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Curry College International Students in Boston

Curry College enthusiastically welcomes international students to our community.  From the moment you express your interest in Curry you will be supported by staff in our Admission Office who will assist you through the application process and in obtaining your initial student visa.  Information about applying to Curry is available on the International Student Admission page.

When you first arrive on campus you will participate in the International Student Orientation organized by the Center for Global & Career Services (CGCS).  CGCS staff will partner with you in maintaining your status as an F-1 student in the United States and should be your first point of contact for any questions about your visa status, SEVIS record and employment authorization.



What is it for?
A passport serves as a form of identification and proof of citizenship. It enables you to enter a foreign country and re-enter your home country.

Where can you get it?
At the appropriate office in your home country, or if you lose it in the U.S., at your nearest home country embassy or consulate.

Do you have to renew it? When? How?
Yes, six months before it expires. Apply at the appropriate office in your home country, or in your consulate or embassy in the U.S.

F-1 Visa

What is it for?
An F-1 visa gives you permission to ENTER the U.S.   As long as you stay in the U.S., you do not need a valid visa. If you leave the U.S., you will need a valid visa to re-enter the U.S. A visa cannot be renewed in the U.S.

Where can you get it?
At a U.S. embassy abroad. You can only get a U.S. visa outside of the U.S.

Do you have to renew it? When? How?
If your visa expires, you do not need to renew it as long as you stay in the U.S. If you leave the U.S. and wish to return in F-1 status you must renew your visa.   It is recommended that you apply at a U.S. embassy in your home country.

Form I-94

What is it for?
A Form I-94 is an arrival and departure record that documents your entry to the U.S. and gives you permission to STAY in the U.S.   It is usually valid for as long as your program of study. (Duration of Status or D/S).

Where can you get it?
If you enter the U.S. by land you will receive your Form I-94 at the border. If you enter the U.S. by air or sea your Form I-94 is automated, and you can get a printout of it at   You should print a copy after each entry to the U.S.

Do you have to renew it? When? How?
Only if you have a specific date noted on your Form, your form should say D/S (Duration of Status), if it does not you must apply for an “extension of stay”. Please meet with the Assistant Director of Global & Career Services for guidance.

Form I-20

What is it for?
A Form I-20 shows where you are attending school, what you are studying, and how long you will need to complete your program.

Where can you get it?
From the school you are attending in the U.S.

Do you have to renew it? When? How?
You must request a new Form I-20 if any of the information on your form changes (major, source or amount of funding, program end date).

What is a non-immigrant? 

An individual that is not a citizen or national of the United States, who wishes to be admitted to the United States for a limited period for the specific purpose of study and plans to depart the United States after completing that purpose. 

What does F-1 mean? 

F-1 is a non-immigrant visa status.  F-1 status is for individuals coming to the U.S. to be full-time students. 

What is a Form I-20? 

The Form I-20 shows that a student has been admitted to a school or college in the United States as a student.  It is issued by the college you are authorized to attend and indicates how long you may remain in the U.S. to complete a program of study.  It also indicates your major field of study.  Students in valid F-1 status can remain in the U.S. until the completion of their program, plus a 60 days grace period. 

What is a visa? 

The visa is placed in your passport at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U.S.  A valid F-1 visa is required to enter the U.S. in F-1 status.  The expiration date of your visa does not affect how long you may stay in the U.S. 

What is a Form I-94? 

The Form I-94 is your official “Arrival/Departure Record.”  Your Form I-94 is automated and available online at  Your Form I-94 indicates your immigration status (F-1) and the expiration date of your status.  Your expiration date is usually “D/S” which means “Duration of Status”.  The notation refers to the date on which you are scheduled to complete your studies, or the end date on your Form I-20 (whichever is earlier). 

What is SEVIS? 

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is a Department of Homeland Security internet based electronic system for international students and scholars.  Individuals seeking F-1 status are subject to a SEVIS fee which must be paid to the Department of Homeland Security before the U.S. Consulate/Embassy interview for the initial visa.   

