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Students

OGE's International Services (IS) works with the international student population from the moment they are accepted to Clemson until the time they successfully reach their academic goals. We also work with scholars and international visitors. Initially, we provide immigration documents for visa applications. Throughout students' or scholars' time on campus, IS staff meets with them on a one-on-one basis, or in large groups, such as at New International Student Orientation and a variety of workshops, to provide information about maintaining status, employment possibilities, travel and visas, and cultural adjustment.

In working with international scholars and exchange visitors, our advisors are highly-trained in the nuances of obtaining entry visas for those individuals who are sponsored by the university to assist in the exchange of ideas and research. We also encourage our exchange visitors to take part in opportunities to share information on their culture, research, or language with the Clemson community.

Beyond working directly with the Clemson international community, IS also meets, advises, and provides training opportunities to Clemson administrators to introduce and reaffirm policies, programs, and concepts applicable to our international students, faculty, staff and scholars.

  • Prospective Students

    International Services (IS), begins to work with international students once they are admitted to Clemson University to assist with the visa acquisition process and arrival to the U.S.A. IS has no role in the admissions process and is unable to update you on the status of your admission application.

    All undergraduate admission decisions are made by Undergraduate Admissions. Questions about your application, test scores and admission requirements should be directed to Undergraduate Admissions. Unfortunately, IS will not able to answer questions about your application or admission decisions.

    All graduate admissions decisions are made by the Graduate School and Graduate Admissions upon recommendation of your acceptance by your academic department. Many of your questions about admission to the graduate school can be found by reviewing the Graduate FAQ. Admissions related questions that cannot be answered here should be directed to Graduate Admissions. Questions about major-specific admissions requirements can also be directed to the department you are applying to. A complete list of programs can be found here.

  • New Students

    After Admission

    Congratulations on your admission to Clemson University! We are confident that you have made the right decision to pursue your studies with us and be part of an academic community recognized around the world.

    After you have been admitted to the University, International Services (IS) will be notified and will receive copies of your admissions documents. We will email you instructions on how to request an I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility. You may also view these instructions at the following link: Request Certificate of Eligibility

    When we have received your request for Certificate of Eligibility and have determined that all requirements are met, our office will enter your information into the SEVIS system and produce a Form I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1). This process can take anywhere up to three weeks from the time our office receives all required documents.

    When the I-20/DS-2019 has been processed and reviewed, it will be sent to you with support materials including information on setting a visa appointment, payment of the SEVIS Fee, and a pre-departure catalog. For security purposes, we cannot release your SEVIS information to you. You will need to request shipping by completing the Form IS-01 Express Mail Instructions Form IS-01: Express Mail Instructions. You must pay for the use of these express services. Please do not register for the Express Mail service until someone from International Services has notified you via e-mail that your immigration documents are ready for mailing. When you have received your documents, please review them. If you find an error, please contact our office so we may correct the situation.

    Visa Application Procedure and Entry to U.S.

    After you have received your immigration documents and reviewed them, the next step is to set an appointment with the US Consulate for your visa application. If you are not sure which US Embassy or Consulate is closest to you, please visit the US Department of State website for a list of US missions around the world: http://usembassy.state.gov/. Once you have found the Consulate closest to you, please visit the “visa” section of the website to learn about the required procedures for setting an appointment and how to prepare for your interview.

    All new international students applying for an F-1 or J-1 visa are required to pay the SEVIS Fee at least three business days prior to their visa interview. You may find more information on the SEVIS Fee, as well as how to pay, by visiting http://www.fmjfee.com. Please note, if you are a Canadian citizen, although you do not need an F-1 or J-1 visa to enter the US, you are required to pay the SEVIS Fee at least three business days prior to your entry into the US.

