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International Students at Lincoln

Guide to SEVIS

International Admissions Application
(download printable version and send in by mail)


Ms. Constance Lundy Director
1(484) 365-7785
 On campus: Ext 7785

   Ms. Terri Joseph 
Program Assistant
1(484) 365-7786
On campus:
Ext 7786






What is SEVIS?

SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.  It is a secure internet-based system that allows schools and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to exchange data on the visa status of international students.  Accurate and current information is transmitted electronically throughout an F-1 student's academic career in the United States.  United States embassies and consulates also have access to SEVIS.

What does SEVIS collect?

Lincoln University must report:

  • Whether the student has enrolled at the school or failed to enroll

  • A change of the student's or dependent's legal name or address

  • Any student who graduates prior to the end date listed on the I-20

  • Academic or disciplinary actions taken due to criminal conviction.

  • When the student drops below a full course of study, which must be authorized by the Designated School Official.

  • Termination date and reason for termination.

  • Other data generated by standard procedures such as program extensions, school transfers, changes in level of study, employment authorizations, and reinstatement.

  • Any student who fails to maintain status or complete his or her program.


Some examples of failure to maintain status include dropping from full-time to part-time enrollment without prior approval from the Designated School Official, attending a school other than the one a student is authorized to attend, failure to apply for a timely transfer from another United States school to Lincoln University, failure to apply for an I-20 extension or change in level of study, unauthorized employment, and failure to report a change of address.

Maintaining Status

To maintain F-1 Status, students must do the following:

  • Attend the school they are authorized to attend

  • Pursue a full course of study when required

  • Make normal progress towards completing the course of study

  • Apply for extensions of program BEFORE the expiration date on the current I-20

  • Follow all USCIS procedures for changing from one program or educational level to another.

  • Follow procedures for transferring from one school to another.

  • Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week while school is in session (full-time on-campus employment is permitted during vacation periods such as summer as long as the student  was enrolled full-time the following semester).

  • Refrain from off-campus employment without authorization.  Limit off-campus employment to 20 hours per week while school is in session.

  • Report change of address or name to the Designated School Official within 10 days of the change.  The DSO must report the change to SEVIS within 21 days.

  • Within 60 days of completing the course of study and any authorized practical training, depart the United States, apply for a change of status, or transfer to another school

  • Maintain a valid passport.

On-Campus Employment

F-1 students who are maintaining status may engage in on-campus employment.  Employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session.  Students may work full-time during the annual vacation or when school is not in session as long as they have maintained status and they intend to register the following semester.  The 20-hour limit applies to all types of on-campus employment,  including assistantships;  in other words, the total per week must not exceed 20 hours.

For students making their initial entry, employment may begin no sooner than 30 days before the start of classes.  

8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(9)(i):  On Campus Employment

(9) Employment -- 

 (i) On-campus employment. On-campus employment must either be performed on the school's premises, (including on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as the school bookstore or cafeteria), or at an off-campus location which is educationally affiliated with the school. Employment with on-site commercial firms, such as a construction company building a school building, which do not provide direct student services is not deemed on-campus employment for the purposes of this paragraph. In the case of off-campus locations, the program educational affiliation must be associated with the school's established curriculum or related to contractually funded research projects at the post-graduate level. In any event, the employment must be an integral part of the student's education.  Employment authorized under this paragraph must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session, unless the Commissioner suspends the applicability of this limitation due to emergent circumstances, as determined by the Commissioner, by means of notice in the Federal Register, the student demonstrates to the DSO that the employment is necessary to avoid severe economic hardship resulting from the emergent circumstances, and the DSO notates the Form I-20 in accordance with the Federal Register document. An F-1 student may, however, work on campus full-time when school is not in session or during the annual vacation. A student who has been issued a Form I-20 A-B to begin a new program in accordance with the provision of 8 CFR 214.3(k) and who intends to enroll for the next regular academic year, term, or session at the institution which issued the Form I-20 A-B may continue on-campus employment incident to status. Otherwise, an F-1 student may not engage in on-campus employment after completing a course of study, except employment for practical training as authorized under paragraph (f)(10) of this section. An F-1 student may engage in any on-campus employment authorized under this paragraph which will not displace United States residents. In the case of a transfer in SEVIS, the student may only engage in on-campus employment at the school having jurisdiction over the student's SEVIS record. Upon initial entry to begin a new course of study, an F-1 student may not begin on-campus employment more than 30 days prior to the actual start of classes. (Amended effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256) (Amended 6/10/98; 63 FR 31872) 

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical training (CPT), must be employment that is an integral part of an established curriculum.  It is available to students in F-1 status who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year.

For employment to be considered an "integral part of an established curriculum," it must usually fall into one of two categories:

  1. Required Part of Degree Program - If the academic program requires employment in the field of study to graduate, the student may participate in CPT as long as he/she meets the other requirements of lawful status.  If the employment is required, CPT need not be credit bearing.

  2. Not required Part of Degree Program - Credit-bearing training opportunities that are an integral part of a program of study may be used for CPT.

CPT may be part-time or full-time.  Employment for 20 hours or less per week is considered part-time CPT:  employment for more than 20 hours per week is considered full-time CPT.

