This webpage contains visa and immigration information for English language students currently studying at the ELI. For questions on your immigration or visa status, contact OISS at firstname.lastname@example.org or one of your International Student Advisors.
Maintaining your status is your responsibility! The Office for International Students and Scholars is here to help advise you, but it is up to you to keep your records up to date. Here are some tips from OISS on how to stay legal and be a responsible visa holder:
The Office for International Students and Scholars is the designated office on campus to provide immigration advising for international students, including English language students. The International Student Advisor for English language students at the University of Delaware is:
If you have any questions about your I-20 or DS-2019, F-1/J-1 visa, immigration status, SEVIS, transferring out, extending your I-20 or DS-2019, travel signature, leave of absence, or any other changes/issues that may affect your visa status, please contact your International Student Advisor at OISS.
You can email or call at 302-831-2115 to make an appointment with them. Their office is at 26 E. Main Street, Newark, DE 19716.
Remember, only OISS International Student Advisors can give you the most up-to-date and accurate information about YOUR immigration status. What may work for your friend or classmate may not work for you. Be sure to ask your International Student Advisors with any questions or doubts.
If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., please submit a Travel Request form. Once it has been approved by the ELI Registrar’s office, come to OISS to get a travel signature on your I-20 or DS-2019. If your F2/J2 dependents are traveling with you, you should also bring their I-20s or DS-2019s with you. The travel signature indicates that OISS certifies you are maintaining legal status at the time of your travel and you are expected to come back to continue your studies at the ELI.
Always check with OISS before you travel to make sure your visa status is currently valid before travelling and when you return.
What to bring with you for re-entry into the U.S.:
If you are ill and cannot attend school, you will need to submit a Request for Medical Leave of Absence to OISS verifying that you are unable to attend classes. You will also need to notify your teachers and the ELI Registrar’s office about your situation.
To request an MLOA, submit the Medical Leave of Absence request form.
Please note that OISS does not grant MLOA to women with a normal pregnancy/delivery.
Help/questions: If you have any questions about how a Medical LOA will impact your immigration status, please contact OISS (email@example.com) or an International Student Advisor at OISS.
If your I-20 or DS-2019 is expiring at the end of this session, but you need to stay longer to complete your ELI program, you will need to submit an ELI I-20/DS-2019 Extension Request.
To request an I-20 or DS-2019 extension, follow these steps:
To transfer to another school, please follow these steps:
Many students wish to bring their husbands, wives, or children to the USA. Usually, the best way to bring them to the USA is by using an F-2/J-2 visa. The F-2/J-2 visa is a “dependent” visa to bring family members to the USA who will be dependent on the F-1/J-1 visa holder. Many students also want their parents to visit them in the US, which may require a B1/B2 visa. Read below for important information regarding bringing family members to the US.
To qualify for F-2/J-2 status, a spouse or unmarried minor children (under age 21) must establish to the satisfaction of the consular officer and the immigration officer at the port of entry that:
Submit the ELI I-20/DS-2019 Reprint request. To access this form and to watch a video tutorial on how to complete this form, visit the Forms for ELI Students. International students and scholars planning to bring family members to the United States must purchase medical insurance for them.
Help/questions: If you have any questions about requesting documents for your dependents, please contact OISS or an International Student Advisor at OISS.
Individuals in F-2 status may not accept employment or engage in business under any circumstances
If an F-2 Spouse wishes to engage in study full-time, they may not begin the full course of study until a change of status to F-1 is approved. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
J-2 dependents are eligible to apply to USCIS for employment authorization so long as the employment is not for the purpose of supporting the J-1. J-2 dependents can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS in order to be employed in the United States. The J-2 may begin employment only after receiving the EAD from USCIS.
Yes, you can study on a J-2 visa. There is no regulatory restriction on study for J-2 dependents
Dependents in F-2/J-2 status are permitted to stay in the United States only to the extent that the F-1/J-1 is authorized to stay. F-2/J-2 dependents maintain their status through the F-1 principal maintaining his or her status. Like the F-1/J-1 students and scholars, F-2/J-2 dependents are required to keep their passports valid at least 6 months into the future.
Many students want to bring non-dependent family, such as parents, cousins, aunts and uncles to the US. These types of family members are not eligible for dependent visas, but may be able to visit you using a tourist visa. Be aware that tourist visa applicants must show proof of their reason for travel. If your family is coming to see you, you must have valid status in SEVIS. If you have family coming to the US on the basis of your current F-1 or J-1 visa, you MUST check with OISS two weeks before the planned visa appointment to make sure your affairs are in order. As with all visa appointments, OISS and the University are not responsible for decisions made by consular officers or port of entry officials. We will do everything we can to provide you the information you need to prove your student or scholar status, but require that you make us aware in advance and that you check your status at least two weeks before your family's appointment.
As an F-1 or J-1 student, you may find that you are interested in work opportunities in the U.S. Work may provide you with additional funds, or beneficial opportunities for you to practice your skills.
It is important to remember that the U.S. government defines “work” as any activity that someone would normally be paid to perform. Even if you are not being paid, you still may need authorization. Always check with OISS before accepting any position, even if it is unpaid or “volunteer”. We will help you meet your goals in a legal way.
When you have reached the end of your studies at the ELI, this will impact your immigration status.