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The links below provide important information for F-1 students currently attending the college on a JCCC I-20.

The IISS staff will work diligently to inform you of any and all regulatory requirements/changes. However, you are ultimately responsible for maintaining your status and any status-related actions. All status-related emails are a courtesy reminder to students. 

IISS follows college policy for the Student Code of Conduct and Discipline. Any student found in violation of our code of conduct or discipline may be reported the Deans Office to follow disciplinary procedures. This includes, but is not limited to, the submission of falsified documents for immigration purposes or academic history.

Regular Appointments in COM 306

You may schedule an appointment to meet with an IISS advisor by calling the IISS office 913 469 8500 EXT: 7680. You can also email your advisor directly for quick answers to your questions.  Examples of reasons to schedule an appointment:

  • Transfer planning
  • Work authorization: OPT, CPT, Economic Hardship
  • I-20 extensions or other immigration problems
  • Academic probation and suspension
  • Reduced course loads
  • Travel outside of the country
  • Verification Letters
  • Graduation

Please email and we will connect you with your assigned advisor.

Walk-In Appointments in COM 306

You may also ask to see an advisor for a walk-in appointment if you have a very quick question or if something is urgent.

Walk-ins are available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As an F-1 student you must maintain lawful student status if you wish to enjoy the benefits associated with it, such as on-campus employment, practical training, and the ability to re-enter the United States when you travel.

Maintain 12 credit hours of enrollment every fall and spring semester with no less than 9 of the 12 credit hours being face-to-face/lecture style courses*. If you are a new student for the summer semester, you need to enroll full-time in 6 credit hours. Make normal progress towards completion of your program.

Review course delivery methods.

*Students with a language pathway (EAP) I-20 must enroll in 12 credit hours with all classes being face to face (no online classes).

As an F-1 student, you are responsible for ensuring you maintain the appropriate number and type of credit hours.

Changes that must be reported within 10 days:

Within 10 days of their occurrence, report changes of the following information to or to the IISS office in COM 306:

  • Name (attach copy of passport)
  • Country of citizenship (attach copy of passport)
  • Visa classification (attach evidence of new visa status)
  • Change of visa status: Provide a copy of your "receipt notice" or "approval notice" for your application for change of status.
  • New dependents (attach evidence of relationship and passport)
  • US residence and mailing addresses. Update your address using the online Address Change Form
  • Email address
  • Telephone number
  • Permanent foreign address
  • Major and minor area of study
  • Program end date (if requesting an extension, you must submit your request before the program end date printed on your current Form I-20)
  • Employment information while you are in a period of employment authorization under the provisions of optional practical training (OPT).

Extend program

If you have valid academic or health reasons for requiring more time to complete your program, you are required to request an extension through the IISS office. All extensions must be received/processed prior to your I-20 expiring.

Come to the IISS office at least 30 days before the completion date noted on your I-20.

Abide by the F-1 grace periods

You may be admitted up to 30 days before the program start date listed on the Form I-20, if the Form I-20 is issued for "initial attendance."

You may remain in the United States for up to 60 days beyond:

  • the completion of the program of study, or
  • the completion date of any authorized post-completion optional practical training

If you have been granted an authorized early withdrawal by a DSO may remain in the United States for up to 15 days following the withdrawal noted in SEVIS to prepare to depart the United States.

Completion of program of study or OPT: You may remain in the US for up to 60 days to prepare for departure, be admitted to a new program of study, or apply for change of visa status.

Withdrawal or dismissal from the college: If you are dismissed from JCCC or your I-20 is terminated immediate action is required as the 15 day grace period does not apply.

Grace periods are a benefit of valid status. Dismissal or withdrawal of academic status require immediate action and are not eligible for a grace period.

If dismissed:

  • Prepare for departure, or
  • Be admitted to a new program of study, or
  • Apply for a change of status

Termination of Your F-1 Status

Your F-1 status will be terminated and you will be out of status for the following reasons:

  • Absence from classes or the United States for 5 months
  • Failure to enroll
  • Failure to report employment within 90 days of starting OPT
  • Unauthorized drop below full course of study (12 credit hours)
  • Unauthorized employment
  • Unauthorized withdrawal from school
  • Otherwise failing to maintain status

Obtain Travel Permission

As an F-1 student must complete a Request Form to obtain a travel signature before traveling outside of the US.

Form I-20 needs to be signed on page two. Please allow 5 business days for the DSO to process your request. F-1 students must present the following documents at the port of entry to re-enter the US:

  • Valid Form I-20 with travel signature
  • Valid Passport (must be valid at least 6 months from your entry date)
  • Valid F-1 Visa Stamp
  • Unofficial transcripts and class schedule
  • Copy of financial support documents is recommended

If you are beginning a new program of study, make an appointment with an IISS Immigration Coordinator.

Reasons to do a change of education level:

  1. When you have completed the language pathway program.
  2. If you want to transfer to university and need to take classes towards your major.
  3. If you have completed your OPT and want to return to JCCC.
  4. If you have graduated and want to pursue another major at JCCC.
  5. If you are admitted to a selective major, e.g., Nursing program.
To obtain an I-20 for change of level, you must complete the Certificate of Finances, which is an online form to which you will attach bank documents, the Financial Sponsorship Agreement Form (PDF), as well as a Room and Board Sponsorship Form (PDF), if applicable.


If you are legally present in the United States as an I-20 student attending Johnson County Community College, you are required to purchase accident, illness, medical evacuation, and repatriation insurance through the JCCC specified health insurance provider. This insurance coverage must be maintained for all periods JCCC coverage is available to you as an F-1 student, including while on optional practical training (OPT), and on a medical and academic reduced courseload (RCL).

