Policies

Policies

International 101

Effective Date Apr 1, 2009
What classifies a student as international ?

A student is considered international if they do not have citizenship in the U.S.  Internationals include citizens of Caribbean countries.   All internationals must obtain some sort of visa to enter the U.S. legally.  Citizens of Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S.Virgin Islands are considered U.S. Citizens. 

Are Permanent Residents (Green Card holder) considered international ?

Yes and no.  Permanent Residents can maintain their citizenship in another country while being a Permanent Resident of the U.S.  As a Permanent Resident, the student can qualify for Financial Aid.  A Permanent Resident can officially become a U.S. Citizen only when they complete the U.S. Naturalization process.  This process can take a few years. 

At Florida Tech, Permanent Residents are considered a type of international student.  In Banner, Visa information and Nationality information must be entered in GOAINTL.  Also, OR, PR, MA, FR, and US address types must be entered in SPAIDEN.  A copy of a Green Card or Pending Green Card is required for the student file.

NOTE: For IPEDS reporting purposes, Permanent Residents must be coded as U.S. citizens in SPAPERS
Can internationals holding any visa type take classes at Florida Tech on or off-campus ?

No.  There are some guidelines and restrictions with certain visa types.  When in doubt, always consult with ISSS (ext. 8053).  They are the authoritative office on campus for international laws and regulations.

Are internationals taking Distance Learning courses that will never enter the U.S. required to have a visa?

No.  Visas are not required for international students taking Distance Learning courses from their home country or outside the U.S.  In Banner, Visa information (“DL”) and Nationality information must be entered in GOAINTL.  Also, OR, PR, MA, and FR address types must be entered in SPAIDEN.

What type of documentation do we need from an international student ?

A copy of their passport is required for the student file.  Additional required documentation will vary depending on what type of visa they hold.  Please refer to the general rules and guidelines for visa types. For International students seeking to take Distance Learning classes and will never enter the U.S., no documentation is required for the student file.  However, the admission office may want to request documentation to verify nationality information.

How should names be entered in Banner & SEVIS?

Names should be entered in Banner & SEVIS using title-case format (uppercase/lowercase letters). Never use all uppercase or all lowercase letters. Enter the legal spelling and format of the last name, using standard capitalization rules.  Legal spelling can be obtained from the student passport and/or SS card.  (If the last name legally requires a space, dash, or hyphen, it must be entered as such in Banner & SEVIS)

Are internationals required to maintain a full-time course load?
For some visa types, yes.  Other visa types are limited to part-time study. Please check with ISSS (ext 8053)
What information is required in Banner for international students ?

The required information in Banner will vary depending on what type of visa they hold.  Please refer to the general rules and guidelines for visa types.  For International students seeking to take Distance Learning classes and will never enter the U.S., GOAINTL must be populated with “DL” for visa type and the nationality information must be complete.  OR, PR, MA, and FR addresses must also be completed in SPAIDEN.

What is the difference between an H1 and H4 or F1 and F2 visa holder ?

The international holding the H1 or F1 visa, is the primary visa holder.  Those holding the H4 or F2 are spouses or dependents of the primary visa holder.

What is SEVIS?

SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is a massive Internet-based database designed to electronically track foreign students and exchange visitors in the U.S.  By August 1, 2003 all schools in the U.S. were required to register their currently enrolled international students in the SEVIS database.  And all new international students must be registered in SEVIS prior to entering the U.S. for their initial attendance.  Currently, Florida Tech SEVIS certification restricts certain visa holders to study only at the Melbourne campus.

Which international visa holders are required to be entered in SEVIS?

Currently, F, M, and J visa holders along with their spouses or dependants are required to be entered in SEVIS.   Since these internationals must follow strict guidelines, ISSS, Graduate, or Undergraduate Admission should only handle them.

