International Students

International Students

Prospective International Students – Visit this Site

Current International Students

Required CHECK IN

Check in at Office of International Programs (OIP) in room 206 of Gaylord Hall is required to maintain legal immigration status.  Once you have completed your SEVIS and Doane enrollment the OIP hold will be removed from your student account. Visit the OIP as early as possible after your arrival. You must bring your immigration documents and supplementary information including:

  •  Any academic records that have been requested
  • Your Passport
  • Electronic  I-94 Card (or your airline arrival details so we can help you print one)
  • I-20
  • Proof of Health Insurance
  • Your Class Schedule
  • Your Current Physical Address (Dormitory and Room #, Street Address)
  • Your Contact Information
  • Emergency contact information

Maintain Your Status

Your F-1 student status comes with benefits and responsibilities.  It is your responsibility to maintain your F-1 immigration status.  The Office of International Programs (OIP) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the States Guide can help you understand immigration rules.


You must register your attendance and address with the International Programs office at the start of each term.

Must be Registered Full time Classes

  • You must register as a full-time student every  term until you graduate
    • Arts & Sciences- Crete Campus: 12 or more credit hours
    • GPS- Lincoln Campus:  2 classes per term and complete 1 full academic year before taking vacation term.
    • If you need to drop below full-time status for any reason, request authorization from Office of International Programs before doing so.

Must Report Change of Address within 10 days of Moving

  • Report any change of address within 10 days of moving to a new place of residence including change of dormitory room to the Office of International Programs.

Must Report Change of Status

  • Report any change of status to the Office of International Programs.

Report Change in dependents

  • Report any change in dependents to the Office of International Programs.

MUST Request Authorization for Employment

AS AN F-1 STUDENT, EMPLOYMENT MUST BE AUTHORIZED.  When in doubt- check first with OIP.

Employment is defined as any type of work performed or services provided in exchange for money, tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, food or any other benefit.  Please consult with the Office of International Programs before beginning any work or service of any kind.

Employment Available to F-1 Students at Doane

On Campus Employment

On-campus employment provides a paycheck from Doane.   On-campus employment may include admissions, residence life, student leadership, maintenance,  teaching assistantships, landscape services, food service, , or library, etc. Paperwork for on-campus employment is processed by the Payroll Office, the Financial Aid Office and the employing supervisor.

F-1 students are restricted to the amount of hours per week they may work:

  • 20 hours per week maximum during Fall and Spring academic semesters
  • Full-time (21 hours or more) if on-campus during semester breaks, official school  holidays or summer vacation

F-1 students may not work on-campus after completing a program  unless they  have obtained a new I-20 and plan to enroll the following term in a new degree program (such as starting a GPS MAM degree after graduating with an A&S BA on the Crete Campus). Visit the OIP for more information.

Off-Campus Employment

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

You cannot begin employment until approved AND the employment start date listed on the 3rd page of the new CPT I-20 obtained from the OIP

CPT employment must be an integral part of an established curriculum and must be directly related to a student's major area of study.  CPT is authorized employment and may be defined as work/study, internship, cooperative education, internship practicum, or other type of required or optional practicum. Students must be registered for a specific course in their department that fulfills a program requirement, such as BUS421.

CPT can be full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (less than 20 hours or less per week). Students registered for CPT during a fall/spring semester also must be registered for a full course of study which must include the course required for the CPT. Students engaged in part-time CPT during summer vacation do not need to be registered full-time for classes.

Students must be in legal status which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Possessing a valid passport
  • Registered as a full-time student each fall/spring semester
  • Have been in F-1 student status for at least one full academic year.

To apply for CPT you must be able to respond, "Yes," to the following:

  1. Is your I-20 valid and unexpired?
  2. Does your I-20 list your current field of study and educational level?
  3. Do you have a valid, unexpired passport?
  4. Have you been a full-time student for one full academic year?
  5. Have you been registered full-time every semester you attended Doane University?

Undergraduate students: Minimum of 12 credit hours

Graduate students: Minimum of 9 credit hours per semester

  1. If you are a doctoral or thesis-masters student, do you still have required coursework left to complete not including portfolio, thesis, or dissertation hours required by your program?

If you answered "NO" to any of the above questions: Contact the OIP.

If you answered "yes" to the questions:  Download the CPT packet, meet with the Career Development Center, your academic adviser, and the appropriate people to have the CPT forms completed and enroll in the required courses.

When the packet is complete, make an appointment with the OIP and bring the following documents with you:

  • CPT Packet
  • Curricular Practical Training Academic Advisor Form completed by your academic adviser
  • Course Description for CPT course in which you will be enrolled
  • Internship Learning Contract
  • Memorandum of Understanding filled out and signed by you and your employer which includes the following information:
    • Job offer including the required information:
    • Position is full or part-time
    • Job Title
    • Job description
    • Specify the number of hours employed per week
    • Specific physical street address with zip code where you will be working.  An actual worksite address is needed, not a post office box. The address must be the location where you are actually working.
    • Specific start date of your employment (you cannot begin work until that date)
    •  Specific end date of your employment (you cannot work after  that date)
  • If GPS student, bring your expected degree completion plan officially listing the course as a required part of your program
  • Proof of enrollment in the required course
  • Unofficial Transcript from webadvisor
  • Valid, unexpired passport
  • I-20
  • I-94

Allow 5 working days for OIP to process your CPT paperwork, then pick up at OIP.

You cannot begin employment until approved AND the employment start date listed on the 3rd page of the new CPT I-20 obtained from the OIP

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit of F-1 status to grant authorization to F-1 students to gain work experience in their academic major. (not minor)

Qualified students may apply for a total of 12 months of OPT for each successive degree level as an F-1 student.  Note: Students in English Language training programs are not eligible for OPT. Students usually apply for OPT after the completion of their program of study, and it is important to submit your application early in your final semester. 

