Mandatory & Encouraged Activities


  • SEVIS Check-ins Every Semester
  • Social Security Number
  • Tax Form Submission
  • Tax Filing Workshop
  • Tax Filing- April 14 of every year

Highly Encouraged

  • State ID
  • Driver’s License
  • U.S. Bank Account>
  • U.S. Phone Number
  • Fun events by GEO: Beach Trip Upcoming!
  • Information Sessions: Budget Management, Stress Management, Career and Post-Graduation Support
  • Any University-wide events

SEVIS Registration

  • Current students must come by the Global Education Office every semester to update their SEVIS registration. Check the Global Education Office calendar for SEVIS registration dates.
  • Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) as it is required to be employed.
  • It is necessary for students to complete tax withholding forms at International Programs Office.

Maintaining Lawful F-1 Status

The following documents are very important and must be valid at all times in order for you to maintain lawful F-1 status:

  • PASSPORT (should be valid for a minimum of 6 months into the future)
  • Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student (F-1) Status)
  • Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record.

Please print your I-94 directly from CPB website; your class of admission is F-1.

Tips to safeguard immigration documents

  • Please keep your original documents in a safe place.
  • We recommend that you make photocopies of these documents and store them in a location separate from the actual documents and also in electronic format.
  • If any of these documents are damaged, lost or stolen, you must have them replaced as quickly as possible.
  • Please keep in mind that the F-1 visa stamp in your passport does not need to be valid at all times but it must be valid when you reenter the United States after traveling outside the country.
  • You should contact the Global Education Office if you have any questions about the documents or if you need to have them replaced.
  • Please bring all of these documents with you each time you visit the Global Education Office.

Student Employment for Current International Students

Current student can work on campus and off-campus under certain conditions.

Employment on Campus

F-1 students in lawful status may work up to 20 hours per week on campus while school is in session. As an enrolled student, on-campus employment may be full-time during holidays and annual summer vacations.

Employment off Campus (CPT)

F-1 students must have been enrolled for at least one academic year and be in good academic standing before they can be authorized to work off-campus. All off-campus employment must be authorized in writing by the Global Education Office prior to working.

Employment off Campus (Economic Hardship)

Off-campus employment is authorized only in cases of severe economic hardship occurring subsequent to a student’s enrollment in an academic program. Please contact the GEO office for further information.

International Student Employment after Graduation

The F-1 student must file a Form I-765 and pay a fee. A new I-20 endorsed for OPT would be issued by the Global Education Office, this form is only valid for 30 days. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) takes about 90 days to get processed by USCIS and it costs $410. If the application is approved, the student will receive an EAD card and can begin working.

Travel Outside the U.S. after Completion of Studies

The date you officially complete your studies is very important to your ability to travel and re-enter the U.S. If you attempt to return to the U.S. in F-1 status after your completion date, you may be denied the right to re-enter the U.S. unless you have been authorized to engage in Optional Practical Training and have received your Employment Authorization Document and obtained a written offer of employment in your field of study.

If you depart the U.S. and wish to return after the date of your completion of studies, you must present the following documents to the CBP inspector upon arrival back in the U.S.:

  1. Your valid OPT Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card (USCIS Form I-765)
  2. Your Form I-20 which has been endorsed for travel within the last six months by the GEO
  3. Your passport
  4. Your valid F-1 visa stamp
  5. Proof of employment in the field of study

Travel Outside the U.S.

Please contact GEO when you plan to travel outside of the U.S. You may leave the U.S. at any time. You are permitted to return in F-1 status if have:

  • Unexpired passport
  • Unexpired F-1 visa stamp
  • Most updated Form I-20 THAT HAS BEEN SIGNED FOR TRAVEL on page 3 by an authorized staff member at the Global Education Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

F-1 students are allowed to remain in the U.S. with an expired F-1 visa stamp, provided that they are maintaining their status and their passport is unexpired for at least six month. Although you may remain in the U.S. with an expired F-1 visa, it will be necessary to apply for a new visa during your next trip abroad. You will need a valid F-1 visa to reenter the U.S. Inform GEO before travel for visa renewal.

You may remain in the United States and still maintain F-1 status during holidays and vacation periods observed by Methodist University, including summer vacation, provided you are eligible and intend to register for the next semester and all of your immigration documents remain valid.

Full-time enrollment is required during the Fall and Spring semesters.