JCCC’s insurance coverage must be purchased even if you carry your own health insurance coverage. No exceptions will be made to this rule.

Fees and Enrollment Requirements

  • Insurance fees are automatically added to your student account when you enroll in classes
  • The current fees are:
    • $927.08 for the period of January 1 through July 31
    • $662.20 for the period of August 1 through to December 31.

Your Current Coverage

AETNA Open Choice PPO is the name of your insurance and LewerMark is the JCCC health insurance plan administrator. Refer to the LewerMark website to:

  • Print your insurance card
  • Learn how to find a doctor and use the prescription benefits
  • Understand your medical policy, plan benefits along with its terms and exclusions, and to
  • Access forms

Transferring from JCCC

If you are transferring to another institution for the Fall semester, your JCCC insurance coverage will end on the earliest of the two dates listed below:

  • July 31, or
  • the day your I-20 is transferred to the other institution.

If you are transferring to another institution for the Spring semester, your JCCC insurance coverage will end on the earliest of the two dates listed below:

  • December 31, or
  • the day your I-20 is transferred to the other institution.

To ensure you don’t have a break in insurance coverage between the time you transfer out of JCCC and become insurable under your new school’s plan, you must have your SEVIS record transferred to your new school prior to:

  • July 31 for a fall semester start
  • December 31 for a spring semester start

Please consult with an international advisor in the IISS prior to these dates to discuss your transfer.

Graduating Students

Health insurance ends on the following dates based on the semester of your graduation:

  • May 31 for a spring graduation
  • July 31 for a summer graduation
  • December 31 for a fall semester

When You Don’t Qualify for JCCC Health Insurance

On very rare occasion, F-1 students do not qualify for JCCC’s health coverage. Should this be the case for you, JCCC requires you provide proof to the IISS office of having purchased private health insurance which includes evacuation and repatriation coverage for the period JCCC health insurance coverage is not available to you.

Medical Reduced Course Load (RCL)

If you are approved for a medical reduced course load (RCL) for a given semester, JCCC’s health insurance policy requires you enroll as a full-time student in the subsequent semester to maintain your insurance. This applies for all semesters including the summer. So, while F-1 regulations do not require you to enroll in summer classes, you must do so to maintain your insurance if you have taken a medical RCL in the previous spring semester.

As stated above, if you are ineligible for insurance coverage under the JCCC plan, then you will be required to purchase a private health insurance plan and provide proof of coverage to the IISS office until you are eligible to resume coverage under the JCCC plan.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

You are required to purchase JCCC’s health insurance coverage plan while on Optional Practical Training (OPT) even if health insurance is available to you through your employer. The insurance fee will be added to your student account which you will be required to pay in early August and early January. 

Keeping Costs Low

Every five years, JCCC conducts a comprehensive search to find a health care carrier that provides good coverage for its F-1 students at an affordable cost. While insurance cost in the U.S. typically rises each year, increases in premiums are also related to medical usage and the type of facilities patients go to for care. To help contain the cost of the JCCC health insurance coverage plan for all students, it is important you familiarize yourself with when and where to go for medical care when you need it. The IISS staff and JCCC health insurance’s carrier can provide guidance to you on how best to access quality care at the most affordable cost.

Inquiries about Health Insurance Coverage

To learn more about your health insurance coverage, contact Lewermark or reach out to the IISS office.

JCCC I-20 students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours of classes for the fall and spring semesters to maintain their F-1 student status. A minimum of 8 credit hours* must be taken at JCCC for the both the fall and spring semesters; additional credit hours may be taken at another university/college to meet the full-time enrollment requirement of 12 credit hours.

Submit the JCCC Concurrent Enrollment Verification form at the beginning of each semester if you plan to take classes at another institution.

You are required to send the official transcript from the concurrent institution to the JCCC admissions office at the end of the semester.

Failure to submit your transcript at the completion of each semester that you concurrently attended another school may result in a loss of status.

It is important that you meet with an IISS advisor to discuss concurrent enrollment.

*Language Pathway (EAP) students must take all credits at JCCC.

When Is an I-20 Extension Needed?

Section 5 on your I-20 indicates the date by which your studies are to be completed at JCCC. An F-1 student who does not complete his or her educational program by the completion date noted in Section 5 on his or her most current, valid I-20 must apply for a Program Extension. 

When to Apply

You will be considered out of status if your I-20 expires and you have not completed your degree. You MUST meet with an IISS advisor before your I-20 expires to ask for an I-20 extension to avoid falling out of F-1 status.    

If you are completing your degree in the month that your I-20 expires, you should still make an appointment to meet with an IISS advisor.

Eligibility for I-20 Extension

Any F-1 student who has continually maintained status, is making normal academic progress and who has a compelling academic, medical or other reason for not completing the educational program by the completion date (#5) on the I-20 is eligible for a program extension. Academic suspension is not considered an acceptable reason for a program extension. If the reason for an extension is health related, it may be difficult to get approval unless you have valid documentation.

How to Apply for an I-20 Extension

  1. Make an appointment with an IISS Advisor discuss your desire to extend your program.
  2. Meet with an academic counselor.
• Complete the extension form electronically during your meeting with a counselor. 
• Your counselor will email you the extension link during your counseling session.
  1. IISS will electronically receive your extension form and review it.
  2. IISS office will contact you to pick up your new I-20.

Note: If you fail to extend your program of study before the completion date listed on your I-20 you may lose your F-1 status, and lose student benefits such as on-campus employment and other employment benefits. If this happens, you must regain status. Make an appointment to see an IISS advisor.

