Apply Visit Contact

International Students - RLC

International Student Services provides current and accepted Newman students who are on F-1 Student VISAs with advising regarding their time studying in the United States. Services provided include providing guidance on maintaining F-1 Immigration Status, help for F-1 students wishing to apply for employment permissions, advice in navigating University policies and processes, cultural adaptation assistance including domestic processes like getting a bank account, and ensuring that students maintain compliance with US Immigration Laws. Please note, International Student Services is not a legal service and does not supply legal immigration advice.

If there are any questions regarding your F-1 Status or adapting to being in the United States, please contact the Director of International Student Services, Case Bell, at [email protected], by phone at (316) 942-4291 xt 2235, or stop by Sacred Heart Hall Room 301. For any questions about applying to Newman University, please contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected] or (316) 942-4242.


Frequently Asked Questions

General Information for International Students FAQ

Curricular Practical Training and Economic Hardship FAQ

Optional Practical Training FAQ


General Information for International Students FAQ

What does it mean to be “in-status” and how to I stay “in status?”
To be in status means that you are following all of the rules for F-1 International Students and are allowed to remain in the United States. This means that you are going to school full-time, have made sure your records are all current, and have followed the rules for employment. The two easiest ways to lose your “in status” designation and to be out of compliance, are to work without authorization or to drop below full-time status a student.

Can I take online classes?
Yes, but only one online class per semester out of a full-time course load. At Newman 12 credit hours per semester is considered full-time for undergraduate students, and six hours is considered full-time for graduate students. This means that of your full-time course load, only one course may be online. HOWEVER, any credit hours above the full-time course load can be online. So if you are taking more than a full-time course load, you can take as many online classes as you would like, so long as you have enough in-person credit hours to satisfy the full-time course load requirement (9 credit hours of in-person coursework for undergrads, and 3 credit hours for graduate students).

How do I open a bank account?
To open a bank account, take your student ID, passport/VISA, a current I-94, and your signed I-20 to any bank. Newman University has a relationship with Bank of America down the street and they are happy to enroll students into a bank account, but students can get bank accounts anywhere they would like.

Can I travel while at Newman?
Yes! You can travel anywhere inside the United States, but you should keep a copy of your I-20 on you at all times. If you want to travel outside of the country, just be sure that your I-20 has a travel endorsement signed on page 2 within 12 months. It is recommended that you get the travel endorsement signed every time you leave the country.

Can I work while I am going to school?
Yes! You can apply for any on-campus job that serves students! To apply, please visit the Newman University Human Resources page and search for jobs. If you wish to work off-campus, please see the FAQ for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Economic Hardship.

How much can I work while going to school?
F-1 International Students can work up to 20 hours per week while class is in session, and can work full-time during Summer, Winter, and Spring breaks.

Can I apply for a social security number?
Only if you are employed on campus, through CPT, through economic hardship, or through OPT. Once you are employed and need to file for a social security number, please speak to the Director of International Student Services (Case Bell, [email protected]) to learn about that process.

My VISA or Passport will be expiring while I am at Newman, what should I do?
To renew your passport, you will need to contact your home country’s government and follow whatever steps they give you. To renew your VISA, you MUST be outside of the United States and in your home country. Please be aware, that while it may not be likely, there is always a chance that when you leave the country to renew your VISA that it will not be approved and you will not be allowed to return.

Back To Top


Curricular Practical Training and Economic Hardship FAQ

What is F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
CPT is the tool given to international students to allow them to gain practical experience in their chosen field. Students are eligible to work off-campus, so long as they are approved for CPT or Economic Hardship.

What are the requirements for CPT?
First, you must have been a student at Newman for at least two full semesters. In order to qualify for CPT you must already have a job offer. You must also be enrolled in a cooperative education or internship course that is active during the timeframe you will be employed.

Who can I work for during CPT?
You can work for any business, so long as the specific position you will be filling is in your Program field.

