International Students - SSC

International Student Support Services provides current and accepted Newman University students on F-1 Student Visas with personal and academic support while studying in the United States. Services include maintaining F-1 Immigration Status, employment permissions, help navigating NU policies and procedures, and general assistance with bank accounts, ID cards, transportation, cell phones, and more.

If there are any questions regarding International Student Support Services, please contact the Student Success Center by phone at 316-942-4291 extension 2318, by email at [email protected], or by visiting the Student Success Center on the first floor of Dugan Library. For any questions about applying to Newman University, please contact the Office of Admissions by email or phone: [email protected] or (316) 942-4242.

Information & Procedures for International Students

New & Transfer International Students

Download the Newman University Campus Map

Welcome to Newman University!

Studying in another country can be a difficult decision to make, and we are honored you have chosen NU for your studies. We know living abroad has its own set of challenges. The International Student Support Service webpage is designed to offer you concise information about your stay in the United States, and faculty and staff at Newman University are here to support you in any way we can. You are an integral part of the Newman campus! We hope Newman University fosters your sense of belonging and helps you achieve your academic goals.

Please visit the Student Success Center on the first floor of Dugan Library and ask for your Student Support Specialist & PDSO for a closer look at any of the information found on this webpage.

International Student Orientation

Before beginning your studies at Newman University, you must attend International Student Orientation to learn how to maintain legal status as an F-1 Student. You will meet your PDSO and DSO at orientation, and they will help you navigate the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and stay legal in the United States for the duration of your studies.

International Student Orientation is held before classes begin in the Fall Semester and during the first week of classes in the Spring Semester. You must bring the following items to orientation so that a "continued attendance" status I-20 can be issued to you:

  • Your valid passport
  • Your "initial" or "transfer" status I-20 (Sent to you by Admissions!)
  • Your I-94 record with your last entry date into the United States

Opening a Bank Account

To open a bank account, take your student ID, passport, I-94 record, and your signed I-20 to any bank. Newman University has a relationship with the nearby Bank of America. They are happy to enroll students into a bank account, but you can open a bank account anywhere you would like.

Obtaining A Kansas State ID or Driver's License

International students may obtain a Kansas State ID once living in the United States, and many students choose to carry around an ID in place of their passport. Kansas State IDs are issued by the Kansas Department of Revenue.

You will need the following documents to obtain a Kansas ID:

  • Your passport
  • Your signed I-20
  • Your I-94 record
  • 2 proofs of residency (A bank statement, utility bill, tuition bill listing your US address, or a dorm agreement letter stating your US address.)
  • $22 processing fee

Driver's licenses are also issued by the Kansas Department of Revenue. They require a vision exam, a written exam, and a driving test to ensure you understand the laws in Kansas. A fee is required as well as proofs of identity and proofs of residency.

Make an appointment with your Student Support Specialist if you'd like to obtain a Kansas State ID or Driver's License.

Back To Top

General Information for International Students

Maintaining Status

Being in-status means you are complying with all the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) rules and regulations for F-1 international students and may remain in the United States.

SEVP rules include maintaining a full-time course load, keeping current records and historical records, following employment regulations, and notifying your PDSO of any changes to your academic program or US residency. Visit Study in the States for more information about maintaining F-1 status.

Expiring Visa or Passport

You must be outside of the United States and in your home country to renew your visa. We recommend you renew 6-months prior to its expiration. If your visa expires while you are outside of the United States, you will not be permitted to reenter the US until your visa is renewed. View the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website to find the specific location and information for your visa renewal.

To renew a passport, you are required to contact your home country’s government agency and follow the provided steps.


International students can travel anywhere inside the United States while attending Newman, but you should always keep a copy of your most current I-20 and your most recent I-94 record with you.

SEVP limits F-1 students to 5-months or less of travel outside of the United States to remain in status. If you want to travel outside of the country, stop by the Student Success Center before you leave to ensure your I-20 has a travel endorsement. It is recommended that you have your travel endorsed every time you leave the country. The Student Success Center can provide students with travel letters in addition to travel signatures if students would like one.

You should have these documents upon reentry to the United States:

  • Your current F-1 I-20 with a DSO travel signature made in the last 5 months;
  • Your valid passport for at least 6 months;
  • **Your valid student visa for at least 6 months; and
  • Recommended: Your SEVIS fee receipt (I-901). Don’t have your receipt? You can find it at
  • If you are on OPT or SEH, you must also have your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

**Trips that are 30 days or less to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands adjacent to the United States may allow reentry with an expired visa based on visa revalidation. Visit to learn more.

When to Visit Your DSO

F-1 students should speak with their PDSO if planning to do any of the following:
  • Change your major, program, or degree level;
  • Change your education level;
  • Transfer to a new school or take a leave of absence;
  • Take a break from school;
  • Travel outside the United States;
  • Move to a new address; and
  • Request a program extension.

Back To Top

Studying at Newman University

Online Classes

You can take online classes while studying at Newman!