Your F-1 status will be terminated, and you will be out of status, for any of the following reasons:

  • Absence from classes or the United States for 5 months
  • Failure to enroll
  • Failure to report employment or changes while on OPT
  • Unauthorized drop below full course of study
  • Unauthorized employment
  • Unauthorized withdrawal from school
  • Otherwise failing to maintain status

In order to re-establish lawful F-1 status, you must:

  1. Obtain a new "initial attendance" Form I-20 with a new SEVIS ID number and reenter the US.
    If you choose to depart and reenter with a new status, you must pay the I-901 SEVIS fee again, and you will lose any time that you have accrued toward qualification for practical training (OPT or CPT).  


  1. Apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to be reinstated to lawful F-1 status. If you choose to apply for reinstatement, you must follow the steps below.

Conditions for approval of reinstatement:

  1. You have not been out of status for more than 5 months prior to filing reinstatement (unless you can show that there were exceptional circumstances that prevented the student from filing during the 5-month period).
  2. You do not have a record of repeated or willful violations.
  3. You are currently pursuing, or will in the next available term be pursuing, a full course of study (12 credit hours).
  4. You have not engaged in unauthorized employment.
  5. You are not deportable on any grounds other than the status violation for which reinstatement is being requested.
  6. The status violation resulted from circumstances beyond your control. Such circumstances might include serious injury or illness, closure of the institution, a natural disaster.

While a request for reinstatement is pending with USCIS, you are out-of-status and:

  • Are not eligible to apply for any student-related benefits
  • Can and should continue a full-time program of study at the school where they are enrolled
  • Must comply with all the requirements for maintaining your status
  • Should not travel outside the U.S. as departing the U.S. will be considered an abandonment of the pending reinstatement application. If you decide to depart the U.S., you will have to re-enter on a new initial attendance I-20 as well as pay the SEVIS fee again
  • Cannot work on or off campus

If USCIS denies the reinstatement application, you must depart the U.S. immediately.

Reinstatement checklist

Bring all completed items to your advising appointment:

  1. Form I-539 (completed for appointment)
  2. Check or money order for the full amount (subject to change without notice)
    1. $400 USD for a paper-based application or
    2. $390 USD for an online application
  3. Letter from you including:
    1. The reason for violating status
    2. The effect of failing to receive a reinstatement
    3. Statement that you are currently or will pursue a full course of study
    4. A specific request to reinstate status
  1. Copy of valid passport page or extension (if applicable)
  2. Copy of visa stamp
  3. I-94 printout
  4. Financial documents
  5. I-20 for reinstatement (must obtain this from IISS before applying)
  6. Transcripts from all US schools attended (originals recommended or copies required)
  7. If out of status for more than 5 months, proof of SEVIS fee payment and copy of receipt required

An I-94 record is an important document that indicates you were inspected at a port of entry and granted admission. I-94 records are required for proof of status for F benefits like employment, driver’s licensing, and other official purposes. Every time you enter and depart the United States, your visit is tracked by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through an I-94 Arrival/Departure record.

We recommend that you check your I-94 record every time you enter the U.S. to ensure your entry was correctly recorded. Errors may occur – particularly at busy ports of entry. Check your record by looking at CBP’s website. F-1 students should have a stamp (near their visa page) that indicates F-1, D/S (Duration of status). This indicates the class of entry and the length of stay.  

If you are issued any paperwork at the port of entry you should contact the IISS office immediately. Temporary admission (I-515A) may be granted if the officer is unable to determine you’re eligible for F-1 status. This could indicate there is an issue with your entry and an immediate response may be required, with documentation from an international and immigrant student advisor, to correct this issue. IISS will support you with any I-94 issues, but you are ultimately responsible for ensuring your I-94 data is accurate.

Have all required documents available for inspection. The following documents are required:

  • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
  • Visa (must be valid – unless entering with automatic visa revalidation)
  • I-20 (signed on page 2 for travel within 6 months of entry)
  • Transcript – recommended to provide proof of study
  • Financial documents – recommended to document proof of funding
  • EAD and proof of employment – if on OPT
  • If you are entering with an initial I-20 do not enter more than 30 days prior to program start date or date listed on your I-20 in the Program of Study box

Do not leave the customs station until you have reviewed the stamp in your passport, as it indicates how your entry will be recorded. If there is an error, address it on the spot!  

If you are 18 years of age or older in F-1 status, you are permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week at an on-campus job while school is in session. You are responsible to ensure compliance with this rule. We recommend you track your weekly hours to ensure you do not exceed the maximum 20 hours allowable per week.

You may work full-time during summer vacation and during official school breaks. Eligibility for on-campus employment ends on the final day of classes of the semester your I-20 expires.

You are not permitted to work off campus unless you have authorized CPT or OPT. Working off campus prior to obtaining legal authorization is a serious violation of your status.

Look for Job Postings

You will need a Social Security Number to start employment on campus. If you do not have a Social Security Number and have been offered a job, please contact the IISS office.

F-1 students working on CPT must have an I-20 with a DSO authorization.

F-1 students working on OPT or Economic Hardship Employment must get their Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) from the U.S. immigration service with an I-20 from the IISS office recommending the employment.

Don't work without authorization

Questions about work authorization? Contact your IISS Advisor

Visit the Career Development Center

The JCCC Career Development Center can help F-1 students with all aspects of career development, including career exploration, résumé and cover letter writing, internships, and job searches. If you are planning to look for a job on campus or employment related to OPT or CPT, be sure you understand work regulations and requirements for F-1 students by consulting an IISS Advisor, as unauthorized employment can seriously impact your status.

Who must file tax forms for 2023 tax season?

Even if you did not earn any income, if you were physically in the US on F or J status anytime between Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2023, you’re obligated to file a Form 8843 with the IRS (the Internal Revenue Service, or ‘IRS’, are the US tax authorities).

