Orlando International

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for a student (F-1) visa to come to the United States?

Please visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html for visa application information. The procedure is slightly different from one U.S. consulate to another, so you will want to read the information for the particular consulate that you plan to visit.

When may I arrive?

The U.S. consulate or embassy abroad can process your visa up to 90 days before the start date of your academic program. You may enter the country as early as 30 days prior to the program start date that is noted in item #5 on your I-20 or item #3 on DS-2019. You will not be expected to arrive on campus, however, until the arrival date on your I-20 or DS-2019.

What should I do when I arrive at FIT Orlando?

In accordance with immigration regulations, you must provide us with copies of your immigration documents upon arrival. These regulations apply to students from outside the United States, as well as to students transferring to Florida Tech from another U.S. school.

Is there public transportation available in Orlando?

Because our rail and bus systems are limited, many Americans own cars. However, owning and operating an automobile in the United States can be expensive. Orlando’s regional public transportation system is called LYNX, a public bus system that services all of Central Florida. LYNX bus stops are often marked by a round sign with either a pink paw or pink bus symbol. Standard bus fare is $2 per person one way, with free transfers. You can get daily passes on the bus ($4.50) and weekly passes for $16 which have to be bought in advance, either on the web or from certain outlets in the area. For more information, visit http://www.golynx.com/.

Am I required to have health insurance?

There is no socialized or national system of health care in the United States and medical treatment is expensive. All Florida Tech students are required to have appropriate medical insurance coverage. As part of your tuition and fees, you will be charged for student health insurance and you will be automatically covered through Florida Tech’s health insurance plan.

What do I do if I want a family member to visit me?

If your family member will be applying for a visitor's visa, ISSS will provide you with an enrollment letter to verify your current enrollment status. You should also write a letter to your family members stating that you would like them to visit you in the United States. You can find more information about visitor's visas on the U.S. Department of State's DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application website.

What do I do if I want my spouse or children to stay in the United States with me?

ISSS will assist you in bringing your spouse and children to the United States. The process includes requesting completion of forms I-20 or DS-2019, along with financial documentation. The process is very similar to when you obtained your visa, since your family will be required to apply for the F-2 or J-2 visa from the U.S. embassy in your home country. Please note that, due to immigration policy, ISSS is unable to provide documentation for family members other than your spouse or children.

Do I have to be enrolled to stay in the United States? What about during the summer?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all international students in F-1 status to maintain full-time enrollment status throughout their program of study. Unless it is your first semester, you do not have to be enrolled in the summer. Summer is considered your official “vacation time” from school, so you may remain in the United States and not be enrolled.

Can I work while in the United States?

As an F-1 or J-1 student, you are allowed to work 20 hours a week on campus during fall and spring semesters and full time during the summer. If you want to work off campus, you will have to apply for permission and F-1s may not work off campus during the first nine months of a program of study. Comprehensive workshop sessions on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) are offered regularly by ISSS.

How do I obtain a social security number?

A social security number will only be issued with verification of an offer of employment. Information on how to apply for a social security number will be covered during orientation. Further information is also available on our SSN webpage.

Do I need to pay taxes?

Every year, international students must file documentation with the Internal Revenue Service, even if they have not worked in the United States. ISSS provides all international students with up-to-date information and resources, as well as complimentary nonresident income tax filing software to assist you in filing your income tax return forms.

May I transfer to another university?

Florida Tech policy states that you are required to attend for one full semester if you enter the United States on an I-20 from Florida Tech. Florida Tech will not release a student until he/she completes one semester of attendance.