-2019) in order to complete a Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification).

Am I eligible for CPT?

You may be eligible if you have been a full-time F-1 student for at least nine months and your degree program consists of a work/study, internship, or cooperative education program. Your assigned co-op coordinator will be able to provide you with this information.

How do I get a written verification of my enrollment from Northeastern?

Bring your valid Husky Card to the Office of the Registrar at 120 Hayden Hall. When you enter the doors walk to the window on your right and complete an Enrollment Verification Form. You will receive your Form immediately.

Deferral of Admission

I was accepted to Northeastern, but wish to delay my start date.

You will need to contact the Admissions Office to inform them of your deferral request. They will work with you to get you an updated I-20 for your newly anticipated arrival date.

Taxes

Where can I find tax assistance to help me file my return?

The ISSI is providing access to a tax software assistance program operated by Windstar Technologies. Please visit the following website for further details on the software, and how you may access it: http://www.northeastern.edu/issi/taxes.html

Change of Address

I recently moved; how do I update my address?

Immigration regulations require that all non-citizens report their residential addresses within 10 days of their entry to the United States and subsequently report any change of address within 10 days to the immigration authorities. F-1 students who have graduated and have Optional Practical Training must also report the employer’s address and change of address in addition to their residential address.

If you are still a student, or have completed your degree within the past year, then you will need to update your address through the myNEU portal at http://myneu.neu.edu. After you log in to your student account, go to the Self-Service tab, click on My Address, and update your address appropriately.

If you are on OPT, have been out of school for over a year and no longer have access to myNEU, then you will need to fill out the ISSI's online Address Updates for F-1 Students on OPT form.

Please note that your Local Address listed in your MyNEU acount must be in the United States, and your Permanent Address must be outside of the U.S. in order to comply with federal requirements.