Meanwhile, if you earned any taxable US source income, you may need to file a federal tax return with the IRS. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may also need to file a state tax return(s).

Tax Filing Deadline:

April 15, 2024, is the tax filing deadline day for residents and nonresidents who earned US income to file Federal tax returns for the 2023 tax year.

Who is considered Resident or Nonresident for Federal Tax Purposes:

Generally, most international students & scholars who are on F, J, M or Q visas are considered nonresidents for tax purposes. International students on J-1 & F-1 visas are automatically considered nonresident for their first five calendar years in the US, whilst Scholars/Researchers on J visas are automatically considered nonresidents for two out of the last six calendar years in the US.

If you’ve been in the US for longer than the five or two year periods, the Substantial Presence Test will determine your tax residency.

How to File:

We have teamed up with Sprintax to provide you with an easy-to-use tax preparation software designed for nonresident students and scholars in the US. We (and all other university staff) are not qualified or allowed to provide individual tax advice.

After you login to Sprintax, you will be asked a series of questions about the time you have spent in the US over recent years. Sprintax will then determine your tax status. If it determines that you are a “nonresident alien” (NRA) for federal tax purposes, you can continue to use the software and respond to a series of guided questions. Sprintax will then complete and generate the tax forms you need to send to the tax authorities.

However, if Sprintax determines that you are a resident alien for federal tax purposes, you won’t be able to continue using the software

Step by Step guide on How to File Your Nonresident Tax Forms (F and J)

  1. Gather the documents you may need for Sprintax




Visa/Immigration information, including form I-20 (F status) or form DS-2019 (J status)

Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (if you have one)

This is not needed if you had no income and the 8843 is the only form you have to file.



This form reports your wage earnings if you worked. If you had more than one employer you should get a W-2 from each employer. It is issued by the end of January for the previous year. Make sure all employers from last year have an up-to-date address for you.



This form is used to report:

  1. Stipend, scholarship, fellowship income and travel grants (not tuition reduction or exemption)
  2. Income covered by a tax treaty
  3. Payment for other types of services (e.g., by the semester as a note-taker)

If you received this type of income, the 1042-S will be mailed to you by March 15 by the payer.

Note: Only NonResident Aliens receive this form. If your tax status changes to a Resident Alien you will not get a 1042-S. Log in to Sprintax to check your tax status if you're not sure.

U.S. entry and exit dates for current and past visits to the U.S.

In addition to passport stamps, you can review or print your U.S. travel history here.



This form reports miscellaneous income. Can be interest on bank accounts, stocks, bonds, dividends or earning through freelance employment


This form is NOT needed and can NOT be used for a nonresident tax return because NRAs are not eligible to claim education expense tax credits.

  1. Create a Sprintax account
    You will receive an email from the international student office providing you with a link to Sprintax to set up your account as well as your unique code to use on Sprintax. This unique code will cover the costs of the federal tax return and 8843 at no cost to you. Open your new Sprintax account by creating a UserID and password or if you have an existing account on Sprintax you can log in using your existing credentials.

  2. Follow the Sprintax instructions
    If you did not earn any US Income: Sprintax will generate a completed Form 8843 for you and each of your dependents (if you have any).

    If you did earn US Income: Sprintax will generate your “tax return documents”, including form 1040NR, depending on your circumstances.

  3. If required, complete your state tax return
    After you finish your federal return, Sprintax will inform you if you need to complete a state tax return. If so, you will have the option to use Sprintax for an additional fee. However, it is your choice to use them or to do the state tax return on your own.

  4. Read the instructions for filing/mailing your returns

    Remember to read the instructions that Sprintax provides.

    You will be required to download, print and sign your federal tax return and mail it  to the IRS. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to E-file your Federal tax return. However, this will depend on certain eligibility criteria. You can learn more about eligibility in this Sprintax blog -

    If you have a state filing requirement, you must also mail this to the tax authorities.

    Finally, if you only need to file Form 8843, this will also need to be mailed to the IRS.

Need Sprintax Support?

If you need help while using Sprintax, you can contact their support team using the options below:

24/7 Live Chat Help — Log in to your Sprintax account to use this option.

Refer to their FAQs

Sprintax Educational Tax Videos and Blog:

You also have access to the Sprintax YouTube account where there are a number of educational videos on nonresident taxes. These will provide further clarity on nonresident tax and how to use Sprintax. Sprintax also offer a range of useful content on their blog to help you file your return.

DISCLAIMER: International and Immigrant Student Services (IISS) and the school are NOT permitted to assist any student with any IRS tax form preparation or tax related questions. The information provided is intended for your benefit. Any questions or concerns should be directed to Sprintax, a certified tax preparer or a local IRS field office.

As a student in F-1 status, you may apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization in your field of study if the practical training is an integral part of your established curriculum. This kind of practical training permits a student to take a temporary job for a period no longer than one academic term at a time. Once a student completes all requirements for his/her degree, CPT is no longer an option.

To participate in CPT, you must:

  • Be a full-time student in the US for at least one academic year prior to the start of CPT
  • Maintain your F-1 status
  • Must have a CPT application form signed by an academic counselor
  • Be enrolled in a class that requires an internship
  • Be engaged in full-time or part-time employment
    •  Using part-time CPT does not affect the 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT). However, if you use 12 months or more of full-time CPT, then you lose your eligibility to apply for OPT.
  • Have a job offer and employment letter

If your application is approved by your IISS advisor, the period of CPT will be entered into SEVIS and a new I-20 will be printed for you in 3-5 business days. If your application is not approved or is incomplete, you will be contacted by your IISS advisor.