 

Should American Born Dependents of F1 Students be included on the student I20
No.  In accordance with CFR regulations, F-2 visa status is reserved for dependents born outside of the US, holding non-US passports. It is therefore NOT necessary to include US passport holders on I20’s. Therefore, effective immediately please no longer list American-born children of F-1 students on I-20’s.  This action will alleviate unnecessary paperwork for both our offices and the international student.  ISSS – 06-08/2005

Must an international student demonstrate English proficiency to take classes at Florida Tech?

YES.  Each student applying to take classes physically in the U.S., at any site, is required to demonstrate English Proficiency.  Students who will never take a class physically in the U.S. are exempt.  Also,  ‘active duty’ U.S military officers from Puerto Rico applying for a SEGS program are exempt.  (See the English Proficiency Requirements/TOEFL Exam section for details).

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How do Internationals obtain an F, M, or J Visa?

The international must present the following to a visa officer at the US embassy or consulate closest to his/her place of residence:

  • Proof of admission to a program at Florida Tech
  • Proof that the student will have sufficient funds for the entire length of study; for visa issuance, visa officers will look for the first year’s expenses in liquid assets.  Proof of sufficient funds is submitted in the form of an official bank letter (bank statements are not acceptable) and can include:  personal funds, family funds, friend’s funds, government funds, school funds, and/or business/private sponsor funds.
  • Proof of non-immigrant intent after completion of education program.  The #1 reason for visa denial is the lack of sufficient proof of intent to return home.
  • An I-20 issued by the admitting school or a DS-2019 issued by the sponsoring agency.
  • NEW :  for any I-20 or DS-2019 issued on or after September 1, 2004, the student/exchange visitor must bring an official receipt showing that the new SEVIS fee has been paid.  The current fee is:  $100.  Payments and receipts are processed through:  https://www.fmjfee.com/index.jhtml
  • Proof of proficiency in English (if necessary.  See English proficiency requirements below)
  • A valid passport
NAFSA Annual Conference May 2003
 
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General Rules and Guidelines for Visa Types
How to handle internationals on or requesting an F, M, J visa:
  • Must be processed by ISSS, Undergraduate, or Graduate Admission offices only.
  • GOAINTL and addresses in SPAIDEN is entered only by ISSS, Undergraduate, or Graduate Admissions
  • Students follow specific SEVIS requirements that may require an I-20 issued by one of these offices
  • Restricted to full-time enrollment at the Melbourne Campus
  • Limited to one 3-credit Distance Education course per semester (effective 1/1/03 3.10.2.7)
  • F2 (spouse or dependent) visa holders are limited to part-time study.  To attend full-time, they are required to change visa status to F1
             
How to handle internationals on an A, E, G, H, I, L visa:  http://uscis.gov/graphics/howdoi/NIeligibility.htm
  • If student is a spouse or child of someone holding one of these visa categories, they may attend full or part-time on campus or off-campus
  • Exception:  H1 visa holders are limited to part-time study
  • Visa photocopies are required for the student file.  If student is a dependent or spouse (a “2” visa), then photocopy of primary visa holder is also required
  • GOAINTL and addresses in SPAIDEN must be completed in Banner by the appropriate admission office
How to handle internationals on a B visa:
  • They are not allowed to take any classes at Florida Tech, on or off-campus.
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Obtaining Social Security Numbers for
International Students

The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Social Security Administration have recently introduced more restrictive legislation regarding the issuance of social security numbers to international students.

 If you are planning on hiring a new international student, OR an international student who has not yet obtained a SSN--  please take note of the following information:

  1. The student should be in the U.S. for more than ten days before going to the Social Security Office to apply.
  2. The student’s SEVIS record needs to be activated for at least 48 hours before he or she goes to the SSA to apply.  ISSS is responsible for this activation; however, we cannot do so until a student is fully registered full time.  Once a student is registered, we will make every attempt to activate their SEVIS record as soon as possible.
  3. The following steps need to be taken by the student prior to applying at the Social Security Office:
    • Completion of  “Request for Letter of Authorization to apply for Social Security Number” -- available from ISSS
    • The hiring department must complete documentation verifying an offer of employment
    • ISSS requires at least 3 days lead time to produce letters of authorization due to heavy workload at the beginning of the semester

 Finally, and perhaps most importantly, --can a student begin working prior to obtain a security number?  The simple answer is yes, they may.  However they MUST apply for a SSN as soon as possible, and provide the number to the Human Resources Office as soon as it is received.  Any further questions regarding the details of getting students into payroll should be directed to the Human Resources Office.  Please contact ISSS (ext. 8053) if you have any other questions – they will provide this information to all new entering students.

