How do I apply for admission to UAB?

You should apply through the appropriate admissions office to get into a UAB degree program. See https://www.uab.edu/admissions/apply/international for Undergraduate admissions or https://www.uab.edu/graduate/admissions/international-applicants for Graduate admissions.

May I work?

On-campus work is allowed for students in valid F-1 or J-1 status. During the academic term, students are limited to 20 hours per week and can work full-time during vacation and breaks. Off-campus work authorization is not allowed for the first 9 months of holding F-1 status. Off-campus employment options should be discussed with ISSS.

What do I need to do to obtain a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019?

You must be fully admitted into a degree-seeking program (i.e., bachelor, master, doctorate, etc.) in order to be issued an I-20 or DS-2019 form. In addition, you must provide proof of funding for one academic year by providing an affidavit of support from your sponsor and an original bank statement. Students receiving funding from their home country government, some international organizations, or the United States government may be required to obtain an DS-2019.

What if I want to stay at UAB for a second degree?

If you are completing a lower degree and wish to pursue a higher-level degree within UAB, you must apply to and be admitted into the higher-level degree program. You must obtain proof of funding through your department or by providing an affidavit of support and original bank statement in order to receive a new I-20 or DS-2019. If you are transferring to UAB from another school and changing levels, then you will need to do all of the previously mentioned steps and also providing a transfer clearance form from your previous university.

What documents do I need if I travel to my home country or a third country for a brief visit?

Whether you are in F-1 or J-1 status, you must obtain a travel letter and must have a current I-20 or DS-2019 with a signature of less than one year old. Please complete a Student Request Form to obtain a travel letter from ISSS at least 2 weeks prior to your departure. Additionally recommended documentation: transcripts, proof of funding (if available), proof of current registration, student ID, and any other proof that you are a current student.

What do I need to do if I am graduating?

Students in F-1 status have up to 60 days after graduation to do one of the following: 1) apply for and be admitted into a new degree program (must occur before 60 days); 2) Apply for post-completion optional practical training (OPT); 3) depart the US; or 4) change to another visa status. Students in J-1 status have only 30 days after graduation to do one of the following: 1) apply for and be admitted into a higher degree level; 2) apply for J-1 academic training; or 3) depart the US. If you plan to depart UAB and return home, you must submit a Departure Form to ISSS with a forwarding address.

What do I need to do if I want to transfer to UAB?

You must apply for and be admitted into a degree program and submit current financial documents (affidavit of support and original bank statement) in addition to a transfer clearance form from your current university.

How do I invite family members to visit me briefly in the US or attend graduation?

ISSS provides a sample invitation letter and affidavit of support for family members. If you are supporting your family members in the US, you must provide proof and supporting bank statements. Have the form notarized.

How can I get a certification letter?

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and request a letter of good standing.

Can I receive a new visa stamp or renew my visa without traveling outside the US?

No. Visa renewal must be done in your home country, Canada, or Mexico. If you try to renew the visa in Canada or Mexico, you must make an appointment with the US embassy there. If your visa application is denied in Canada or Mexico, you cannot re-enter the US directly. You must return to your home country first and obtain the visa there.

How do I change my immigration status to F-1?

You must be fully admitted into a degree-seeking program and provide proof of full financial support (original bank statement & affidavit of support). Then, you can either:

  1. apply for an F-1 visa at a US embassy or consulate in Mexico, Canada, or your home country; or
  2. file a change of status request with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

ISSS will file the change of status for you. USCIS requires a $290 fee. Contact ISSS to discuss these options further.

Can my spouse or child (F-2, J-2, or H-4 “dependents”) attend school in the US?

F-2 dependents cannot enroll in a degree-seeking program, but can enroll in avocational and recreational courses such as improving English, hobby classes, and/or exercise. F-2 dependents cannot receive any kind of financial compensation. An F-2 who wishes to attend school full-time should apply for change to F-1 status. H-4 and J-2 dependents can be part-time or full-time students.

Can my spouse or child (F-2, J-2, or H-4 “dependents”) be employed in the US?

F-2 dependents cannot be employed. Certain H-4 dependents, in very limited circumstances, can work in the US after applying for and receiving an employment authorization document from USCIS. J-2 dependents are also allowed to work only if they apply for and receive an employment authorization card directly from USCIS and affirm that their income is not designed to support the J-1 primary beneficiary.