|1. F-1 Students|
|2. J-1 Exchange Visitors|
|3. F-1 Employment|
|6. UWF and Pensacola|
|7. Driver's License and Car Registration|
1. How many credit hours must I complete to maintain my full-time status?
2. What must I do if I am unable to maintain full-time status?
3. How do I update my address?
Your address can be updated by submitting the request through your MyUWF account.
4. How do I transfer to another school as an F-1?
5. Can an F-1 student apply for work permission?
Failure to turn in your I-94 (or I-94W) when you leave the U.S. can create a serious problem. Without this record of your departure, you will be identified in our records as an "overstay." Being identified as an overstay means that you will be denied re-entry into the U.S. If you failed to turn in your I-94, please send it - along with any documentation that proves you left the U.S. to ACS Inc.1084 South Laurel Rd., London, Kentucky 40744.
11. How can I have my family join me in America if I have an F-1 visa?
1. What are the Required Visa Fees?
Each applicant for a visa must pay a nonrefundable $100 (U.S. currency) nonimmigrant visa application processing fee. If the visa is issued, there may be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee for citizens of certain countries.
2. Do All Exchange Visitors have to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee?
Most J-1 exchange visitors are required to pay a one-time SEVIS fee of $180 (U.S. currency). All those applying for a J-1 visa for initial participation in a program must pay this fee. In addition, those already in the United States applying for a change of status to J-1 must pay the fee, as does an exchange visitor applying for a change of category.
Continuing exchange visitors do not pay the SEVIS I-901 fee when they:
There are no fee waivers available for the SEVIS I-901 fee. For more information see:
3. What Is the Visa Interview Like?
Once the exchange visitor receives the Form DS-2019 from the sponsor, he or she must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and make a visa appointment at the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest his or her home. At the visa appointment, the consular officer will determine whether the potential exchange visitor qualifies for the visa. Applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet the requirements to be issued an exchange visitor visa, including the following:
4. Which Documents Are Most Important for the Exchange Visitor?
The critical documents that each exchange visitor must protect for the duration of his or her stay in the United States are:
It is the responsibility of the RO/ARO to make sure the exchange visitor understands what each of these documents signifies. Exchange visitors should be advised to keep a copy of their Form DS-2019 even beyond the end of their program in case it is needed at some future point.
5. What is the “Grace Period” for Exchange Visitors (J-1)?
The grace period for exchange visitors who have completed their program is thirty (30) days and is linked to the period of admission specified on the Form DS-2019. If an exchange visitor decides to go home early and does not complete the terms of his/her program, he/she is expected to depart immediately and is not afforded the benefit of the 30-day grace period for departure.
The Immigration and Nationality Act states that any nonimmigrant visa holder in the United States who fails to maintain the nonimmigrant status in which they were admitted is deportable [INA 237(a)(1)(C)(i).] Any exchange visitor who ceases to pursue his or her program falls out of status and could be found to be unlawfully present.
6. How does an exchange visitor “Maintain Program Status”?
Exchange Visitors are admitted to the United States for a specific period of time to engage in a particular program (activity), as described on their Form DS-2019. Exchange visitors must take care during their stay to maintain lawful (J-1) program status, as failure to do so can have serious long-term consequences.
7. How do I extend my stay, change program sponsors, or transfer schools on a J-1 visa?
8. Can J-1 and/or J-2 visa holders work?
Exchange visitors (J-1) are admitted to the United States for the period of time necessary to complete their program, and are given the notation “D/S” (Duration of Status) on their I-94 Arrival/Departure Record at the port of entry. They are permitted to stay to the end date listed on the Form DS-2019, plus the 30-day grace period, as long as they have participated actively in their program.
For nonimmigrants admitted with duration of status, unlawful presence begins to
For nonimmigrants admitted with a date certain (as opposed to D/S), unlawful presence begins to accrue on the date the Form I-94 expires.
10. What are the sponsor’s responsibilities toward exchange participants in the event of a national emergency or natural disaster?
Though not a regulatory requirement, sponsors should have a plan in place for contacting and providing safety information and instructions to exchange visitor participants and their dependents, as well as prospective exchange visitors, in the event of a natural disaster or national emergency.