Judith Brooke/Director of International Student and Scholar Services/08-10-2005
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Campus IDs & ID Numbers for International Students

Campus Ids for internationals, both students and non-students, attending Florida Tech on an F, J, or M visa must have a Banner generated ID.  Before obtaining a campus ID from Campus Services, the international must be entered in Banner by Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Admissions, or ISSS. 

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English Proficiency Requirements/TOEFL Exam

All graduate and undergraduate academic students, foreign or U.S. born, enrolling on-campus or at an extended-campus site, whose first language is not English, are required to take the institutional TOEFL to demonstrate level of English proficiency. (Students who will never take a class physically in the U.S. are exempt.  This applies to VGC students and occasionally can apply to DL students only if all courses are taken outside the U.S.   Also,  ‘active duty’ U.S military officers from Puerto Rico applying for a SEGS program are exempt.)

The institutional TOEFL is given at the beginning of each semester by Florida Tech’s Division of Languages and Linguistics (operated by the Department of Humanities).  The exam helps to measure the student’s competence of the English language. 

  • Students who score below 450 on the institutional TOEFL are referred to the ELS Center on campus where lower-level English as a Second Language courses are taught.  Students are unable to begin their academic coursework at Florida Tech until successfully completing “ELS 109” taken at an ELS Language Center
 
  • Students with scores from 450 through 549 are required to take ESL courses as specified by the Division of Languages and Linguistics.  Students are permitted to begin their academic course work in conjunction with ESL 3xxx and 4xxx courses. Although these courses are credit bearing (3 credit hours per course), they cannot be applied toward completion of a degree. English courses at two levels of advanced proficiency are available each semester. These courses are listed in the Course Descriptions section of this catalog under “English as a Second Language (ESL).”
 
  • Students with scores above 550 demonstrate English proficiency.

Exemptions from the institutional TOEFL are granted only to those students who have demonstrated English proficiency by one of the following:

  • Attended for three consecutive years and graduated from an accredited U.S. high school where English is the language of instruction; or
  • Earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited U.S. university or college where English is the language of instruction; or
  • Successfully completed a total of 20 semester hours at an accredited U.S. university or college where English is the language of instruction, including three semester hours of English (not English as a Second Language) that qualify as transfer credits for COM 1101; or
  • Scored 213 or more on a Computer-Based TOEFL (CBT) taken within the last two years and provided official documentation of the score; or
  • Passed an International Baccalaureate Higher Level Language A examination in English with a grade of 4 or higher, or a College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP) examination in English Language and Composition with a score of 4 or higher; or
  • Successfully completed “ELS 109” taken at an ELS Language Center and taken and successfully completed LNE 1040 and LNE 1050 concurrently with the beginning of their academic courses; or
  • Given evidence of being a native English speaker (e.g., Canadian, Briton, Bahamian, etc.).
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How to enter international data in GOAINTL
1.  Visa Information

There are only 3 types of visa codes should be entered in GOAINTL for international applicants by an admission office (Ugrad, Grad, SEGS).  All other Visa Type codes for international students are entered by ISSS after a student enrolls with Florida Tech and upon verification of the visa.