To Apply for OPT

You must apply for the OPT benefit.  You must submit an application, fee, and supplemental materials, your application will be adjudicated, and you will receive notice of denial or approval.  If approved, you will receive an employment authorization document (EAD) before you can begin work.  Processing times takes 90 days or longer. 

To apply for optional practical training, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Check with the Registrar’s office to verify your major/minor are listed correctly
  2. Have a current I-20 form which accurately lists  your current field of study and educational level
  3. Have a valid, unexpired passport
  4. Have had less than 12 months of full-time curricular practical training (CPT)
  5. Have been a full-time student for at least one full academic year
  6. Have been registered full-time as an F-1 student every semester you attended Doane, OR have been full-time certified by OIP for the semesters you were not enrolled full-time
  7. If you are completing your program in the summer, be enrolled in at least one credit hour required to complete your program
  8. Attend a OPT Information
  9. Obtain an OPT Packet

If you're not sure if you meet all of the requirements, speak with the OIP.

Unlike CPT, you do not need an offer of employment to apply for OPT.  Timing is everything.  OPT rules limit the amount of time you can be unemployed during OPT, so do not wait until the last minute to apply.  You can apply up to 120 days before your requested start date.   Adjudication of your application can take 90 to 120 days, so apply early in your final semester. You must apply for OPT no later than 60 days from the date of program completion.

I’m approved for OPT now what? Maintaining OPT

Once you are approved for OPT:

  • secure employment that relates directly to your major field of study
  • Submit the OPT update form to the OIP now, and every time you change or add employers
  • Report any change of address  to USCIS and OIP
  • verify your employment and address information with OIP  every 6 months
  • Keep a calendar of your employment activity

OPT-eligible employment must be:

  • full-time -more than 20 hours per week
  • directly related to your major field of study
  • have no more than 90 cumulative days of unemployment

Am I eligible for the OPT-STEM Extension?

If you received your degree in a STEM field, you may be eligible to apply for an OPT extension.

Review the list of eligible STEM fields at  and complete the OPT-STEM packet.

Severe Economic Hardship

  • Severe economic hardship must be documented. Application, evidence and fee must be submitted to USCIS, adjudicated and approved /denied by USCIS.
  • Off campus employment on a very limited basis in the case of extreme unforeseen economic circumstances.  


To request a signature for travel on page 3 of your I-20:

In order to receive a signature on page 3 of your I-20 you must submit the Travel Signature Request.

Request a new I-20 if you:

  •  Officially change your major or minor with the Registrar’s Office and  your academic advisor
  • Change or add dependents.  
  • Experience a significant change in financial support
  • Change degree programs at Doane
  • If you will not complete your program before the date on your I-20 you must request an extension of stay at least  10 business days prior to the expiration date listed on your I-20


It is your responsibility to maintain a current passport.   For entry to the U.S. your passport must be valid for at least 6 months prior to your date of entry.

End of Program

You must depart the U.S. after you complete your program:  

  • Within 60 days of the last day of final exams of your final semester  OR, if applicable,  within 60 days of the completion date of OPT-NOTE rules regarding OPT unemployment
  • Within 15 days from the date of an authorized early withdrawal or termination by the OIP.  Contact the OIP if this applies to you.
  •  Immediately upon termination of your I-20/SEVIS immigration record by OIP for any other reason.  Contact the  OIP


If you wish to transfer from Doane University to a different SEVIS- approved school, please submit the completed F-1 Transfer Out Form with your letter of admission to the OIP in a timely manner.

Travel for F-1 Students

Initial Entry Visa

Visit for information on entry requirements, visas, and applying for your initial entry visa.  EducationUSA is a helpful resource for students sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Visit

Travel Within the U.S.

Whenever you travel, even in the U.S., you should carry your passport, I-20, I-94 and supporting documents with you.

Arriving in the U.S.

You must have a passport valid for at least 6 months after your date of entry, a valid F-1 student visa, I-20, proof of payment of your SEVIS I-901 fee, and supporting documents to enter the U.S.  You may subject to secondary inspection upon arrival.   Canadian Citizens do not need an F-1 student visa, but do need their I-20, proof of payment of SEVIs I-901 fee, and supporting documentation.  To verify your SEVIS status, you will be sent to a secondary inspection where immigration officials can confirm your SEVIS record is in active status.   Expect 1–3 hours to pass through Customs and Border Patrol.

When leaving then re-entering the U.S.

To re-enter the U.S. after a temporary departure, you must have a a passport valid for at least 6 months after your date of entry, visa, I-20  supporting documentation, and you will be subject to secondary inspection .  Details can be found on  If your visa is expired plan ahead as security checks for visa renewals may take several months. 

If your F-1 visa in your passport IS EXPIRED:

You will need to renew your visa while abroad.    Details can be found on  In addition to your passport and required application elements bring to the consulate:

  • Valid Form I-20  with travel signature on Page 3 within the last 6 months
  • Previous I-20’s  (if applicable)
  • Transcript including registration for upcoming semester (if applicable)
  • Current proof of financial support

If your F-1 visa has NOT EXPIRED, bring these to return to the U.S.:

  • Passport valid for at least six months after your date of entry
  • Valid F-1 student Visa
  • Valid I-20 with OIP travel signature within the last 6 months
  • Current proof of financial support
  • Your transcript from WebAdviser

Travel to Canada or Mexico

Please talk with the OIP before you plan travel to Canada or Mexico.

Travel regarding OPT

Please talk with the OIP before you travel if you have applied to Optional Practical Training or if you are currently participating in OPT.

If you depart the US and return, check in with the OIP and bring your passport, visa and provide your arrival/entry information so we can assist you with your electronic I-94 card