Is there more than one type of international student at Bellarmine?
Yes. There are three different types of international students at Bellarmine.
- Degree-seeking – are students who want to earn either an undergraduate or graduate degree in an approved field of study from Bellarmine University. Degree-seeking international students enter the U.S on an F-1 Student Visa.
- Bilateral exchange- these students come to Bellarmine from institutions in other countries which have negotiated exchange agreements directly with Bellarmine. Bilateral exchange students can choose to stay at Bellarmine for one semester or a full year but their degree will be awarded from their home institution. Bilateral exchange students enter the U.S. on an J-1 Student Visa. This application process is initiated through the home institution. All materials should be submitted directly to the home institution.
- International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) – ISEP is a network of 275 colleges and universities in 39 countries cooperating to provide affordable access to international education for a diverse student population. ISEP is a non-profit organization administered by a central office in Washington, D.C. ISEP exchanges are open to students at member institutions; each outbound participant pays the cost of an academic term (tuition, room and board) at home while, for every student sent abroad, the institution receives one in return. ISEP facilities exchange between U.S. and international members as well as exchanges among international institutions. ISEP students enter the U.S. on a J-1 student visa. ISEP students complete the application process through their HOME institution. Learn more here.
What do I need to do to enroll at Bellarmine University?
The enrollment process differs for each type of international student. For more information visit the International Admissions website.
As a student at Bellarmine University, am I allowed to work while enrolled?
Yes. All three types of international students can work on campus part-time (A maximum of 15 hours per week is allowed at BU) while school is in session and full-time (40 hours per week) during vacation periods. All students who plan to work in any capacity in the U.S. must first obtain a Social Security card. Additional information is available here. Off-campus employment is available only to degree-seeking international students who have been enrolled in F-1 status for a full academic year and are in good academic standing. This type of off-campus employment is called practical training.
As an international student am I responsible for filing U.S. income taxes?
Yes. All international students, regardless of whether or not they earned income while in the U.S., must complete and file U.S. and Kentucky income tax forms. Each spring semester a workshop will be conducted with information on how to complete the tax preparation and filing process. Additional information is available here.
What steps will I need to take in order to travel outside of the U.S. on vacation or to visit home on semester breaks?
If you plan to travel outside of the U.S. during your stay at Bellarmine, (degree-seeking and bilateral students). You must first:
- Schedule an appointment with the Primary Designated School Official or Designated School Official if your I-20/DS-2019 has not been signed within a year of the date you plan on returning to the U.S. Students on CPT or OPT must have their I-20/DS-2019 signed within the previous 6 months.
- Be sure you have a valid passport, valid visa stamp, recently signed I-20/DS-2019, I-94, and copy of your most recent transcript. In some cases, it is advisable to prepare proof that you have the financial resources to cover your trip’s expenses and return to the U.S.
- If you are traveling somewhere other than your home country you may need a visitor’s visa. Consult with the PDSO or DSO at least 2 months prior to your travels outside of the U.S. to a country that is not your home country.
I. GENERAL IMMIGRATION INFORMATION
United Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) - The United Citizenship & Immigration Services, a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for enforcing immigration regulations. Although some USCIS paperwork must be sent to the USCIS Data Processing Center or the Texas Service Center, other business can be handled in person at the local office. The local USCIS office that processes actions for international students at Bellarmine is: Gene Snyder U.S. Courthouse Building, Room 390, 601 West Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202, (502) 582-6375. Or visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services' website.
- Completion of Studies J-1 (ISEP) students have 30 days to depart the country after completing their course of study. Learn more here.
- F-1 (Bilateral and degree- seeking) students have 60 days to depart the country after completing their course of study. Learn more here.
- Early Termination - Students have 15 days to depart the country if they terminate their program of study early. Failure to register for classes each semester constitutes early termination.
- Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record - Permission to enter the U.S. is recorded by the Form I-94, issued at the port of entry. F-1 and J-1 students are admitted for duration of status, which is written as D/S on the Form I-94. D/S refers to the time necessary to complete a course of study as recorded on the Form I-20. F-1 and J-1 students have 60 days to depart the U.S. at the completion of the duration of status.
II. MAINTAINING STATUS
All international students are responsible for maintaining status as non-immigrant students, or they may be subject to legal proceedings that could result in deportation. In order to maintain status, students must, as a minimum:
- Carry a valid passport at all times.
- Attend the school authorized to attend.
- Maintain a full course of study.
- Refrain from off-campus employment without authorization.
- Limit on-campus employment to 15 hours/week when school is in session.
- Report a change of address and phone number within 10 days to the Primary Designated School Official and Designated School Official.