    As a new international student, you are permitted to enter the US no earlier than 30 days prior to the start of your academic program at Clemson University. The start date can be found in Section 5 of your I-20, or Section 3 of your DS-2019. When purchasing your air ticket, it is important to keep these dates in mind as you may be denied entry should you arrive in the US prior to that 30-day period. While your schedules may vary, you are encouraged to come to Clemson as early as possible to obtain housing, register for courses, complete the necessary paperwork for on-campus employment, if applicable, and to become familiar with your new surroundings. In general, we recommend that you try to arrive at least 15 days before the start date that is listed on your I-20/DS-2019. Your academic department may have orientation activities that occur in the week(s) leading up to the beginning of the semester, so it is important that you know what activities you are expected to participate in.

  • Arrival, Orientation and Campus Life

    Arrival on Campus

    Once you have arrived and settled in, please follow the instructions in the Arrival Guide to complete the international student check-in process. When you check in, you must scan and upload into Sunapsis a copy of your stamped Visa and electronic I-94 Card. Please remember to take this very important step in maintaining your immigration status in the US, our office will be unable to Activate your SEVIS record until the check-in process is complete.

    New International Student Orientation

    Each Fall, Spring, and Summer semester, our office holds an orientation session for all new and transfer international students. All new and transfer international students should attend the orientation to learn more about the University, services provided to students, and maintaining immigration status. Orientation is also a great opportunity to meet new people!

    Orientation schedules and registration information are available in the International Student Arrival Guide.

    Campus Life

    Clemson is a welcoming campus with a wide array of resources. Clemson's website has a wealth of information that you should reference as you are getting settled here. Graduate students may want to review the Graduate School's Guide for New Students page.

  • Maintaining International Student Status

    Below is some important information concerning maintaining, extending, reinstating, and changing your international student status in the U.S. Use the links below to go to specific topics.

    Visa versus Status

    As an international student in the US you may be asked from time to time about your “visa” or your “status”. While in most situations in the US the two are interchangeable, it is a good idea for you to know the difference.

    Visa
    A visa is a stamp in your passport issued by a US Embassy or Consulate (they cannot be obtained in the US). The purpose of the visa is to allow you to be taken to a US port of entry to determine whether you are eligible for admission to the United States. After you have been admitted to the US, the visa in your passport does not need to remain valid for you to be in the country legally.

    Should you travel outside of the US, a valid F-1/J-1 student visa may be required for your re-entry. For more information on travel and visas, please visit the Travel and Visa Section of this page.

    Status
    As an international student, you are granted status upon clearing inspection at a US Port of Entry (airport). Your status can be found on your I-94 card, the small white card given to you at the airport. This card grants you permission to remain in the US while pursuing your degree as long as you maintain your immigration status. Your I-94 card will have a stamp showing the date of entry into the US, while your status, F-1 or J-1, will be handwritten. You will also notice the abbreviation “D/S” written on your I-94 card. "D/S” stands for “Duration of Status.” This means that your immigration status will remain valid while you pursue your degree as long as you maintain your status (see below).

    Please make photocopies of your visa, I-94 card, I-20, and passport and keep them in a safe place. Should your original documents be lost or stolen, they are easier to replace if you can provide copies.

  • Maintaining Your Immigration Status For F-1 & J-1 Students

    Making the decision to come to Clemson to pursue your academic goals is a big step and we understand that reaching those goes is your top priority. In addition to your books, lectures, and lab work, there is one more subject you will need to “study” to ensure success during your time at Clemson, how to maintain your F-1 or J-1 status. Please review the information below. If you have any questions or concerns about how to maintain your status, please contact our office by email at is@clemson.edu or telephone at +1 (864) 656-3614.