11. What should the exchange visitor do if the Form DS-2019 is lost or stolen?
The Exchange visitor should contact the International Student Office. Forms DS-2019 can be reprinted in SEVIS when necessary, with an appropriate explanation entered in the exchange visitor’s record.
12. What should the exchange visitor do if he or she loses his or her passport?
A foreign visitor in the United State who loses their passport must immediately contact their embassy or consulate to report the loss and find out how to replace it. The following website provides information on each of the embassies in Washington, D.C.
13. Who signs the form DS-2019 issued for a dependent of the exchange visitor?
The exchange visitor should sign the form DS-2019 issued for his or her dependent, be it the spouse or children.
14. What are the implications when a dependent turns 21?
An accompanying family member who turns 21 years of age is no longer eligible to be in the United States as a dependent in J-2 status, and must depart the country or apply for a change to another type of nonimmigrant status.
15. Where Can I Find Useful Travel Tips?
16. Where Can I Find Information About Visas?
1. What qualifies as on-campus employment for F-1 students?
2. Type and Location of Employment
3. What are basic guidelines for on-campus employment?
4. What are the International Student Office’s responsibilities concerning F-1 student employment?
5. When do F-1 students become eligible for on-campus employment?
For example, they cannot work for a construction company even if the job site is on the campus.
15. Can F-1 students work on-campus during the grace period after their program end date?
When a student transfers to your school, you have the jurisdiction over on-campus employment after the records release date. The student cannot work at the prior school after that date.
1. I'm a Florida resident. Why am I considered an International Student?
At UWF, students who do not yet have their Green card/Permanent Resident status (approved) must apply through International Admissions. International students may be able to qualify as a Florida resident for tuition purposes if they have lived in Florida for a minimum of 12 months under one of the following statuses:
2. How much does it cost to take classes at UWF?
The 2008-2009 estimated annual (Fall and Spring semesters) tuition and fees amount for undergraduate students is $13,080 and $16,416 for graduate students. This does not include living expenses, medical insurance, books, or food. The total expenses are estimated at $24,455 for undergraduates and $27,291 for graduates for one academic year. Please refer to the Estimated Expenses for International Students Worksheet for more information.
3. Does UWF have financial aid/scholarships for International Students?
Yes, but scholarships and financial aid are very limited and competitive. They cannot be relied on to finance your education. For more information about financial aid and types of available aid, please visit our Financial Assistance page, which lists our scholarship and linkage institute opportunities.
4. Can I get an assistantship from my department?
Yes. Some departments do offer assistantship positions, but the requirements vary for each department. If you are interested in obtaining an assistantship position, please review the UWF Graduate School web page for more information.
1. I want to study at UWF. How do I get an I-20?
7. Do I have to enroll full-time?
1. How do I get to UWF?
8. Can I update my application for another semester?
How do I obtain a driver’s license in Pensacola?
Getting Your First Drivers License in Florida
If you have never been issued a drivers license in any state or country, the state of Florida requires that you complete a First Time Driver education course.
Shortcuts to Florida DMV Approved First Time Driver courses
123Driving.com - Online first time driver course known as DATA
First Time Driver Course Names
Courses are commonly known as:
Adults who have never held a drivers license must take this course.
The DMV Exam
Once you complete a first time driver course the State of Florida requires that you pass a written exam that tests your knowledge of road signs and road rules. The DMV exam is 40 questions. 20 of the questions test your knowledge of road signs and 20 questions test road rules.
Car Registration and Auto Insurance
Before registering your vehicle, you must obtain Florida Auto Insurance and have verification of the VIN number. The auto insurance must be purchased from an insurance company licensed by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Florida's minimum coverage is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL). If you have been involved in a crash, or been convicted of certain offenses, you may be required to purchase bodily injury liability coverage (BIL).
For additional information on the Department of Motor Vehicle in Escambia County, where Pensacola is located, please visit this site: http://www.dmvflorida.org/escambia.shtml.
For additional information on car insurance, driving laws and safe driving tips please visit http://www.carinsurance.org/