What is a PDSO/DSO?

Staff at your host university who have been authorized by SEVP to maintain SEVIS records and issue I-20 Forms.  Both Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) and Designated School Official (DSO) can sign immigration documents and update SEVIS records.

What is USCIS? 

USCIS is United State Citizenship and Immigration Services, one of the branches of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

What does it mean if my Form I-20 expires? 

While there are several important sections of the Form I-20, one of the more significant parts of this form is the Program End Date listed in the Program of Study box.  This part of the form indicates when the form expires.  If you will not finish your program before the specific end date, you must meet with the Director of International Students prior to the end date to discuss how to apply for an extension.  If you come after your Form I-20 has expired, you will be out of status and ineligible for an extension of stay.

All applicants must submit a $50 fee to apply to Curry. You can use Flywire to make this payment. Flywire offers payment options in over 100 countries.

Questions? Contact Flywire’s 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week customer support line at +1 (800) 346-9252 or, or find additional resources.

Submit your application fee on Flywire

In order to continue your studies in the U.S., you must maintain your F-1 immigration status by complying with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulations and SEVIS reporting requirements. The Director of International Student Services will update your SEVIS record, but it is your responsibility to inform her of any changes. There are serious penalties for students who do not maintain legal status.

To maintain your status, you must:

  • Complete check-in with the Assistant Director when you arrive on campus for orientation and at the beginning of each fall and spring semesters. Complete this form and/or visit the Center for Global and Career Services.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment (minimum 4 classes/12 credits per semester) during the fall and spring semesters. If you need to drop below full-time enrollment you must meet with your Academic Advisor and the Assistant Director of Global and Career Services before making any changes.
  • Report any change of address within 10 days. Submit this form.
  • Report any change in your academic status, examples include; dropping below full-time enrollment, taking a leave of absence, changing your major or education level, extending your length of study or financial support. Discuss your plans with the Assistant Director of Global and Career Services before making any such changes then submit this form.
  • Obtain authorization for all employment before starting any employment on or off-campus. More information available in the Employment section below.

If you have been accepted to another school and plan to transfer you must meet with the Assistant Director of Global and Career Services and submit an acceptance letter to the new school and the Transfer Out Form.

What do I need if I want to leave the U.S. and re-enter as a student?

  • A valid Form I-20 with a travel signature signed within the past year.
  • A passport that is valid at least six months into the future.
  • A valid F-1 visa (except Canadian citizens)
  • Proof of Financial Support

Always check your travel signature before you leave the U.S. The travel signature is located on page 2 of your I-20 Form. It is valid for one year from the date of signature, 6 months if you are on Optional Practical Training.

Why do I need to have my Form I-20 signed for re-entry to the U.S.?  Why do I need a “travel signature”?

The Form I-20 is a federal document that verifies that you are a full-time student in valid F-1 non-immigrant status. The form must be signed by the Assistant Director of Global and Career Services or another Curry DSO to confirm that you are currently maintaining your student status and are eligible to re-enter the U.S. to continue your studies.

When/How can I get my Form I-20 signed for travel?

You should make an appointment with the Assistant Director of Global and Career Services via this link.  You must bring all your original immigration documents with you to your appointment.  You should plan to have your Form I-20 signed well in advance of travel outside of the U.S.

What if I want to travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island for less than 30 days and my F-1 visa is expired?

If you have a valid passport, an expired F-1 visa, a Form I-20 with an up-to-date travel signature, and an entry stamp in your passport indicating that you have been admitted for Duration of Studies (D/S) you can re-enter the U.S. in valid F-1 status as long as your trip is less than 30 days.  You can tell the border official that you are taking advantage of “automatic visa revalidation”.  Currently, this benefit does not apply to citizens of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.  In addition, if you decide to renew your visa in Canada, Mexico, or any adjacent island and your visa is denied, you may not re-enter the U.S. on automatic visa revalidation.