    • Always remain enrolled as a full-time student during the academic year. Please check with your academic department to verify what is considered full-time for your program of study.
    • Always keep your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 current. If you plan to continue studying in the US beyond the date in item #5 of your Form I-20 (F-1 students) or in item #3 of your DS-2019 (J-1 students), you must apply to International Services (IS) for a “program extension.” Note: You remain in student status 60 days beyond the day you complete your program if you are an F-1 student; 30 days if you are a J-1 student.
    • If you are transferring into Clemson from another school, ask IS to complete the transfer procedures for you. It is your responsibility to notify your previous school of your intent to study at Clemson. The transfer of your immigration status to Clemson must be completed by the 15th class day. If you plan to transfer out to another school, make sure you notify IS of your intention so we may begin the transfer procedure.
    • Complete the level transfer/field of study change procedures at IS if you change from one educational level to another (e.g., MS to PhD), or from one major to another (e.g., Business to Biology) as soon as this change has been approved by your college.
    • Never work off-campus without authorization from IS and/or the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).
    • Limit employment, both on-campus and off-campus, to a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session unless otherwise authorized by IS and/or USCIS.
    • Have a valid passport at all times. IS suggests that if your passport will expire in six (6) months that you contact your nearest consulate or embassy to inquire about renewal procedures.
    • IS and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services must have your current residential address at all times. You must report any change in residential address to OIA within 10 days of moving. (Residential Address is the actual physical address of where you live in the US. A departmental address or P.O. Box is not acceptable.) You may notify IS of your new address by sending the information by submitting the Form IS-10, Address or Name Change Report. You can submit the form in person or via e-mail. Please note, you will still need to update your address in the Student Information System: SIS system. Students subject to Special Registration will need to complete a Form AR-11 SR and return it to the US Department of Homeland Security.

    If you are unable to maintain your status, resulting in its termination, you will be required to apply for reinstatement. See the reinstatement information below.

    Individuals holding a status other than F-1 or J-1 may wish to meet with an international student advisor for information on maintaining your legal status. Please note, however, there may be an immigration status for which we cannot provide information based on certain circumstances.

  • Extending Your F-1 or J-1 Status

    As an F-1 or J-1 student at Clemson University, you are eligible to request an extension of your non-immigrant status if the need for additional time is based on established academic reasons such as a change in level or field of study, research concerns, or documented medical reasons. You can determine if you require an extension of your I-20 or DS-2019 by looking at the expiration date found in Section 5 of the I-20 or Section 3 of the DS-2019. Requests for extensions of status can be made no earlier than 60 days prior to the expiration of your current document and may be requested for one year intervals. Please note, a request for an extension of your status must be made before your current I-20/DS-2019 expires.

    To apply for an extension of your F-1/J-1 student status, you will need to submit Form IS-120, Request to Amend I-20, to IS with supporting documentation. Your advisor must complete the section of the form that asks for the reason for the extension. Program extensions can only be granted for because of a valid academic or medical reason. You will also have to provide IS with proof of funding for the duration of the extension. Funding can come from an assistantship, personal funds, family funds, or a combination of these. All funds must be liquid (i.e. available to you) at the time of the extension request.

    PLAN AHEAD Please remember, your request for an extension of your status must be submitted prior to the expiration of your current I-20/DS-2019. If you are unable to extend your status in a timely manner, you will need to request reinstatement of your status through an application to the USCIS.

  • Travel and Visas

    The guidance below is designed to support F and J visa holders preparing to travel internationally. Please review the information below for travel recommendations. If you have any questions, you are encouraged to visit with an International Services Advisor during walk-in hours.

     

    What Documentation Do I Need to Re-enter the U.S.?

    In order to re-enter the U.S. successfully, you must demonstrate that you are maintaining your visa status and returning for the purposes for which your visa is issued. The documentation you’ll need to have with you in your carry-on luggage when traveling internationally is summarized in the chart below.

     

    Status

    Documents Required

    Enrolled F-1 Student   Visa Holder

    -      Valid   passport (unless you hold citizenship with one of these countries, it is   required that the passport have at least 6 months of validity remaining in   order to re-enter)

    -      Non-expired   F1 visa

    -      Valid   I-20 form with a travel signature no older than one year

    -      Copy of   your unofficial transcript

    • If   between terms, we recommend you obtain proof of enrollment for the upcoming   term. You can obtain an enrollment verification letter from the Registrar’s   office, 102 Sikes Hall.

