Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

Who is considered an international student?
International students are students who are not citizens of the United States and do not have a Permanent Resident Card issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In general, a student is considered an international student if he or she has a visa or intends to obtain a visa to study in the United States.

Are international students eligible for in-state fees?
All "non-resident" applicants (international applicants and domestic non-residents) will be automatically charged out-of-state fees.  Additional questions regarding tuition and fees for international students should be directed to the Student Accounts Office at (203) 392-6140 or

Are international students eligible for Financial Aid?
International F-1 students are not eligible to receive Financial Aid. There are a limited number of scholarships available that are competitive among the student population. International students are eligible for student worker positions, graduate assistantships, and other forms of part-time, on-campus employment. For further information, please get in touch with the Financial Aid office at (203) 392-5222 or

Do I need to translate my transcript before sending it to the Office of Admissions?
Any transcript issued by a university outside of the United States must be evaluated by an approved evaluation agency before sending it to the admissions office.

Do I need to take the TOEFL exam?
International students must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through satisfactory performance on one of the following:


  • TOEFL - 72 iBT/525 paper;
  • IELTS - 6;
  • ELS Academic English Level 112 certificate of completion;
  • SAT - 900 (combined critical reading and math only);
  • ACT - composite score of 19;
  • Pearson PTE – 53; or
  • Duolingo English Exam -100. 


  • TOEFL 80 iBT/550 written/213 computer;
  • IELTS – 6.5,
  • ELS Academic English Level 112 certificate of completion;
  • Pearson PTE – 53; or
  • Duolingo English Exam -105. 

I am an F1 student who received a job offer.  Can I work?
International students are only permitted to work on campus during their first year of study.  After the first year of study, any job offer must be directly related to the student's major and requires authorization from the OIE.  For further details, please contact us at (203) 392-5454 or

How can I get a social security number?
Social Security numbers will only be granted by the Social Security Administration (SSA) after receiving a job offer and only after applying for a number from the Office of Social Security Administration. 

The Social Security Administration ( SSA) has announced the release of the Online Social Security Number Application. This is the first step in applying for a Social Security Number (SSN):

  • Individuals (including students and scholars) must begin the process online to apply for a new or replacement Social Security card.
  • After the application is submitted online, the student/scholar will receive a confirmation number which they must print out and bring to their local Social Security Administration Office within 45 calendar days along with their supporting documentation.
  • All acceptable documents must be original or certified copied by the issuing agency, unexpired, and must show name, date of birth, or age.
  • After SSA verifies all documents submitted in person and completes the request, the SSN card will be received within 14 business days.

Can I drop below a full-time course load?
International students are not permitted to drop below a full-time course load.  If you are unable to register for a full course load for any reason, please contact the OIE prior to the beginning of the semester to discuss.

My program end date is expiring but I still need to take classes.  What should I do?
If you will not be completing your degree program by the end date shown on your I-20 form, it is urgent that you visit the OIE to apply for an extension of your program end date.  This must be done at least one month before the end date.

How does my spouse/child under 21 join me in the U.S. as my dependent?
To obtain F-2 documents for your spouse and/or minor children under the age of 21, please contact the OIE at (203) 392-6947 to schedule an appointment with Michael Schindel (F Specialist). If eligible, we will issue the appropriate document for your spouse/children to obtain an F-2 status. At that time, your family member will need to apply for and obtain the appropriate visa to enter the U.S. (except Canadians) as your dependent. Please contact the American Embassy in your home country to check for any additional requirements.

I'm planning to travel outside the United States. What do I need to do to re-enter the United States?
If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., you should check that your I-20 form will not be expiring soon and that the I-20 has a travel signature dated less than 5 months from your planned date of re-entry into the U.S.  If you need to obtain a new travel signature, you should submit a request form with your original I-20 to the OIE at least two weeks before your travel date. You should also make sure your passport and visa are valid.

How can I renew my F visa?
The U.S. visa foil (stamp or sticker in your passport) is a document that allows you to travel for entry into the United States with a valid I-20. You may remain in the U.S. with an expired F1 visa as long as you have a valid I-20 and are maintaining an F-1 student visa status. If you plan to travel and re-enter the U.S. from abroad after your visa has expired, you will need to apply for a new visa before you re-enter the U.S.  You can only apply for the visa outside the country at a U.S. visa-issuing consulate.

Am I required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee?
The Department of Homeland Security requires a fee of $350 for all new F-1 and applicants to cover the costs of the operation of the SEVIS program.  If you are issued a new I-20 for "Initial Attendance," you are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. Change of level to a new degree program, transfer, extension, or other updates do not require a new SEVIS fee payment. You can read more information on the official website for SEVIS fee information and payment. You can also pay the SEVIS fee online at the same website.  You must print a copy of the receipt and take it with you to your visa interview and when traveling to the U.S.

Do I need to have a health check and immunizations before getting my visa or coming to the United States?
While the U.S. government does NOT require you to have immunizations or tests to obtain your F-1 visa, the University Health Services does require certain immunizations for all students.  Students are not permitted to begin classes if they have not received clearance from Health Services.  Please check with the University's Granoff Health Services for additional information at (203) 392-6300.

I moved. How do I report my change of address?
When you relocate to a new address, it is critical that you provide the OIE with your new contact information. This can be done by completing the Information Update Form or by dropping by the office to speak with F-1 Student Advisor, Michael Schindel

I would like to attend a different academic institution in the United States. What is the procedure to move/transfer to a new school?
To transfer to a different school, you need to be in valid F-1 status and get accepted to the new institution. You must provide an acceptance letter to the OIE and request that the record be transferred. After the record is released, you will need to begin the new program study at the next available session or within 5 months, whichever is sooner. 

Can I get a driver's license?
To get a driver's license, you must show proof of legal status to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You must submit a letter of enrollment issued by the OIE in addition to the I-20 form, passport, I-94, proof of address, and a Social Security card or letter from the Department of Social Security Administration confirming that a card could not be issued.

How do I invite family members to visit?
To invite a family member to visit, you must receive a letter of invitation issued by the OIE. To receive this letter, an Information & Appointment Request Form must be filled out and submitted to the OIE.  Please check with the American embassy or consulate in your home country for any additional requirements to obtain a visitor visa for a family member.

Can my Form I-20 be emailed to me?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) updated its policies regarding how Form I-20 documents are sent and received. Form I-20s will now be sent via email. They should be printed, signed, and treated as original when traveling. For more information, please see the updated guidance.