All international students must maintain status as full-time students for the duration of stay. This means enrollment for a minimum of 12 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester as an undergraduate, or 9 credit hours per semester as a graduate student. Audit courses do not count toward a full course of study. A leave of absence from any academic program is not permitted. Students may seek authorization from the Primary Designated School Official or Designated School Official for a reduced course load only for the final semester of study or due to medical necessity. Please remember that authorization for a reduced course load is required.
Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
All international students are now registered electronically with the USCIS through SEVIS. This system allows for real-time updates and reporting as needed.
A U.S. visa does not provide permission to enter the U.S. nor does it grant a permission to remain. A visa must be valid only to the date of entry into the U.S., and there is no effect on legal status if the visa expires while international students are in the U.S. The visa is only a travel document that allows boarding an airplane or ship destined for the U.S.
III. F-1 STUDENT INFORMATION
The following information is intended for students on F-1 visas, including degree-seeking students and students participating in bilateral exchange programs.
- Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) and Designated School Official (DSO) - The Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) at Bellarmine is Mr. Ryan Simpson and the Designated School Official (DSO) is Dr. Hannah Clayborne and Mrs. Debbie Femi. The PDSO represents and speaks for the school in all matters relating to F-1 students. Only the PDSO and DSO may sign an immigration document for the school in a matter relating to F-1 students. After arriving on campus, the PDSO or DSO must receive from all new international students copies of the following documents: Valid Passport, Visa, I-20, personal identification, and the I-94 card. ISEP students please refer to J-1 Visa Information.
- Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) - The I-20 form is a certificate from the school, addressed to the U.S. government, in which the school confirms acceptance to pursue a full course of study. An I-20 is a required part of an F-1 visa application but otherwise carries no legal meaning. This form must be signed, and the signature constitutes an agreement to abide by all applicable rules as well as grants the school permission to provide certain information to the USCIS. When traveling outside the U.S., the Primary Designated School Official or Designated School Official must first sign the Form I-20. It is important to keep all I-20s, including those which have expired, in order to be authorized for employment.
- Transfer of Schools - An F-1 student who is maintaining status may transfer to another college or university by following the proper notification procedure. Although USCIS does not require any formal authorization for a student to transfer, there are certain procedures that must be followed. The student should notify the Primary Designated School Official of his/her intention to transfer by completing and signing a “SEVIS Transfer Request” form available in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, 225 D Horrigan Hall.
F-1 undergraduate students may work on campus part-time (Bellarmine allows a maximum of 15 hours per week) while school is in session, and full-time during vacation periods without prior approval. The Primary Designated School Official or Designated School Official should be informed of such employment. To process on campus employment, the student must bring identification (such as a passport) to the Bellarmine Business Office in order to file I-9 and W-4 forms. A social security number will be needed for payroll purposes. (For more information, refer to section entitled “Social Security Number/Card”)
F-1 students need authorization to work off campus. Employment is limited to part-time (a maximum of 15 hours a week) while school is in session and full-time during school holidays or summer vacation. However, students must have been enrolled in F-1 status for a full academic year and be in good academic standing before receiving authorization to work. Graduate Students enrolled in a program that requires an internship (i.e. MBA) may apply for authorized employment prior to completing a full academic year. The following options exist for off-campus employment authorization:
Unforeseen Severe Economic Hardship
F-1 students may apply for employment based on unforeseen circumstances beyond their control and if on-campus employment is either unavailable or insufficient. Circumstances leading to unforeseen severe economic hardship may include:
- Loss of financial aid
- Loss of on-campus work
- Substantial fluctuations in value of currency or exchange rate
- Inordinate increases in tuition or cost of living expenses, such as medical bills
F-1 students may apply for employment practical training related to their field of study. Practical training is divided into two sub-categories:
- Curricular Practical Training (CPT) - This employment takes place before completion of studies and is designed to provide work experience that serves as an integral part of the student’s academic program, including internships, cooperative education, or any type of required practicum offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. There is no limitation on the length of time allowed for participation in either part- or full-time CPT; however, participation in 12 or more months of full-time CPT precludes eligibility for Optional Practical Training following graduation. The Primary Designated School Official or Designed School Official authorizes CPT and requires the following supporting documentation be submitted two (2) weeks prior to the requested start date:
- Completed CPT checklist cover sheet (available in 225 Campus Center/Horrigan Hall.
- A letter from the employer describing the position along with number of hours per week, including the beginning and end dates of employment.
- A letter from the academic advisor clearly stating that the work experience fulfills curricular requirements.