How do I apply for CPT?
First, come talk to the Director of International Student Services (Case Bell, [email protected]). You will be given a recommendation form for your Academic Advisor to fill out. You will also need an offer letter from the potential co-op or internship host that details their contact information, the position you will be filling, and the dates of the employment. With those two documents completed, the Director of International Student Services will issue an I-20 with a work authorization on it.

How many times can I use CPT?
You can only use CPT for as many co-op or internship hours apply towards your degree. In most programs at Newman, this is 6 credit-hours. If you are not receiving credit towards your degree, you cannot do CPT.

What is Economic Hardship?
Economic Hardship is the work authorization that allows students experiencing difficult financial circumstances to try and earn enough money to stay in the United States and go to school. To apply for economic hardship, please contact the Director of International Student Services.

Back To Top


Optional Practical Training FAQ
What is F-1 Post-Graduation Optional Practical Training (OPT)?
OPT is the tool given to international students to be able to continue their education in the United States after graduation. After graduating with their degree, international students can work up to 12 months in the field that they graduated in. If you graduated with a STEM degree, you can qualify for another 24 months of OPT.

Who is eligible for OPT?
To be eligible for OPT, you have to meet three requirements.
1. You have been a full-time student at the graduating institution by the start date of your OPT;
2. You have maintained your F-1 status at the time of the application; and
3. You have not used OPT at the same degree level previously.

If I used my 12 months of OPT after my Bachelor’s, but will now be getting a Master’s degree, can I do OPT again?
Yes! You are eligible for 12 months of OPT for each level of education you complete in college! That means you can do 12 months of OPT after your Bachelor’s and another 12 months after your Master’s degree. To be clear, this only applies when you get a second degree at a HIGHER level. You CANNOT do OPT twice if you get two Bachelor’s degrees.

Can I do OPT before I graduate?
Yes, there is a pre-completion OPT. However, most people chose not to use this, as you cannot do both pre-completion OPT AND post-completion OPT. If you wish to work while in school, we recommend a campus job or exploring Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

How do you apply for OPT?
To apply for OPT, make an appointment with the Director of International Student Services (Case Bell, [email protected]). You can apply up to 90 days before your Program End Date, and up until 60 days AFTER your Program End Date. You will need to fill out an I-765 application and collect all of the documentation, as well as include a payment of $410.

Does applying for OPT cost money?
Yes, it costs $410 to apply for OPT. It can be paid by credit/debit card, money order, or personal check.

How long does it take to apply for OPT?
You can apply up to 90 days before your Program End Date, and the applications are usually processed within 3-5 months.

What do I do after I graduate, but before my work eligibility starts?
You will need to make sure you have plans and funds to live in the United States while you wait for your OPT application to be processed. It is recommended that students apply for OPT as soon as they are eligible.

Can I cancel my OPT application?
You can request that the application be withdrawn, but this needs to be done as soon as possible. Once the application is approved, it cannot be withdrawn, and applicants do not usually receive refunds once the payment has been processed.

Do I have to have a job right away on OPT?
No, students can accrue up to 90 days of unemployment before they are considered to be in violation of their immigration status.

Can I go to school while on OPT?
No, once you start a new Program, it will automatically end your OPT. If you filed for OPT, but did not graduate due to circumstances beyond your control, you MAY be able to finish your degree while working part-time on OPT.

How do I apply for the 24 month STEM extension?
If you graduated with a degree recognized by USCIS as being a STEM degree, then you can apply for a 24 month STEM extension. This process is very much like the original OPT application process. The major difference is that you must apply for a STEM extension with a specific employer. You can change employers during the extension time-period, but you must have an employer to apply.

Can I start a business for OPT instead of working for someone else?
Yes! However, you cannot be self-employed for the STEM extension.

Can I leave the United States after I apply for OPT or while on OPT?
Yes, it is not recommended that you leave the country while your application is pending, but once it is approved and you have an employer, you can travel outside of the country and return (assuming you meet all the other requirements such as a valid VISA).

Back To Top