If needed, apply for a Social Security Number after your CPT has been approved.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Student Request

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Faculty Recommendation

Employment Letter

The letter should be typed on company letterhead and must contain the following information:

  • Dates of employment must match CPT start and end dates on I-20
  • Number of work hours per week (part-time is 20 hours or less and full-time is 21 hours or more)
  • Employer’s address
For additional information about CPT, contact the IISS office.

OPT is an opportunity for F-1 visa holders to work off-campus for one year after graduating.

If you are interested in OPT employmentplease meet with an IISS advisor at the beginning of the semester in which you complete your degree. Health insurance is required for all periods in which you maintain an active F-1 I-20, including Optional Practical Training (OPT). Your insurance coverage is valid for the duration of your OPT period and ends that last day of your authorization. This is a policy required by JCCC.

Eligibility Criteria

To participate in Optional Practical Training (OPT), you must:

  • Maintain your legal status as an F-1 student
  • Work only in the field in which you are currently studying (as indicated on your Form I-20)
  • Engage in OPT for no more than 12 months total during the period of your F-1 status
  • Engage in full time employment (more than 20 hours per week)
  • Apply for OPT as early as 90 days before you complete your studies or no later than 60 days following the completion of your final semester
  • Apply for OPT only if you are completing all degree requirements and graduating

Step 1

Make an appointment with an IISS Advisor at which time you will be given a list of required documents to apply for OPT. Complete the OPT agreement. (Select Optional Practical Training Contract and Agreement Form (online form))

Step 2

You will need to meet with an academic counselor.

Step 3

Schedule another appointment with your IISS advisor after you have met with your academic counselor.

Step 4

Create a USCIS online account and gather all required documents. Come prepared to submit your application. It is recommended that you bring your personal laptop to this meeting.

  1. Complete OPT request form with your academic counselor.
  2. Complete the OPT contract and agreement form.
  3. One digital passport photograph.
  4. I-94 saved as a PDF.  (Most recent I-94 is required)
  5. PDF of passport bio page. (Passport must be valid)
  6. Screenshot of CPT page (provided by DSO)
  7. OPT I-20 (provided by DSO)
  8. Credit or debit card for payment of application fee

Do not submit online application form without your OPT I-20. 

**All OPT applications must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the DSO recommendation in SEVIS.

***Notify DSO if you decide to discontinue in F-1 status for Optional Practical Training. Immigration actions will be required.

Reporting Requirements for Students on OPT

  • You will also need to report your employer's name and address (provide a letter of employment on letterhead). This is mandatory and you may not exceed more than 90 days of unemployment.

The letter should include:

1. EIN number (highly recommended)
2. Name of supervisor
3. Supervisor’s phone number
4. Supervisor’s email
5. Address
6. Start & end dates
7. Hours worked per week
8. Job description

  • You are required to report changes of address within 10 days of any move. This includes the period while you are on OPT. Change of name must also be reported while on OPT.
  • Unpaid employment, including interning or volunteering, in a position directly related to the academic field would be considered "employed" for the purposes of OPT employment.
  • If you obtain a job or change employers in the future, you must notify us.
  • If you decide to discontinue F-1 status for OPT and return home, please notify us.

In certain situations, students in F-1 status may apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for off-campus work permission due to economic hardship. In order to be considered for this benefit:

  1. You have been in F-1 status for one full academic year.
  2. You are in good academic standing and is in a full course of study (12 credit hours).
  3. You have demonstrated that acceptance of employment will not interfere with the student maintaining a full course of study.
  4. You have demonstrated that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the student's control.

To determine your eligibility for employment based on economic hardship, please make an appointment to meet with an IISS advisor.  

Below is a checklist for applying for employment based on economic hardship this benefit:

  1. Payment of I-765 fee. Check the USCIS website for fee instructions and payment options.
  2. A completed Form I-765 
  3. Two (2) standard passport-size photos taken no earlier than 30 days before submission to USCIS. These pictures should be 2-inch color passport photos. Lightly print your name on the back of each photo with a pencil.
  4. A letter from you to USCIS that includes the following information:
    • The reason(s) why you must seek off-campus work permission
    • A list of your assets, income and expenses
  5. Documentation of your financial problem which details the unforeseen circumstances that have caused your request
  6. Photocopy of I-20 bearing the recommendation from DSO on page 3
  7. Photocopy of I-94
  8. Photocopies of passport: visa page and identity page
  9. Photocopy of any previous EADs (if applicable)
  10. Photocopy of any previous I-797 Approval Notices (if applicable)

SSR applies when emergent circumstances occur. Emergent circumstances are world events that affect F-1 students from a particular region and create significant financial hardships, such as but not limited to:

  • Natural disasters.
  • Wars and military conflicts.
  • National or international financial crises.

Any F-1 student who believes that they may qualify for Special Student Relief benefits should contact their IISS coordinator for more information. In general, the coordinator will need to verify that you are in valid F-1 student status, that you were physically present in the US on the effective start date of the specific SSR program available to you, and collect documentation — including an explanatory letter or statement, budget documents, and other supporting material — that establishes that you are experiencing severe economic hardship due to emergent conditions in your home country or region. The coordinator will then talk to you about whether you would qualify for on- or off-campus employment authorization as allowed under SSR, and if you do, whether a reduced course load will be financially beneficial to your specific situation. Because each individual case may be different, consulting with an IISS coordinator is the first step.

International students may inquire at this website and discuss their situation with an IISS immigration coordinator.  To document SSR eligibility a student will need to provide financial documentation and proof of budgetary needs as asked for in economic hardship.  

Congress created a limited remedy called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to address the needs of people whose countries are going through emergency situations such as famine, natural disaster, and civil war. Students interested in TPS should consult with a qualified immigration attorney. For more information on TPS visit this website.