- Optional Practical Training (OPT) - This employment is divided into pre- and post-completion practical training. F-1 Students must apply directly to the USCIS for authorization to work, and the work must be related directly to the student’s major area of study. OPT is limited to twelve months full-time. Students are encouraged to apply for OPT at least 90 days in advance of the start date requested for employment. Students must also apply for post-completion OPT prior to the end of their final semester of study. For post-completion practical training, a student must complete all training within a 14-month period following completion of study. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is required for OPT, and the DSO can provide guidance on applying for the EAD – under no circumstances shall any international student work prior to receiving an EAD.
IV. PRACTICAL EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION
Social Security Number/Card - In the United States an individual’s Social Security number/card is used for a variety of purposes usually relating to identification or employment. Although a Social Security number/card may be obtained for reasons other than work, it is generally used for employment purposes. Obtaining a social security card does not give international students authorization to work, but you must have one in order to be legally employed.
If you have been approved to work in the U.S., you may be issued a valid Social Security number/card. Before applying for a Social Security card you must have verification from the employer on company letterhead of your job offer. You may then apply by taking your current I-94, I-20 from an accredited school, evidence of age and identity, and evidence of full-time attendance and authorization to work to the Social Security Administration Office. You will need a letter from the Bellarmine Primary Designated School Official or Designated School Official before they will provide you with a Social Security card. For further information or to apply for a Social Security number/card, contact: YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO WORK WITHOUT A SOCIAL SECURITY CARD.
Social Security Administration Office-General Information and Services -1-800-772-1213
601 West Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202
10503 Timberwood Circle
Louisville, KY 40223
2500 W. Broadway
Louisville, KY 40211
Federal and State Income Taxes
International Students are required by law to file a federal income tax return each year, even if they have not earned any income in the United States. To do so, you need to complete three forms: (1) Federal form 1040 NR (Non-Resident) or form 1040NR-EZ (Nonresident with no dependents), (2) State (Kentucky) form 740, or 740-EZ (Single person with no dependents), or 740-NP (Part-year resident), and (3) Federal form 8843 (Statement for Exempt Individuals, an informational statement). Forms are due by April 15 for individuals who have earned income in the United States. The deadline for students who have not earned any U.S. income is June 15. For further information or assistance, contact the Internal Revenue Service, the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet, or a tax preparation service, or visit the website at www.IRS.gov
USCIS Photo Requirements
Since September 1, 2004, USCIS will only accept color, full-frontal photographs for immigration benefit applications such as employment authorization documents and adjustment of status applications. To view the USCIS flyer with the new photo instructions, please visit the USCIS web site.
F-1 TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE U.S.
International students wishing to leave the United States temporarily (and return to continue their studies at the institution in which they are enrolled) must secure the necessary documents to permit entry to another country and re-entry to the United States. Please contact the Primary Designated School Official or Designated School Official if you need more information.
If you travel outside the United States during your stay at Bellarmine, you must have the following documents: a valid passport, valid visa stamp, recently signed I-20, I-94, and a copy of most recent transcript. If you require a new I-20 please make your request at least one week before you plan to travel. Remember that you must have a valid visa (one that is not expired or marked “single entry”) in order to re-enter the U.S., as well as a valid passport. It is also advisable to carry an updated copy of your financial documentation.
For travel to certain destinations, it may be wise to obtain a letter from the Assistant Dean of Students verifying your current enrollment at Bellarmine and your intent to return. In some cases, it is also advisable to prepare proof that you have the financial resources to cover your trip’s expenses and return to the U.S.
If you plan to travel to a country other than your home country, consult with the Assistant Dean of Students. You may be required to have a visitor’s visa in order to travel. It is recommended that you seek advice at least 2 months prior to your travels outside of the U.S. to a country that is not your home country.
J-1 STUDENT INFORMATION
Students participating in an exchange program with Bellarmine University through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) have been issued a Form IAP-66, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, through that program. These students must coordinate directly with Bellarmine’s International Programs Office Miles Hall Suite 149, (502) 272-8479 and ISEP www.isep.org for all issues relating to employment, extension of stay, transfer and travel.
Primary Designated School Official (PDSO)
Mr. Ryan Simpson
Director of Multicultural Affairs/International Student Counselor
225 J Horrigan Hall
Designated School Official (PDSO)
Dr. Hannah Clayborne
Assistant Vice-President for Student Affairs and Multicultural Affairs
225 D Horrigan Hall
Designated School Official (DSO)
Mrs. Debbie Femi
225 L- Horrigan Hall
Contact Ms. Eric Ward or Ms. Sara Reyna Byler, International Programs Office, 149 Miles Hall Suite or call 502.272.8479.