  • Undergraduate international students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours of classes each semester in order to remain in status, and 3 credit hours (or 1 class) of these 12 may be online. Once your 12 credit requirement is met, you may take additional online classes.
  • Graduate international students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours of classes each semester in order to remain in status, and 3 credit hours (or 1 class) of these 6 may be online. Once your 6 credit requirement is met, you may take additional online classes.

Reduced Course Load (RCL)

F-1 students are required by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to maintain a full course of study each semester, which is 12-credits for undergraduate students and 6-credits for graduate students. However, certain conditions exist that may qualify an F-1 student for a reduced course load. These are:

  • Medical condition or illness
  • Being in your final term or semester
  • Certain initial academic difficulties, including:
    • Improper course level placement
    • Initial difficulty with the English language
    • Initial difficulty with reading requirements
    • Unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods

If you believe you qualify for a reduced course load, please speak to your Student Support Specialist BEFORE withdrawing from any classes.

Back To Top

Employment in The United States

On Campus VS Off Campus

F-1 international students can hold any on-campus job that serves students. You may work up to 20 hours per week on campus while class is in session and full-time during summer, winter, and spring breaks.

Only international students who qualify for CPT or SEH may work off campus. To apply for a student job on campus, please view HR's Job Openings. If you wish to work off campus, please see the FAQ for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Economic Hardship, and contact your Student Support Specialist & PDSO.

Social Security Numbers

International students can apply for social security cards once they are employed. Employment includes on-campus jobs, Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Severe Economic Hardship (SEH), or Optional Practical Training (OPT). You will need information from your employer (NU HR department if employed on-campus), your Student Support Specialist & PDSO, and to visit your local Social Security Administration office. Bring these documents to your local SSA office to apply for social security:

  • Your current F-1 I-20
  • Your valid passport
  • Your I-94 record
  • Letter from employer verifying your position of employment.
  • Letter from PDSO certifying your identity as an F-1 student at Newman University.

F-1 Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is a tool that helps international students gain practical experiences in their chosen field. You may work for any business so long as the specific position and duties of the employment relate to your program of study. You may use CPT for as many co-op or internship hours apply to earning your degree. If you are not receiving credits toward your degree, you cannot utilize CPT.

CPT Requirements

You must be enrolled at Newman for two full semesters to qualify for CPT. Then, you must obtain a job offer, enroll in a cooperative education or internship course, and complete a CPT recommendation form with your advisor. Bring all these items to your PDSO when you are ready to add CPT to your I-20.

F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is a tool that helps international students continue working in the United States after graduation. You may work for up to 12-months within the field from which you graduated. If you graduate with a STEM degree, you may qualify for an additional 24 months of OPT.

OPT Eligibility

A student must graduate from the university by the start date of their OPT in order to pursue it. You must also have less than 12-months of full time CPT to be eligible for OPT. See the FAQ for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for more information and visit your DSO when you are ready to request OPT.

Severe Economic Hardship (SEH)

SEH is a work authorization that allows students who are experiencing difficult financial circumstances to work off campus.

Back To Top

Curricular Practical Training and Economic Hardship FAQ

Download the Requirements to Obtain CPT

Applying for CPT

First, contact the Student Support Specialist to receive an Advisor Recommendation Form. You will also need to secure an offer letter from your potential co-op or internship host that details their contact information, your duties of employment, and the dates of your employment. With those two documents completed and your enrollment in an internship course, the Student Support Specialist will issue you an I-20 with CPT work authorization.

CPT Duration & Repetitions

Curricular Practical Training authorizes employment that is tied to your degree major fulfillment. This means you can only pursue CPT if your degree major requires a co-op or internship class, and you must take this class alongside your CPT employment. The start and end dates of your CPT must approximately match the dates of your co-op or internship class. Last, you can only use CPT for as many co-op or internship credit hours apply towards your degree, which varies across majors. If you are not receiving credit towards your degree with your internship or co-op class, you cannot pursue CPT.

Students are allowed to take CPT more than once IF they have not used all of their required internship hours that fulfill their degree requirements. Many students choose to take a single credit internship each semester to spread CPT across multiple semesters.

Please Note: 12 months of full-time CPT will make you ineligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT)!

Severe Economic Hardship (SEH)

SEH authorizes students experiencing difficult financial circumstances to work off campus so that they may earn enough money to stay in the United States and continue their studies. The SEH application seeks an EAD or Employment Authorization Document.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) defines “severe economic hardship” as a financial condition caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control that make it difficult for a student to continue education in the United States.

These financial conditions may include:

  • Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment through no fault of the student.
  • Substantial changes in the exchange rate or value of the currency upon which the student depends.
  • Inordinate increases in tuition or living costs.
  • Unexpected changes in the financial state of the student’s source of support.
  • Medical bills.
  • Other substantial and unexpected expenses.

Applying for SEH

First, contact the Student Support Specialist & PDSO. If you are found eligible to apply for SEH, a request for SEH will be added to your I-20 and a new I-20 will be issued to you. Then, you must file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This application requires thorough documentation that provides evidence of the conditions of your economic hardship.

