International Student Important Information

What you need to know as an International Student at Owens Community College

Important International Student Acronyms & Definitions

Below are common acronyms that will be useful as you begin your journey as an international student, and help you understand everything that is needed to become an international student at Owens.

USCIS – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service

DHS – Department of Homeland Security

SEVIS – Student and Exchange Visitor Program is a web-based system for maintaining information on nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the United States.

SEVP – The Student and Exchange Visitor Program is the DHS program that administers SEVIS.

DSO – Designated School Official – maintains the SEVIS records of nonimmigrant students in F and M visa categories.

PDSO – Principal Designated School Official – the main point of contact for SEVP relating to school compliance.

Who are international students?

International students are “non-immigrant” visitors who come to the United States temporarily, for the purpose of study, and who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • do not have U.S. citizenship or legal permanent resident status (a valid “green card”)
  • do not have refugee or asylee status in the U.S.
  • are currently in the US on a non-immigrant visa status (without a valid green card)

Owens Community College is SEVP accredited to admit F-1 and M-1 students.

Who are F-1 and M-1 students:

  • F-1 non-immigrants, are foreign students pursuing a full course of academic study.
  • M-1 non-immigrants, are foreign students pursuing a full course of vocational study.

Who are F-2 and M-2 students:

  • Dependents of F-1 and M-1 students who may study part-time.

Online Applications

  • ALL non-U.S. citizens complete the international application.
  • Within the international application, prospective students will indicate their specific immigration/visa status.
    • Permanent residents will have an IN Hold until proof of permanent residency is provided to the Records Office.

Non-Immigrant Study Rules

  • Many non-immigrant visa statuses exist, each with different and strict study restrictions under USCIS.

While different study rules apply for each non-immigrant visa category, as per federal regulations, B-1 and B-2 nonimmigrants (i.e., visitors to the U.S. for business and pleasure purposes) are prohibited from enrolling in a course of study.

Maintaining Immigration Status

  • F and M students must follow a specific set of SEVP rules.
  • To maintain their status, F-1 and M-1 students must enroll for a full course of study of a minimum of 12 credit hours during fall and spring semesters.

International Student Employment

On-campus Employment

    • F-1 students are eligible for on-campus employment.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

    • Internship, cooperative education or required practicum part of an established curriculum.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

    • Off-campus USCIS work authorization in a student’s program of study.
    • For F-1 students: one year; for M-1 students: 6 months.

Foreign College/University Transcripts

  • To request foreign transfer credit, students must have transcripts evaluated by an accredited evaluation agency. See
  • Records will review credits upon receipt of all documents from the accredited evaluation agency.

Evidence of Financial Support for I-20 Issuance

  • International students are not eligible for FAFSA.

  • International students are encouraged to apply for scholarships/grants from private organizations and their home country.

Outside Resources Required

  • Document and interpreter translation