    F-1 Student Visa Holder   on Optional Practical Training (OPT)*

    *If you travel   internationally without an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or current   OPT employment, your travel is considered high-risk and you may encounter   travel disruptions or delays with returning to the U.S. If your OPT   application is pending, we recommend you postpone international travel until   you are able to present your EAD and job offer letter.

     

    -      Valid   passport (unless you hold citizenship with one of these countries, it is   required that the passport have at least 6 months of validity remaining in   order to re-enter)

    -        Valid F-1 student visa

    -        I-20 form with:

    • OPT request   approved
    • Current   employer information listed, and
    • DSO travel   authorization no more than 6 months old

    -        Valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

    -      Job offer   letter to match current employer listed on the I-20 Form

    F-2 Dependents

    -      Valid   passport (unless you hold citizenship with one of these countries, it is   required that the passport have at least 6 months of validity remaining in   order to re-enter)

    -      Non-expired   F2 visa

    -      Valid F-2   I-20 form with a travel signature no older than one year

     

    F-2 Dependent of student   on OPT

    -      Valid   passport (unless you hold citizenship with one of these countries, it is   required that the passport have at least 6 months of validity remaining in   order to re-enter)

    -        Valid F-2 visa

    -      Valid F-2   I-20 form with a travel signature no older than one year

    -        A copy of the F-1 I-20 form with:

    • OPT request   approved
    • Current   employer information listed, and

    -        A copy of the F-1’s valid Employment Authorization   Document (EAD)

    J-1 Student Visa Holder

    -      Valid   passport (unless you hold citizenship with one of these countries, it is   required that the passport have at least 6 months of validity remaining in   order to re-enter)

    -      Non-expired   J-1 visa

    -      Valid   DS-2019 form with a travel signature no older than one year

    -      Copy of   your unofficial transcript

    • If   between terms, we recommend you obtain proof of enrollment for the upcoming term.   You can obtain an enrollment verification letter from the Registrar’s office,   102 Sikes Hall.

    J-1 Student Visa Holders   on Academic Training

    -      Valid   passport (unless you hold citizenship with one of these countries, it is   required that the passport have at least 6 months of validity remaining in   order to re-enter)

    -      Non-expired   J-1 visa

    -      Valid   DS-2019 form with:

    • a travel   signature no older than 6 months
    • Academic   Training authorization

    -      Job offer letter

    J-1 Research   Scholar/Professor, Short-Term Scholar, Student Non-Degree, Specialist, and   Student Intern Categories

    -      Valid   passport (unless you hold citizenship with one of these countries, it is   required that the passport have at least 6 months of validity remaining in   order to re-enter)

    -      Non-expired   J-1 visa

    -      Valid   DS-2019 form with a travel signature no older than one year

    -      Clemson   University Invitation Letter

    J-2 Dependents

    -      Valid   passport (unless you hold citizenship with one of these countries, it is   required that the passport have at least 6 months of validity remaining in   order to re-enter)

    -      Non-expired   J-2 visa

    -      Valid   DS-2019 form with:

    • a travel   signature no older than 6 months

    J-2 Dependents of   student participating in Academic Training

    -      Valid   passport (unless you hold citizenship with one of these countries, it is   required that the passport have at least 6 months of validity remaining in   order to re-enter)

    -      Non-expired   J-2 visa

    -      Valid   DS-2019 form with:

    • a travel   signature no older than 6 months

    -      a copy of   the J-1’s valid DS-2019 form with Academic Training authorization

     

    What is a Travel Signature?

    A travel signature is a signature from International Services on your Certificate of Eligibility I-20 or DS-2019 form certifying you are maintaining your non-immigrant visa status for the purpose of re-entering the U.S.

     

    Who Can Provide a Travel Signature?

    An International Services Advisor serving as a Designated School Official (DSO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) is the appropriate person to sign the Certificate of Eligibility I-20/DS-2019 for F and J visa holders.

     

    How Do I Request a Travel Signature?