Visa Type Code:

  • DL – required for ALL international students taking an on-line course with Florida Tech and will not enter the U.S.  No additional documentation is required for the student file.  However, the admission office may want to request documentation to verify nationality information.
  • PRrequired if student is a Permanent Resident (Green Card – Resident Alien) and taking a Florida Tech course in the U.S.  A copy of the Permanent Resident card is required for student file
  • PNrequired if student is Pending Permanent Residency (Green Card – Resident Alien pending) and taking a Florida Tech course in the U.S. A copy of Pending Permanent Resident Documentation is required for student file
2.  Nationality Information

The admission office must enter nationality information in GOAINTL for every international applicant.  Nationality information is not required for U.S. Citizens born outside the U.S.   Nationality information must be entered for each of the following student types:

  • International (non-U.S. Citizen):
    students taking classes on-campus, off-campus, and outside the U.S.
  • Permanent Resident (PR):
    students taking classes on-campus, off-campus, and outside the U.S.
  • Permanent Resident Pending (PN):
    students taking classes on-campus, off-campus, and outside the U.S.

Nationality information entered in GOAINTL must include:

Nation of Birth
Nation of Citizenship

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How to enter international addresses in SPAIDEN

Every international applicant (regardless of visa type, on-campus, off-campus, or outside the US) is required have 4 address types entered in Banner.  They include OR, PR, MA, and FR.  In some cases data entry for each these addresses can be repetitive, however, each type has its own unique purpose.  International students taking classes in the United States, on or off-campus are required to have an additional address type: US address.

Code Description
Explanation of Use

Data Custodian Office
Note: Changes can only be made by the assigned Data Custodian Office.

US:   U.S.
(international students only)

US address is required when the student enrolls (however, please complete if known at time of application)

Exception:  not required for Distance Learning international students that will not enter the US  ( only students with DL visa type in GOAINTL do not require US addresses in SPAIDEN)
  • Must be a US physical address where student currently resides
  • PO Boxes are not acceptable
  • Address is also required for SEVIS (students on F, M, and J visa types)

This address type should not to be used in any department address hierarchy for mailing

If student resides on campus, the dorm name and room number must be included:
Address L1:   Campbell Hall  Room 315
Address L2:   150 West University Blvd

Admissions-during application process (if available). Registrar's Office & ISSS after student is enrolled.

FR:  Foreign
(international students only)

Required for all international students
  • FR address is required at time of application
  • Must be a foreign physical address where the student originates from
  • PO Boxes are not acceptable
  • An I-20 cannot be issued without an FR address
  • Address is required for SEVIS (students on F, M, and J visa types)
This address type should not to be used in any department address hierarchy for mailing
Admissions-during application process. Registrar's Office & ISSS after student is enrolled.
MA:  Mailing
Required for all international students
Students mailing address for general correspondence and grades. This must be a mailable address.
Admissions-during application process. Registrar's Office & ISSS after enrolled.
PR:  Permanent
Required for all international students
Student's permanent home address is required. Initially entered by Admissions and SEGS
Admissions-during application process, Registrar's Office & ISSS-after enrolled
OR:  Original
Required for all international students

The student's originating address at the time of admission to Florida Tech. This is only used by Institutional Research and should never be changed. This address type is used for historical tracking.

NO CHANGES ALLOWED, unless an error is found, then the Custodian Office, which found error.
Address Responsibilities
 
Creating Addresses in Banner:
Graduate, Undergraduate, and SEGS Admission offices are responsible for creating OR, PR, MA, and FR addresses at time of application. They are also responsible for entering US addresses if known at time of application.

(Exception:  for any student holding a F1, F2, M1, M2, J1, or J2 visa… addresses will be entered by ISSS, Graduate, or Undergraduate Admission only.  Student on these visas are required to be registered with SEVIS and follow different guidelines)

ISSS is responsible for creating the US address after the student enrolls (if not known at time of application). 
 
Maintaining Addresses in Banner:
Registrar is responsible for maintaining PR and MA address types for campus students and notifying ISSS of any changes.  If address change is for an off-campus student, the registrar must also notify SEGS.
ISSS is responsible for maintaining FR and US addresses and notifying the Registrar for on-campus students and SEGS for off-campus students of any address changes.
SEGS is responsible for creating and maintaining PR, MA, FR and US address types for SEGS students only and notifying ISSS and Registrar of any address changes.