It is important to inform your immigration coordinator of any extenuating circumstances that may impact your ability to study. Coordinators will help guide you to resources, but you are responsible for status decisions.  

*This is not legal advice and should not be construed as such. Please consult with a qualified immigration attorney to discuss your specific situation and status options. 

You must maintain a GPA of 1.7 when you have between 12 and 30 GPA credit hours and a GPA of 2.0 when they have more than 30 credit hours. If your GPA falls below these requirements at the end of a semester, you will be put on probation for a semester. During your semester on probation, you must bring your GPA back up and earn a 2.00 or higher for the semester you were on probation.

If you are not able to bring your GPA back up during the semester on probation, you will be suspended from JCCC. This means you must leave JCCC for one semester (or possibly more semesters if you have been suspended before).

You must make an appointment with an IISS advisor as well as an academic counselor if you are on probation or suspended to discuss your options.

Read more about academic standing.

U.S. immigration regulations require F-1 students [8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(6)] to be registered as full-time students, which means they must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.

To drop below the minimum requirement of 12 credit hours of classes per semester, an RCL form must be must be completed and approved by an IISS Advisor before dropping below the minimum credit hours. Failure to do so is a violation of your immigration status and may result in the termination of your F-1 status.

RCLs may be approved for either academic or medical reasons.

Medical RCL:

To be approved for a medical RCL, you must have the Medical RCL Request Form signed by a licensed:
  • Medical Doctor
  • Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Clinical Psychologist
Your RCL cannot exceed a total of 12 months per program level

***A medical RCL may affect your health insurance eligibility***

Academic RCL:

Academic difficulties may be an option available for an academic RCL depending on when they occur.
  • An Academic RCL may be granted your first semester at JCCC due to:
    • Initial difficulty with reading requirements
    • Initial difficulty with the English language
    • Unfamiliarity with U.S. teaching methods.
  • An Academic RCL may be granted at any time due to improper course level placement.

Students on an Academic RCL must maintain a minimum of 6 credit hours of classes and have an Academic Counselor complete an Academic RCL Request Form

Final Semester/Graduation RCL:

If you are in your final semester and are needing fewer than 12 credit hours to graduate, you have an option of completing an RCL.

You must be enrolled in at least one required class (face-to-face).

Have an academic counselor complete an Academic RCL Request Form

SEVP has not clarified course enrollment ratios for RCL for completion of course of study. SEVP has indicated if only one course remains, it must be face-to-face. We advise students enroll in all face-to-face classes during their final semester to ensure compliance. If a student chooses to enroll in online courses, all risk associated with that decision is taken on by the student.

If you plan to withdraw from or leave JCCC and return to your home country, you must contact the IISS office to meet with an advisor.

If you have obtained authorization from an advisor to withdraw, you will need to depart from the U.S. within 15 days.

Once you have withdrawn from your courses at JCCC, you are not allowed to work on campus or receive any F-1 benefits.

Fill out the Early Withdrawal Request Form and return to IISS advisor.

I-20 Scholarships

There are limited scholarships offered through JCCC as well as outside organizations and there is great competition for scholarships.

Scholarship Requirements

  • All scholarships have an application process and a priority deadline, which may differ for various scholarships.
  • Some may require you to submit documentation to show that you have a financial need, samples of your work, an essay, or references from previous instructors or employers and similar references.

Three Types of Institutional and Local Scholarships

  1. Institutional Scholarships - These scholarships are from JCCC for example, academic, single parent, transfer student etc. Fill out the application to see which JCCC scholarships you qualify for.
  2. Departmental Scholarships - These scholarships are from the specific department or degree field for example, music, math, education, etc.
  3. Private Scholarships - These scholarships are from clubs, organizations, business etc.

International Students are not eligible for any scholarships that require the Federal Student Aid Application (FAFSA).

Scholarships for I-20 Students

  • JCCC International and Immigrant Emergency Scholarship - The International and Immigrant Student Emergency Scholarship is available when you have an emergency situation that makes it difficult to afford tuition payments due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control. To apply for this scholarship you are required to submit an essay explaining how your financial situation has changed and why you are currently in need of assistance. You must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Recipients can only be awarded this scholarship once. The JCCC scholarship application needs to be completed in order to be considered for this scholarship.
  • JCCC F-1 Merit Scholarship - Available to JCCC F-1 visa holders. If you have demonstrated exemplary school engagement, community involvement or civic responsibility or have leadership experience and minimum 3.5 GPA, you can apply for the merit scholarship. The JCCC scholarship application needs to be completed in order to be considered for this scholarship.
  • Institute of International Education Funding for U.S. Study - Is a database of scholarships, fellowships and grants organized and maintained by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
  • International Education Financial Aid - is a general resource for financial aid for international students. Their website includes a scholarship search database.

Financial Responsibility

All credit students, including I-20 and immigrant students are required to assume full financial responsibility for their education. For additional information refer to the Student Financial Responsibility Statement.

Transfer Credits

Non-U.S. (foreign) transcript evaluation:

JCCC only accepts evaluations done by the ECE agency. These evaluations are considered a recommendation only.

  • An ECE evaluation is only a recommendation. 
  • An ECE recommendation may transfer in as elective credits, but will not fulfill core degree requirements.
  • Other agency evaluations (EEI or WES) or another academic institutions will not be considered by JCCC.
  • Consider the cost of the evaluation service prior to proceeding with this request, as there is no guarantee ECE evaluation will result in credit transfer in to JCCC.

Follow ECE’s instructions to submit an evaluation application. Hand-delivered ECE requests will not be considered for credit transfer purposes.

  • Request a course-by-course evaluation with a GPA calculation.
  • If you want a copy to be sent to you, you will need to pay an additional fee.
  • Request the evaluation be mailed directly to JCCC from ECE.