     

    1. Complete the Travel Information e-form within your iStart Student Portal
    2. Request a reprint of your I-20 or DS-2019 form for shipping purposes, or visit the office to obtain your travel signature during walk-in hours.

     

    Why is a Travel Signature Required for International Travel?

    When you arrive at the U.S. Port of Entry, or apply for a new F or J visa while abroad, U.S. government officials will review your documents for the DSO or ARO travel signature to verify that a school official has confirmed you are maintaining your non-immigrant status.

     

    For How Long is A Travel Signature Valid?

     

    Visa Type

    Duration of Travel Signature Validity

    F-1 Enrolled   Student

    1 year

    F-1 Engaged in   OPT

    6 months

    F-2

    1 year

    J-1

    1 year

    J-2

    1 year

     

    I Forgot to Request A Travel Signature Before I Departed the U.S.? Can I Return?

     

    If you do not remember to request an updated travel signature before you leave, you will need to request shipping of an updated I-20 or DS-2019 with a valid travel signature. Please follow the instructions below to request a reprint of the Certificate of Eligibility I-20/DS-2019 Form and a DSO/ARO travel signature. You will then receive international shipping options to request shipping of the reprinted Certificate of Eligibility I-20/DS-2019 Form.

     

    Can I Use A Copy of My Certificate of Eligibility I-20/DS-2019  I-20 to Enter the U.S. ?

    No, you will need to present a Certificate of Eligibility I-20 or DS-2019 with original signatures, not copied versions when you arrive at the U.S. port of entry.

     

    Can I Attempt to Enter the U.S. Without a Valid Travel Signature?

    If you do not present a valid DSO/ARO travel signature at the U.S. port of entry, you’ll need to expect travel delays or disruptions as a result of arriving without this required proof of maintenance of status.

     

    What Is A Visa?

    The visa is an entry document used to establish eligibility to enter the U.S. It works just like a key to get inside a home. Just as you need a key to unlock the door of a home, you need a visa entry document to enter the U.S. The electronic I-94 Arrival Departure Record received at the U.S. port of entry grants you the permission to remain in the U.S. for the Duration of Status (D/S).

     

    Do I Need to Renew My Visa?

    If your U.S. visa has expired or will expire while you are traveling, you will need to apply for a new U.S. visa in order to return to the U.S.  If you do not plan to travel internationally and your visa expires, you are eligible to remain in the U.S. because the visa is an entry document only.

     

    How Long Will It Take to Renew My Visa?

    Processing times for visas can vary, we recommend you visit the Department of State’s website to determine the estimate wait time to apply and receive your visa.

     

    How Do I Renew My Visa?

    New visas can’t be obtained while inside the United States. In order to receive a new entry visa, you will need to exit the U.S., visit your nearest U.S. consulate, and apply for the new entry visa. For more information about the visa application process, please visit the U.S. Department of State links below:

    F Student Visa Holders Renewals

    J Exchange Visitor Visa Holder Renewals

     

    Do I Have To Return to My Home Country to Renew My Visa?

    If you are not returning to your home country to apply for the new visa, it is recommended that you contact the U.S. Embassy prior to making travel arrangements to ensure they can process visas for third-country citizens from your country of origin.

     

    What Documentation Should I Prepare for Visa Renewal Purposes?

    • Update your financial support information on the I-20 or DS-2019
    • Print a copy of your academic transcript
    • Request an enrollment verification letter from 102 Sikes Hall

     

    What is Automatic Visa Revalidation (AVR)?

    If you are traveling to Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island for less than 30 days and have an expired U.S. visa, you may be eligible for automatic visa revalidation. Please review the following guidance from the Department of State and speak with an International Services Advisor if you are considering using this method to re-enter the U.S.

     

    What challenges might occur with re-entering the U.S. ?

    If you have issues with obtaining your new visa and are unable to return to the U.S., please contact rrouss@clemson.edu and/or bryonyh@clemson.edu as soon as possible. This will allow International Services to work closely with you, your academic department and university officials to determine the appropriate plan of action to support you.