8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(10)(i):  Curricular Practical Training

 (i) Curricular practical training programs. An F-1 student may be authorized by the DSO to participate in a curricular practical training program that is an integral part of an established curriculum. Curricular practical training is defined to be alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the school. Students who have received one year or more of full time curricular practical training are ineligible for post-completion academic training. Exceptions to the one academic year requirement are provided for students enrolled in graduate studies that require immediate participation in curricular practical training. A request for authorization for curricular practical training must be made to the DSO. A student may begin curricular practical training only after receiving his or her Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256)

Optional Practical Training

Students who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one academic year in a SEVIS-approved college, university, conservatory, or seminary are eligible for optional practical training (OPT), which is defined  generally as temporary employment directly related to the student's field of study, for the purposes of  gaining practical experience.

The following regulations became effective on January 1, 2003:

  • OPT must be recommended by the Designated School Official (DSO) in SEVIS, and USCIS must receive the student's Form I-765 before the program end date.

  • Students enrolled in a study abroad program can use time spent studying abroad towards the one-academic year requirement as long as they were registered in a full course of study for one academic term before engaging in study abroad.

  • Students are eligible for another 12 months of OPT if they change to a higher educational level.

Students are eligible for up to 12 months of OPT in the aggregate during a single level of education.  OPT time that has been used during the course of study must be used within 14 months after completion of studies.  Students become eligible for another 12-month period of OPT after completing a program of study at a higher educational level.

A student may not begin OPT employment until CIS issues an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  The following SEVIS regulation regarding Practical Training is as follows:

8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(10): Practical Training

(ii) Optional practical training-- 

 (A) General. A student may apply to the Service for authorization for temporary employment for optional practical training directly related to the student's major area of study. The student may not begin optional practical training until the date indicated on his or her employment authorization document, Form I-766 or Form 688B. A student may submit an application for authorization to engage in optional practical training up to 90 days prior to being enrolled for one full academic year, provided that the period of employment will not begin until after the completion of the full academic year as indicated by the DSO. A student may be granted authorization to engage in temporary employment for optional practical training: (Paragraph (f)(10)(ii)(A) revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256) 

 (1) During the student's annual vacation and at other times when school is not in session, if the student is currently enrolled, and is eligible for registration and intends to register for the next term or session; 

(2) While school is in session, provided that practical training does not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session; or 

(3) After completion of the course of study, or, for a student in a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree program, after completion of all course requirements for the degree (excluding thesis or equivalent). Continued enrollment, for the school's administrative purposes, after all requirements for the degree have been met does not preclude eligibility for optional practical training. However, optional practical training must be requested prior to the completion of all course requirements for the degree or prior to the completion of the course of study. A student must complete all practical training within a 14-month period following the completion of study. 

Travel:  Re-Entry to the United States

Before you leave the United States, you should check with the Office of International Programs and Services to fill out a "Request for Travel Form."  Your information will be entered in SEVIS with the date of your return to the United States.  Generally, to enter the United States, you must have a:

  • Valid passport

  • Valid U.S. visa

  • Valid Form I-20

  • Current proof of financial support

  • EAD card, if on post-completion optional practical training.

Students may also wish to carry transcripts or proof of registration with them when they travel in case they are asked to provide verification of enrollment or full-time status.  The following SEVIS regulations regarding Annual Vacation and Re-entry are as follows:

(iii) Annual vacation. An F-1 student at an academic institution is considered to be in status during the annual (or summer) vacation if the student is eligible and intends to register for the next term. A student attending a school on a quarter or trimester calendar who takes only one vacation a year during any one of the quarters or trimesters instead of during the summer is considered to be in status during that vacation, if the student has completed the equivalent of an academic year prior to taking the vacation. 

 8 C.F.R. 214.2(f)(4): Re-entry After a Temporary Absence

(4) Temporary absence. An F-1 student returning to the United States from a temporary absence of five months or less may be readmitted for attendance at a Service-approved educational institution, if the student presents: 

 (i) A current SEVIS Form I-20 (or, for readmission prior to August 1, 2003, a current Form I-20ID which was issued prior to January 30, 2003), properly endorsed by the DSO for re-entry if there has been no substantive change to the most recent Form I-20 information; or (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256

(ii) A new SEVIS Form I-20 (or, for readmission prior to August 1, 2003, a new Form I-20ID which was issued prior to January 30, 2003), if there has been a substantive change in the information on the student's most recent Form I-20 information, such as in the case of a student who has changed the major area of study, who intends to transfer to another Service approved institution or who has advanced to a higher level of study. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256) 

Preparation for Departure

Once you've completed your studies at Lincoln University, you may be wondering what to do.  You have three options, they are:

  1. Graduate School

  2. Optional Practical Training for 1 year

  3. Return home to work in your field

The following SEVIS regulation regarding Preparation for Departure is as follows:

iv) Preparation for departure. An F-1 student who has completed a course of study and any authorized practical training following completion of studies will be allowed an additional 60-day period to prepare for departure from the United States or to transfer in accordance with paragraph (f)(8) of this section. An F-1 student authorized by the DSO to withdraw from classes will be allowed a 15-day period for departure from the United States. However, an F-1 student who fails to maintain a full course of study without the approval of the DSO or otherwise fails to maintain status is not eligible for an additional period for departure. (Revised effective 1/1/03; 67 FR 76256

For more information, please refer to your  International Student Handbook, 2005-2006 or contact The Office of International Programs and Services Staff.




Lincoln University Office of International Programs & Services

P.O. Box 179

1570 Baltimore Pike

Lincoln University, PA 19352

Telephone: (484) 365-8000 Ext.7784/85/86

Fax: (484) 365-7822