Back To Top

Optional Practical Training FAQ

F-1 Post-Graduation Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is a benefit offered to international students that allows them to work in the field of their degree major after graduation in order to continue their education in the United States. International students may receive work authorization in the field they graduated for up to 12-months. If you graduated with a STEM degree, you may qualify for another 24-months of OPT.

OPT Eligibility

To be eligible for OPT, you must meet these 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;
  3. You have not used OPT at the same degree level previously; and
  4. You do NOT have 12-months of full-time CPT.

Applying for OPT

To apply for OPT, first make an appointment with the Student Support Specialist. Your window to apply for OPT opens 90 days before your Program End Date and closes 60 days AFTER your Program End Date. You will need to file an I-765 form with USCIS for OPT processing. The I-765 form requires extensive documentation and a $470 fee, but it may now be completed electronically.

OPT Application Processing

OPT applications are usually processed within 3-5 months. 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. We recommend that students apply for OPT as soon as they are eligible.

When you apply for OPT, you will request an initial start and end date for your work authorization. If your application is approved after your requested start date, the government will issue you new start and end dates. If your application is processed before your requested start date, the government will hold you to your requested dates. You will not be authorized to work in the United States until your requested start date.

Travel & OPT

You may leave the United States while on OPT, although you should still get a travel signature from your PDSO. It is NOT recommended that you leave the country while your OPT application is pending. Once OPT 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).

Social Security & OPT

Employment, including OPT employment, allows international students to obtain social security numbers. Your OPT I-765 application will ask if you have or wish to receive a social security number. You will need to secure employment for OPT before you can start the process to receive social security. Speak to your Student Support Specialist to learn more.

24-month STEM Extension

If you graduated with a degree recognized by USCIS as a STEM degree, then you can apply for a 24-month STEM extension. This process is similar to 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.

You may start a business for OPT instead of working for someone else. However, you cannot be self-employed for the STEM extension.

OPT Miscellaneous Information

  • If you wish to cancel your OPT, you must request that your application be withdrawn, and this should be done as soon as possible. Once an OPT application is approved, it cannot be withdrawn. Applicants do not usually receive refunds once the I-765 payment has been processed.
  • You are not required to have a job right away for OPT, and you do not need to remain with the same employer for all 12-months. You may accrue up to 90 days of unemployment before you are considered to be in violation of your immigration status and, as long as you update your employer with USCIS, there are no issues with switching employers.
  • You may not attend another school while pursuing OPT. Once you start a new program, your OPT will automatically end.
  • You are eligible for 12-months of OPT for EACH level of education you complete in college. That means you can pursue 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 pursue OPT twice if you get two Bachelor’s degrees or two Master's degrees.

Back To Top

Health Insurance

All Newman F-1 international students are required to have health insurance during the academic year in case of injury or illness. We have partnered with Global Benefits Group (GBG) to offer current international students an adequate insurance plan. F-1 students are automatically enrolled in this plan for academic semesters unless they choose to opt out.

If you wish to opt out of the GBG insurance plan and secure your own, you must speak to your Student Support Specialist & PDSO!

Access your health insurance portal here,watch the video below to learn more about using your insurance portal, download the MyGBG APP to your smartphone or tablet, and open this Pharmacies.pdf to see a list of pharmacies that accept GBG health insurance.

Back To Top

Tax Information for International Students

International students must submit tax forms to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if they studied in the US for any part of 2023. These tax filings are due by April 15, 2024. All F-1 international students must file the IRS Form 8843 and may need to file other forms depending on:

  • Income from wages;
  • Receipt of a grant, fellowship or scholarship;
  • Interest from stock options;
  • Lottery or gambling winnings; and
  • Other types of non-wage income.

Newman will partner with the tax preparation system Sprintax for 2023 taxes. Please view their links and video below to learn more.

Please Note: No staff members at Newman University, including your Student Support Specialist & PDSO, are tax professionals! Direct any tax questions to Sprintax, a certified tax professional, or your local IRS field office. If you need additional tax support, Contact the IRS or use the Free Filing with the IRS.

Back To Top

Departing NU

While we’re sorry to see you go, F-1 students will inevitably leave Newman University.

SEVP grants F-1 students a 60-day grace period to leave the United States or legally extend their stay after completing their Program of Study and/or Optional Practical Training (OPT). You should meet with your Student Support Specialist & PDSO before or in the event of any of the following to learn your options and next steps:

  • Graduating/Completing Your Program
  • Transferring to Another School
  • Changing Your Education Level (e.g., undergraduate to graduate program)
  • Applying for Change of Status (e.g., H-1B-temporary worker; O-extraordinary ability in science, art or business; P-athlete).
  • Failing to Maintain Your F-1 Status (F-1 Termination)

Back To Top

Newman Student Resources

Newman University provides students with a variety of supportive services that continue to improve each semester. Please click the links below to learn more about current services and visit this page in the future to learn about new and improved services.

Back To Top