     

    If you have any issues upon re-entering at the U.S. port of entry outside of normal office hours and need immediate assistance, please contact Clemson University Campus Police, 864-656-2222. An on-call DSO/ARO will be available to speak with Customs and Border Patrol agents.

     

    Domestic Travel: No I-20/DS-2019 signature endorsement is required for domestic travel. However, for domestic travel we always recommend you bring your passport, DS-2019 or I-20 form, and I-94 Departure Record with you to avoid any unnecessary confusion about your identity and/or reason for being in the U.S. (Also, don’t forget to keep copies of all of your immigration documents in a safe place in case the originals should ever be lost.)

  • Dependents of F & J Students

    International Services can assist an international student in F-1 or J-1 status in inviting their dependents to US in F-2 or J-2 status. Please note: a dependent is defined as a spouse or an unmarried child under the age of 21.

    Dependents entering the US in F-2 status are permitted to pursue degree-seeking courses part-time, but not permitted to pursue degree studies full-time. Additionally, F-2 dependents are ineligible to obtain employment authorization while in the US. Children in F-2 status may attend primary, middle, or high school in the US as long as the F-1 maintains their status. If you are in F-1 status and wish to invite your dependent, please make sure that they are aware of these stipulations.

    Dependents entering the US in J-2 status may pursue part- or full-time degree-seeking coursework and may apply for employment authorization from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

    To invite your dependent to the US, please submit Form IS-190, Request for Dependent I-20, with supporting documentation. The current monthly living expense for a spouse is $500 and $365 per child. If you are in F-1 status, you are required to demonstrate funding for one academic year. If you hold J-1 status, you will need to demonstrate funding for you and your dependents for the entire period of your DS-2019.

    When the I-20/DS-2019 for your dependent has been processed, you will then send it to them with original financial documents to show complete financial support so they may apply for their F-2/J-2 visa. Please note, the financial documents submitted to IS will not be returned to you.

  • Reinstatement of Your Immigration Status

    (Please note, the information below is for F-1 students only. Students in J-1 status who need to be reinstated must see an international student advisor.)

    Should you accidentally violate your status in a manner that results in the termination of that status, submission of an application for reinstatement must take place. Common actions that require reinstatement include, but are not limited to:

    • unauthorized under-enrollment of credit hours
    • failure to extend/request an extension within a timely manner of the student’s Form I-20 prior to the expiration date
    • a transfer student fails to complete the transfer of their status within the required timeframe

    Unfortunately, violations that occurred more than five months in the past cannot be remedied by applying for reinstatement within the US.

    Unauthorized employment does not qualify for reinstatement. In cases such as these, you will need to obtain a new I-20 for “Initial Attendance”, depart the US, obtain a new visa, and return.

    During the period of time you are out of status, you are not eligible for immigration benefits, such as employment, until your status has been reinstated. Please remember, full-time enrollment is required during the reinstatement process.

    You will need to prepare the following documents to apply for reinstatement:

    • completed Form I-539 (available at IS website and online at http://www.uscis.gov/), indicating the purpose of the application as REINSTATEMENT (written in red ink) in Section 2
    • two original financial documents, less that six months old (departmental funding letters that are less than six months old are acceptable) – one copy remains with IS to process the I-20 for reinstatement, the other is sent to the USCIS
    • request a new I-20 for reinstatement purposes from IS. Use Form IS-160, Request for F-1 Status Reinstatement.
    • make copies of all previous I-20s (even if from a school other than Clemson)
    • make a copy of the biographical page of the passport, visa page, and front/back of paper I-94 card or computer print-out of your electronic I-94 card
    • obtain a money order/cashiers check (no personal check) made payable to the US Department of Homeland Security (fee subject to change)
    • a letter addressed to the USCIS Inspector (“Dear Inspector”) addressing the following areas:
      1. when you first entered the US in F-1 status and the reason for entry
      2. how you violated your F-1 status
      3. that you have not committed any deportable actions other than failing to maintain your F-1 status
      4. that you are not employed in the US
      5. that you are currently pursuing a full course of study at Clemson University
      6. a brief explanation of the hardship you would encounter if this request is denied