Reduced Course Load

Every international student holding an F-1 visa must maintain a full course of study each semester. In rare circumstances students may be approved for a reduced course load as a result of academic difficulties, medical conditions or for one semester only if a student is in the last semester of study.   You must receive approval from your Academic Advisor and have them complete this form.

Academic Failure

Lack of attendance, academic failure or other types of academic, disciplinary and other violations of the school’s policies may jeopardize your standing as a Curry student. Expulsion from Curry would immediately cause you to lose your F-1 status and the right to legally remain in the United States and require you to immediately leave the country.

Completion of Studies/Grace Periods

  • An F-1 student who has completed a course of study and any authorized practical training following completion of studies is allowed an additional 60-day grace period to prepare for departure from the United States or to transfer to a different academic institution.
  • An F-1 student who has been authorized to withdraw from classes will be allowed a 15- day grace period to depart the United States.
  • An F-1 student who fails to maintain a full course of study without the approval of the Assistant Director of Global and Career Services or otherwise fails to maintain status is not eligible for any grace period and must leave the United States immediately.


An F-1 student is considered to be in status during the annual or summer vacation and is not required to register for classes, if the student has completed at least two semesters of study and intends to register for the next term.

Medical Leave of Absence

In circumstances where a medical condition requires absence from classes you will need to meet with the Assistant Director of Global and Career Services to officially request a Leave of Absence.

Can I work in the United States?

Students in valid F-1 status can work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during official college breaks. No official work permission is required.  For off-campus employment, authorization from both the Director of International Student Services and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is required.

What are the options for off-campus employment authorization?

Once an F-1 student has completed two consecutive semesters of full-time study at their home university they are eligible to apply for the following employment authorizations:

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) occurs before a student’s I-20 end date and must be a required component of a student’s major area of study. Authorization is for one specific employer and period of time. Please note one full year of full-time CPT eliminates a student’s eligibility for OPT.

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a 12-month work authorization for students seeking off-campus employment in the United States in their fields of study. Students do not need to have a specific job offer to apply for OPT and are eligible for a 12-month period of OPT at every level of education - See application instructions.

Can I get a Social Security number or a Massachusetts Driver’s License?

F-1 students may apply for a Social Security number if they have an on-campus employment offer or have off-campus employment authorization.

More information

Will I have to file U.S. tax forms?

Yes! Most students will need to file at least one tax form.  Students in F-1 status who have been in the U.S. for less than 5 years are usually considered nonresidents for tax purposes and must file the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 8843.  Those who have had a U.S. source of income or receive a scholarship or financial aid must also file Form 1040NR or 1040NREZ and some may have to file a Massachusetts State income tax return. 

F-1 Student Check-In Form - Use this form to check-in with the Assistant Director of Global and Career Services at the beginning of each semester. You must check-in within 30 days of the fall and spring semester start dates.

F-1 Student SEVIS Information Updates - Use this form to update the Assistant Director of Global and Career Services about changes to your address or academic, personal or financial information. The Assistant Director will update your SEVIS record accordingly with these changes and issue a new I-20 for you.

F-1 Student Transfer-Out Form - Use this form if you have been accepted to another institution where you will continue in F-1 status. You must submit an acceptance letter to the new institution in order to complete the transfer-out request.

Reduced Course Load Request Form - This form is to be complete by your Academic Advisor if you are requesting a reduced course load for any of the following reasons.

Curricular Practical Training Request Form - Use this form to request approval for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for internships.

Optional Practical Training Request Form - Use this form to request approval for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for off-campus work.

On Campus Resources:

The Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Student Life

Student Financial Services

Health Services

Academic Student Resources:

  • Academic Advising
  • Academic Success
  • Bookstore
  • Center for Global & Career Services
  • Disability Services
  • Levin Library
  • PAL
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Speaking Center
  • Technology Services
  • Writing Center

Immigration Resources: