Maintaining Your Status
Important: As an international student at the BGSP, you are responsible for maintaining your own legal status. Although some of these requirements may seem tedious, failure to comply with any of the following could jeopardize your student visa status and result in deportation.
The following is an overview. See the International Student Advisor for more detailed information.
Your Status at the School:
Registration: Please stop by the office at the beginning of each semester. We need to activate your record. This is a federal requirement; failure to do so within 30 days of your program start date will automatically put you “out of status” and you will have to apply for reinstatement.
Full-Time Status: Immigration regulations mandate that F-1 students maintain a full-time status. There are limited options if this is a problem for you. Once you have finished your coursework and are working on your thesis/dissertation, you are not required to maintain a full-time status.
Academic Standing: You need to remain in good academic standing. This means following BGSP’s policies and procedures.
Insurance: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires all international students to have medical health insurance. If you would like information about insurance please contact Ms. Williams.
Immunizations: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that you submit documentation of the following immunizations: Hepatitis (3 doses) MMR (2 doses) a Tetanus T-dap shot (within 10 years) and 2 doses of varicella (chicken pox vaccine) unless you have a reliable history of chicken pox.
Personal Information: Report any change of name, address, visa status, or citizenship information immediately.
School Information: Report any changes in your academic program. This includes changing programs, taking a leave of absence, withdrawal, and any change in your anticipated graduation date. If your anticipated graduation date changes, you will need to request a program extension.
Traveling Outside of the US:
Passport and Visa: Make sure they have not expired. Bring them with you.
I-20: Must be signed and dated within the last 6 months. Bring this with you.
Employment and Taxes:
Before You Begin: Speak with the International Student Advisor if you would like to work in the United States. Restrictions on employment are complex and penalties for noncompliance can be harsh. USCIS requires that any unlawful employment be reported immediately. These are your options:
On-Campus: If you are in lawful F-1 status, you are automatically authorized by the government to participate in on-campus employment. Working in the Therapy Center and at the BIP is considered on-campus employment.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT): This type of work must be an integral part of your curriculum and is approved by the International Student Advisor.
Optional Practical Training (OPT): This allows you to work in your field of study for one year after graduation. You can also work prior to graduating provided that you have been in lawful F-1 status for one full academic year. This is approved by USCIS and you should allow 3 months for processing. You cannot apply after the program end date on your I-20. If you have worked in CPT for one year full time you are not eligible for OPT.
Taxes: You will be required by law to file a tax return by April 15th.
Limitations: While school is in session you are limited to a total of 20 hours per week of employment. During breaks you may work 40 hours per week.