    Change of Status to F-1 or J-1

  • A change of non-immigrant status to an F-1/J-1 student is possible in the US if you have been maintaining your current status and that status permits a change while in the US. Please understand that the application for a change of status to F-1/J-1 is a decision made by you and is not a University-sponsored application. The Clemson University International Services (IS) will provide you with information on the steps and can make suggestions for a successful application. The ultimate decision as to whether the application is approved is solely at the discretion of the USCIS. As a change of status application is submitted to the federal government, please allow sufficient time for the approval process. It is not uncommon for the request to take up to six (6) months to be approved. If you are in a status that does not permit enrollment in classes or on-campus employment, you will not be able to begin your studies until the approval notice has been received. You may also obtain F-1/J-1 status through departure and re-entry into the US with a Form I-20/DS-2019 issued by IS and a new F-1/DS-2019 visa. If you wish to exercise this option, please meet with an IS international student advisor for assistance.

    To apply for a change of status to F-1/DS-2019, the following materials will need to be submitted to the USCIS:

    • A check or money order for made payable to the “US Department of Homeland Security” (fees are subject to change)
    • The Form I-20/DS-2019 issued by Clemson University for the purpose of changing your status to F-1/J-1 (please see the financial document requirements below). To request the I-20, use Form IS-110, Change of Status to F-1, and submit it with supporting documentation.
    • Once you have received the I-20/DS-2019, you will be able to pay the “SEVIS Fee” by visiting: https://www.fmjfee.com/, please include a copy of the receipt with your application.
    • Form I-539 Application to Change/Extend Non-Immigrant Status – available at http://www.uscis.gov
    • Four photocopies of page 1 of the Clemson I-20/DS-2019 issued for your change of status application
    • A photocopy of the front and back of your paper I-94 card or computer print-out of your electronic I-94 card
    • A photocopy of the biographical (picture) page of your passport – if you have renewed your passport, include a copy of the renewal page.
    • A photocopy of your most recently used US entry visa
    • Financial documents (documents must be original and less than six months old). You may use one or a combination of the following:
      • personal bank statement bank statement of sponsor with letter of support
      • bank letter verifying account balance
      • proof of assistantship with tuition waiver
    • Personal letter to the USCIS requesting a change of status. The letter should address the following:
      • Why you did not enter the US in F-1 Status.
      • Why you are requesting a change to F-1.
      • How studying in the US will benefit you, or be better than studying the same subject in your home country.
      • The hardship you will encounter if your request for a change of status is denied.

    In addition to the information listed above, your current non-immigrant status may require the submission of additional materials. Please see the chart below to determine what else you must include with your application.

    Current Status:

    Additional Documents Needed

    F-2

    a. photocopy of spouse’s I-20
    b. photocopy of front and back of spouse’s I-94 card
    c. photocopy of biographical (photo) page in spouse’s passport
    d. photocopy of spouse’s most recent US entry visa
    e. a photocopy of your marriage certificate, notarized and translated into English for a spouse, birth certificate for a child

    J-1

    a. if subject to 212(e), copy of the “no objection” of waiver from USCIS
    b. if you are a J-1 Scholar, a letter from your department verifying that you have been maintaining your status

    J-2

    a. photocopy of spouse’s DS-2019
    b. photocopy of front and back of spouse’s I-94 card
    c. photocopy of biographical (photo) page in spouse’s passport
    d. photocopy of spouse’s most recent US entry visa
    e. if spouse is subject to 212(e), copy of the “no objection” of waiver from USCIS
    f. a photocopy of your marriage certificate, notarized and translated into English for a spouse, birth certificate for a child

    H-1

    a. photocopy of the front and back of your I-797 Approval Notice
    b. a letter from your current employer verifying that you have been maintaining your H-1 status

    H-4

    a. photocopy of the front and back of your I-797 Approval Notice for your H-4 status
    b. a letter from the H-1’s current employer verifying that he/she has been maintaining his/her H-1 status
    c. photocopy of front and back of spouse’s I-94 card
    d. photocopy of biographical (photo) page in spouse’s passport
    e. photocopy of spouse’s most recent US entry visa
    f. a photocopy of your marriage certificate, notarized and translated into English for a spouse, birth certificate for a child

    Once you have prepared your application, please make a copy for your records.

    Please note, while your waiting for your change of status to F-1/J-1 to be approved, your current immigration status may have some restrictions in terms of study/on-campus employment. Please meet with an international student advisor to have a better understanding of these issues.

    • Transfer From Clemson University to Another School in the US

      International students in F-1 and J-1 status may request that their SEVIS record be transferred to another institution in the US if they meet the eligibility requirements set by the USCIS. To request a transfer of your status, you must submit a copy of your admission letter from the new school and an IS-101 Request to Transfer Out form. Please contact the international student office at your new school for any forms they may need from our office.

      Once your status has been released to the new school, you are no longer eligible for immigration-related benefits at Clemson University, including employment. 

      Transfer requests can be submitted during Document Drop-off hours and take 3-5 business days to process.

    • South Carolina Drivers License

      As an international student, you may apply for a special South Carolina Drivers License through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Office in Seneca: 13009 S. Radio Station Road, Seneca, SC 29678. Information on the documentation needed to apply for a South Carolina Drivers License can be found at: http://www.scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/forms/mv-94.doc. You should review this information carefully and be sure to bring all the required documentation.

      Students who are eligible for a Social Security Number (SSN) will need to provide the number on their drivers license application and bring the card with them when they apply. Those who are not eligible for a SSN will need to request a Form L-676 from the Social Security Administration in Anderson, SC stating that they are not allowed to work in the U.S. 

      You may prepare for your drivers license exam by obtaining a copy of the Driver License Manual at http://www.scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/forms.aspx (scroll down to the Drivers License Manual section).

      Please also refer to the drivers license information here.

    • Advising

      The goal of International Services (IS) is to serve our population by providing quality interaction and advising. While our primary focus is helping students, faculty and staff with their immigration needs, we also serve as a resource and advocate for Clemson University's international population. This page will help you understand how we strive to meet these goals with our advising services. 

      Advising Options

      There are several ways that you can contact IS regarding questions you have. You can reach us via phone at 864-656-3614 or via e-mail at is@clemson.edu. Many of your questions can be answered this way. You may also be able to find the answer to your question by reviewing our website. All service request forms are available in the Forms and Documents section.

      Document Drop-Off

      The following requests require you drop off the documents and fill out a request form. You will be notified via email when your I-20 is ready to be picked up:

      • Travel signatures
      • Replacement of lost documents
      • Transferring out from Clemson to another US University
      • Dropping off completed request forms
      • Program Extension request
      • Adding dependent to I-20/DS2019

      Appointments

      You can schedule an appointment to meet with your International Services advisor. Appointments are available during normal business hours. You can schedule an appointment by calling 864-656-3614. When you schedule your appointment, we will ask you some questions about the nature of your visit. This will allow us to prepare to meet with you. Due to the high volume of appointments made, we are unable to schedule same day appointments.

      Appointments are appropriate for:

      • Reinstatement
      • Change of status
      • More complicated questions about your immigration status
      • Questions requiring extended discussion or multiple options
      • Questions of a complex or personal nature

      If you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment, please call us at 864-656-3614 to cancel and/or reschedule your appointment. We request that you give us as much notice of a cancelation as possible.

      Before you come to IS, you should make sure that you

      • Complete any necessary forms. Bring all supporting documents listed on the form(s).
      • Bring your passport, I-94 and I-20. Also, bring any additional documents that will help your advisor better answer your questions.