JCCC Office of Admission
12345 College Blvd. Box 49
Overland Park, KS 66210-1299

JCCC does not accept evaluations from another U.S. college or university. Only course-by-course ECE evaluations mailed directly to JCCC from ECE will be accepted for the purpose of conducting transfer credit reviews to determine if the credits are eligible for a JCCC program or certificate.

Kansas/Program evaluation requirements:

In some instances, evaluation recommendations suggested by agencies other than ECE may be accepted. The state of Kansas requires ECE evaluations for individuals seeking certification or licensure in some fields. 

  • Cosmetology, esthetician, electrolysis practitioner and body art practitioner students will be required to have their documents evaluated by ECE. Refer to Transfer of Hours Form on the Kansas Board of Cosmetology site.
  • CNA students, for the purposes of licensure/certification, will be required by the State of Kansas to have their documents evaluated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). 
  • Nursing students, for the purpose of licensure/certification, will be required by the State of Kansas to have their documents evaluated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).

Evaluation of your non-U.S. (foreign) transcripts by JCCC:

JCCC evaluates (foreign) transcripts for the following purposes:

  • To verify equivalence to U.S. study for I-20 issuance.
  • To verify equivalence to U.S. study for Financial Aid purposes.

Credits transferred from JCCC to other U.S. colleges:

Make an appointment with an academic counselor to verify that your courses from JCCC will transfer to another U.S. college or university for degree requirements.

Credits transferred from a non-U.S. (foreign) college to other U.S. colleges:

Each college or university will independently determine which courses they will accept from another college or university in accordance with their policy and degree requirements. 

Instructions for Transferring to Another School as an F-1 Student

An F-1 student is eligible to transfer to another school or program of study.

F-1 students: we will have to transfer your record within 60 days of your I-20 end date or within 60 days of your OPT completion. 

Your courses (not orientation) at the new school must begin within 5 months of your I-20 end date or post-completion OPT end date.

  • If you are finishing OPT, you can transfer your SEVIS record during OPT or during the 60-day grace period following your OPT end date.
  • If you transfer your record while on post-completion OPT, your OPT will automatically end and any remaining OPT time will be forfeit.

If you are planning to transfer, make an appointment with your IISS advisor

To start the process of transferring your I-20, you must have the following documents:

  1. Acceptance Letter: The acceptance letter must be official. Your I-20 cannot be transferred without an acceptance letter. An acceptance letter is written confirmation of acceptance to another Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school.
  2. Transfer in form: Your new school may require our office to complete a 'Transfer-In Form.'
  3. Request Form: You need to specify the date you want your I-20 transferred to your new school.

    • The request date can be 1 week from the last day of the semester or after.
    • The 'Transfer Release Date' is the date JCCC releases your electronic SEVIS record to your new school.
    • On the transfer release date, your new school will have access to your F-1 record and will create your new I-20.
    •  After your transfer release date, JCCC no longer has access to your record. The new school cannot create your new I-20 until after the release date

As the SEVIS transfer is electronic, it happens instantaneously. Your SEVIS record will be sent to your new school electronically on your transfer release date.

After the release it, it will take some time for them to create your new I-20. Consult with your new school for timing advice.

  • If you are employed on campus, the last of employment is the last day of your semester.
  • If you request the transfer prior to the last date of semester, then the last date of employment is the date your I-20 is transferred.
Once your transfer release date arrives, the DSO at your previous school will not have access to your SEVIS record, and your new DSO can create a new Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status,” for you. It is important to get a new Form I-20 (signed by your new DSO and you) as soon as possible. To maintain your status, register for classes and contact your new DSO within 15 days of the program start date listed on your new Form I-20.

If you are planning to leave the country, contact your new school about obtaining a new I-20 to re-enter and for additional travel guidance.

JCCC is a commuter college which means that there are no dormitories, residences halls or on campus housing. Students reside in the community and typically travel by car to JCCC as public transportation is very limited in Overland Park, the city where JCCC is located.

International students have options for housing.

Housing generally needs to be arranged after a student has arrived in Kansas. It is recommended that students arrive in Overland Park at least 2 weeks before the start of classes in order to find suitable living accommodations and to make the necessary rental and transportation arrangements.

Documents required for a Kansas Driver’s License or Identification Card

If you are in the U.S. on an F, M or J visa and reside in the state of Kansas, you may apply for a Kansas Driver’s License or a Kansas Identification Card as long as you are in lawful status in the U.S. and present the following documents to prove your legal presence in the country:

  • A current, valid passport, entry visa, I-94, I-20 (for F-1s, M-1s) or a DS-2019 (for J-1s)
  • A social security card, if you have one
  • Proof of residency. You must show two documents that have YOUR name and CURRENT address on them. Acceptable documents include:
    • A JCCC tuition receipt, invoice or current class schedule
    • a bank statement or utility bill less than 2 months old
    • an original lease/rental agreement
    • a payroll check stub issued in the last two months

A comprehensive list of documents is found can be found at the Kansas Dept. of Revenue website.

Examinations and Fees for a Kansas Driver’s License

Driving Instruction Permit

If you have no or little experience driving, you will likely want to apply for a driver’s instruction permit before applying for a Kansas driver’s license. With this permit, you will be allowed to practice driving with a licensed adult driver over the age of 21 before applying for your full driver’s license which requires that you pass a driving skills examination.  

To obtain a driver’s instruction permit, you must:

  • Submit documents listed above
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass a written test on driving regulations, rules and road signs or submit a certificate of completion from driver’s education (Review material found on Kansas Driving Handbook to prepare for written test)

Driver’s License

If you are:

  • an experienced driver yet you do not have a U.S. driver’s license, or
  • or you feel sufficiently ready to apply for driver’s license after having practiced driving with an instruction permit, or you
  • have successfully completed a driver’s education course

you may proceed with applying for your Kansas Driver’s License. To do so you must complete the steps listed above which are required to obtain an instruction permit AND undergo a driving skills examination. You will be responsible for providing your own vehicle for the driving skills test.

