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Documents and Forms

  • When you file the I‐485 application to adjust your status from a non‐immigrant to an immigrant you are considered to be pending for permanent residency or sometimes called PR Pending or I‐485 Pending. This gives you legal status to remain in the U.S. during this pending period.
  • OIA does not provide visa invitation letters for commencement.  Instead, we have provided the following guidance to help you write a letter to the consular official requesting that your friend/family member be granted a visitor visa to attend your commencement ceremony.
  • Students who will need a visitor visa to attend their own commencement ceremony should use the commencement letter provided by the Registrar's Office with their visa application.  

The government has made provisions on a case-by-case basis to grant authorization for off-campus employment due to new, unexpected circumstances beyond your control that have created the severe economic hardship. These may include:

  • Loss of financial aid–if it is not your fault;
  • Large increases in tuition or living costs
  • Substantial decrease in the relative value of currency you depend upon to pay expenses;
  • Unexpected changes in the financial conditions for your sources of financial support;
  • Unexpectedly large medical bills not covered by insurance; or
  • Other substantial, unexpected expenses.


  • Lawful F-1 status for at least one full academic year
  • Good academic standing
  • Documented. supportable evidence that your off-campus employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond your control that arose after obtaining F-1 status
  • Academic record supportive of the prospect that accepting off-campus employment will not interfere with your ability to successfully complete a full course of study


  • Work is limited to no more than 20 hours per week off-campus while school is in session or full-time during vacation periods.
  • Authorization is granted in increments of one year or until your program end date, which ever is sooner.

Application Procedure

  1. Complete an Application for Employment Authorization Form I-765. (You can complete the form on page 10 by using your computer keyboard. Use the TAB key to navigate.) Complete Item #16 as follows: ( c ) ( 3 ) ( iii ). Be sure to include the following as part of your application. Form filing tips

    • Form I-765
    • $ 410 check or money order payable to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    • New Form I-20 recommending your employment obtained from International Services-send a copy with your application
    • Copies of all previous Form I-20s
    • 2 photos as detailed in “Part 3. Required Documentation” of the application—we recommend you place them in a small plastic bag
    • Copy of your Form I-94 Departure Record (front and back)
    • Documentation of hardship
      • Personal letter explaining the circumstances of the hardship
      • Supporting materials
        • For example, a letter detailing illness at home or information telling of the devaluation of currency in your home country, etc. (Letters from parents and sponsors must be notarized.)
        • A list of assets, income, and expenses
        • Explanation as to why other employment options are unavailable or insufficient (a simple statement might suffice)
    • Copy of your passport visa and your name, date of birth, photograph, passport number, and passport expiration date pages. If you are Canadian, you may submit a copy of a photo identity document issued by a governmental agency such as a passport showing your photograph, name, and date of birth or a driver's license showing the same information. The photocopy must clearly show your photograph and identity information.
    • Copy of your last EAD (front and back) if you have previously received one
  2. Bring your completed application to International Services for review before submitting it to USCIS.
  3. We recommend that you make a copy of everything you send to USCIS for your personal records.
  4. EADs will not be forwarded so if you are planning to move, you may want to put our office address on the I-765 (1351 WSC, Provo, UT 84602). However, if you do, you must update your contact information in Route Y (address, email, phone) so we can reach you when your EAD arrives.
  5. We recommend that you send your application by certified return receipt mail to: 
  • If you are unable to complete your degree program within the time period indicated on the admission I-20, you may request a program extension if the delay is caused by compelling academic or medical reasons:

    • Illness (requires medical documentation from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist)
    • Change in major field of study
    • Change in research topic
    • Unexpected research problems
    • Annual extension (only applicable to students in J-1 status)

    Application for extension MUST be made prior to the completion date on your I-20. Your academic advisor is required to certify that the delay in completing program requirements was caused by a compelling academic or medical reason, and that you are making progress toward completion of your degree.

  • Your funding can come from any combination of sources in the U.S. or abroad.

    • Funds from "Sponsors" (parents, relatives, friends, organizations). You may have as many sponsors as you need. Sponsors may provide you with support in the form of money and/or Food and Housing. Free Food and Housing is when you live with someone and don’t have to pay for your room or food. 
      • WARNING #1 It is highly recommended that at least part of your financial support come from your home country. This helps when you apply for your student visa.
      • WARNING # 2 A sponsor should promise only as much money as he or she is capable of giving you. A sponsor should promise only what he or she intends to give and only as much as can be afforded.
    • Personal Funds come from your own resources, not those of anyone else. If your parents put money in your bank account, we will ask you to submit the evidence required of sponsors. Unless you have enough cash to support yourself for your entire program of study or can prove other sources of personal income, you will need a sponsor with an income sufficient to support you.
    • Funds from this school such as, a scholarship, assistantship, or fellowship. Not all College support covers the entire program of study or all expenses, so you may need additional support to meet your minimum annual costs.
    • Sponsorship Form
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations require international students under an F-1 visa to be enrolled in a full course of study while pursuing a degree in the United States. At Nova Southeastern University (NSU), a full course of study is defined as 12 credits for an undergraduate degree, and generally 6 credits for a master’s degree, and one class (regardless of credit hours) for a doctoral degree. A student who drops below a full course of study will be considered out of status, unless the student has received prior approval to engage in less than a full course of study from NSU.
  • If you have failed to maintain status you may request for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to “reinstate” your F‐1 status. By using the document below.
  • You should use this application if you are one of the nonimmigrants listed below and wish to apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an extension of stay or a change to another nonimmigrant status.
These file are too be used by students who wish to transfer to NSU from another institution or wish to be used by students who wish to transfer from NSU to another university.

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