Cost of a Kansas ID, Driver’s License or Permit

Location of Driver’s License Exam Stations

Titling and Registering a Vehicle

Kansas law requires that all motor vehicle owners title and register their vehicle in the state and county where the vehicle is garaged. Motor vehicles cannot be legally operated without this being done.  The Kansas Application for certificate of title and registration must be made through the County Treasurer’s Motor Vehicle Registration office.

Vehicle registration must be made within 60 days of the time the vehicle is purchased to avoid having to pay a penalty. For a complete listing of the documents required to apply for a Kansas title and vehicle registration and to access the forms needed to do so, go to the Kansas Department of Revenue – Division of Vehicles

Vehicle Inspection for out of State Vehicles

If you are a vehicle owner from another state who now resides in Kansas, you must title and register your vehicle in the state of Kansas within 90 days of having moved to the state.

  • Before going to the County’s Treasurer’s office to apply for a new title and registration, you will need to have your vehicle inspected by the Kansas State Highway Patrol who will issue you a VIN inspection (MVE-1) form that you will take with you to the County Treasurer’s office.
  •  Individuals who purchase a vehicle from another state must also have it inspected by the Kansas Highway Patrol before being able to title and register it in the State of Kansas.

To determine the location and hours of operation of the VIN Inspection locations, visit the Kansas Highway Patrol website.

Fees for Titling and Registering a Vehicle

Once you have gathered and filled out all the forms required to title and register your new or used vehicle, you will need to go in person to the County’s Treasurer’s office to submit your paperwork and pay your fees.  Included in the cost of titling and registering a new or used vehicle is a:

  • Sale tax on the price of the vehicle if you are buying a vehicle from a private seller
  • Personal property tax based on the year and model of the vehicle
  • A registration fee based on the weight of the vehicle
  • A title fee

Estimates of these various fees may be found on the Johnson County Treasurer's website.

Required Documents

If you are in the U.S.. on an F, M or J visa and reside in the state of Missouri, you may apply for a Missouri Driver License or a Missouri Non-Driver License (an official state identification card) as long as you are in lawful status in the country and present the following documents to prove your legal presence in the U.S.: 

  • A current and valid passport, entry visa, I-94, I-20 (for F-1s, M-1s) or a DS-2019 (for J-1s).
  • A letter from JCCC’s International and Immigrant Student Services department verifying your enrollment at the college. 
  • A social security card or, if you are not eligible for one, a Social Security Number Exemption letter to be obtained from the Social Security Administration office. 
  • Proof of residency. You must show at least one document that has YOUR name and CURRENT address on it. Acceptable documents include: 
  • Most recent utility bill or bank statement; a recent payroll check stub; a personal property tax receipt; a housing rental contract; any official letter issued within the past 30 days by a state or local government agency.

A comprehensive list of documents that need to be presented when a non immigrant applies for a Missouri driver license or non-driver license can be found at the Missouri Department of Revenue website

Examinations and Fees for a Missouri Driver’s License 

If you have never had a U.S.. driver license: 

You will need to take the following examinations at a Missouri State Highway Patrol office: 

  • Vision test
  • Written test on traffic rules and regulations
  • Road sign recognition test
  • Driving skills test

To prepare for the written and road sign recognition tests, you should study the Missouri Driver’s Guide.

If you have a non-expired driver license from another state:

You will only be required to take the vision and road sign recognition tests at your local Missouri Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle and Drivers License office when applying for a Missouri driver license. 

Cost of a Missouri driver’s permit, license or non-license.

Office Locations for Driver Examinations and License Cards

Driver license examinations for those who have never had a U.S.. driver license are conducted at Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) offices. You will be responsible for providing your own vehicle for the driving skills examination. 

After you have successfully passed the required driver examinations, you will need to go to a Missouri Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle and Drivers License Offices to apply for your driver license card.

To locate an office near you, go to the Missouri Department of Revenue website and enter your zip code in the “Find a License Office” search box.  

Purchasing, Titling and Registering a Vehicle 

New residents of the state of Missouri who already own a vehicle, or who purchase one after moving to the state, must register their vehicle with the Missouri Department of Revenue and obtain a Missouri driver license.

Valuable information on how to purchase, title and register a vehicle can be found under the Motor Vehicle tab of the Missouri Department of Revenue website

Additional Information:

The Unofficial Guide to the DMV.

In the US, volunteering is a sign of being a good member of the community. Many scholarship providers like to see that applicants have given part of their time to help others.

Students volunteer at JCCC because:

  • It's fun!
  • You meet new and interesting people
  • You feel part of the community
  • You gain valuable life experiences and skills
  • It shows colleges and universities that you're committed
  • It looks great on your resume and will help you when transferring to a four-year university and/or applying for scholarships
  • You can make a difference

To get the most out of your volunteer experience, ask yourself these questions before committing to an organization.

  • How much time do I have to commit?
  • What have I done in the past that I've enjoyed?
  • What do I want to do as a volunteer - and what would I rule out doing?
  • What talent or skills can I offer?
  • What kinds of people do I want to work with?
  • What would I like to learn from volunteering?
  • Is it truly a volunteer position?

Find volunteer opportunities at JCCC

Check with the JCCC Human Resources Department or a volunteer coordinator to ensure you’re complying with state and federal volunteer laws prior to engaging in any volunteer activity.

Please contact the IISS office for any questions or concerns regarding volunteering.