The International Students and Scholars (ISS) office fosters the education and development of prospective and current students and scholars from abroad to enable them to achieve their academic and professional goals and objectives. We provide information, resources, advice and counseling regarding immigration and related personal matters. We support an environment conducive to international education and intercultural awareness.

This web site is intended to be a resource for individuals who have questions regarding health care and employment while in the United States, and other relevant issues pertinent to F, J, H and TN visa holders.

If you have questions about any of our programs or the application process, you may contact the admissions department.

University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is authorized under federal regulations to enroll non-immigrant foreign national students. Foreign national applicants are those applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Since it can take varying lengths of time to acquire appropriate visas, non-immigrant applicants who reside outside the United States should plan to submit their applications as soon as they successfully complete the Certifications of Finances process. 

Those who will be enrolling with F-1 student visa status will be required to submit a Certification of Finances form.

Certification of Finances for F-1 Students

If you plan to study at the dental school with an F-1 or J-1 student visa, you need to submit a Certification of Finances form or an official original bank statement from your bank or your sponsor's bank. Your submitted documents are needed to verify that you have sufficient funds in U.S. dollars available for the duration of the two-year program. This is required even if you plan to apply for financial aid or live with family members while you study. Your financial documents need to be originals, and not more than two months old. Photocopies and faxed versions are not acceptable.

NOTE: When you are officially accepted into the IDS program and have provided the necessary financial information, the school will issue the required non-immigrant documents. You can then apply for the F-1 visa at the United States Embassy/Consulate in your home country. Without proof of adequate funding, the school will not issue the above-mentioned non-immigrant documents.

There have been many changes in U.S. immigration policies and practices over the past few years.

SEVIS

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, (USCIS) has introduced the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an online database that connects immigration officials and U.S. colleges and universities by providing information on international students and scholars.

On September 1, 2004, a new United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule went into effect. This rule requires F-1 visa applicants to pay a one-time fee of $200 to supplement the administration and maintenance costs of SEVIS.

F-1 Student Visas

Having a U.S. visa is like having a key to enter the country. The expiration date on your visa is the last day you may enter the United States from abroad. You need a valid visa every time you enter the country. Depending upon the type of visa you use to enter the U.S., you are subject to different guidelines in order to "maintain status" or remain in this country legally. The International Students and Scholars (ISS) office can help guide students through the application for F-1 student visas.

Requirements

To apply for an F-1 visa, you will need a SEVIS-issued Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Students from the dental school. The ISS office will issue a SEVIS eligibility form under the following conditions:

(a) you have been fully accepted into a program of study at the dental school and

(b) you have shown proof of financial support for the first year of study. You should complete and submit the Certification of Finances form, which you will receive once acceptance is verified by the dental school.

The Certification of Finances form is used to show proof of support for your first year of study. You must demonstrate sufficient funding to cover all expenses including tuition, fees, books, instruments and living expenses. Funding may come from your own personal account, a private sponsor's account and/or scholarships/loans that have been approved. In addition to filling out the form, you will need to provide adequate verification of the funds. Verification documents include:

  • Original letter from your bank or your sponsor's bank stating the available funds. The letter must be on official letterhead, dated within the last six months and include the bank's seal; and/or
  • Official award letter stating the amount and duration of the scholarship/grant awarded, if applicable; and/or
  • Non-government source loan approval letter from the granting institution, stating the loan amount, if applicable.

You should obtain two original copies of the financial verification documents.

One set of originals should be sent to the dental school; the other set of originals should be retained by you, so that you may have them available when applying for a visa and for use at the port of entry.

The visa application process and required documents may differ depending upon the requirements of the specific consular office in your home country.

Once you have obtained an eligibility documents from the dental school, you will need to pay the required $200 SEVIS fee, get the fee receipt and make an appointment at the embassy/consulate. Bring the following documents to your appointment:

  • Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status (Form I-20)
  • Passport — The passport must be valid for travel to the United States and be valid for at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.
  • Certification of Finances form 
  • Receipt for the $200 SEVIS payment

You must also present the first three documents to an immigration inspector at the U.S. port of entry. The immigration inspector decides whether or not to admit you into the U.S. with an F-1 nonimmigrant status.

Students who are citizens of Canada may obtain their F-1 visas at the port of entry. Canadian students will be required to present their Form I-20, passport and additional supporting financial documents to the U.S. Immigration Inspector at the U.S. port of entry.

Landed immigrants in Canada must contact the U.S. embassy/consulate and apply for a visa before entering the U.S.

Preparing for Study in the United States

After an I-20 is issued and a visa has been obtained, it is best to work within the budget you have estimated for your stay in the U.S. as a student using the funds verified and stated on your I-20.

For your convenience we have attached links to the forms that you will need to provide to our ISS Office. Please fill out these forms accordingly. Please note: if you are not transferring from a school within the U.S. then you do not need to fill out the International Student Transfer Form. To save to your computer, right-click (if using a PC) or hold the control key down (if using a Mac) and choose Save Link As. Once the file has downloaded, use Adobe Acrobat or another program that can read PDFs to open it.

Please complete the following forms:

  1. Insurance Fact Sheet
  2. English Proficiency Requirement

F-1 visa holders have limited employment opportunities while studying in the United States. The best employment options for F-1 visa holders are on-campus employment and optional practical training (OPT).

On-Campus Employment

All F-1 visa students are permitted by USCIS to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year, and up to 40 hours per week during break periods. U.S. law requires all employees to prove their eligibility to work.

In order to work on campus at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, you must apply for work authorization through the ISS Office and HR. The ISS Office provides guidance through the process.

You may then apply for a Social Security Number (SSN). The school cannot pay you without without a SSN. Once you receive your social security card, bring it into the ISS office for recording, then take it to HR so they can process your pay check. Please note, opportunities for employment at the San Francisco campus are limited and offered on a first come first serve basis. Please inquire with our ISS office. 

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is available to students who have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at a USCIS-approved college, university, conservatory or seminary for one full academic year.

To Check Your USCIS Application Status

Call 1.800.375.5283 or visit the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services website. You will need to have your 13-character application receipt code (the letters "WAC" followed by a 10-digit number).

If you plan to travel outside of the United States during a break or at any other time while at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, you must contact your Designated School Official to have your I-20 (if you have F-1 status) or DS-2019 (if you have J-1 status) for a travel endorsement signature. Please allow one business day for this signature.

The endorsement signature is valid for 12 months, and should be renewed each year before the expiration date.

To Enter Foreign Countries Other Than Your Home Country

Please contact the embassy or consulate of the country you will be visiting to determine the visa requirements for entry into that country and how to obtain a visa, if needed. For full details, contact the nearest consulate or embassy for each country you plan to visit. Many countries have consulates in San Francisco, and you may check online for their addresses and telephone numbers. If there is no local consular office, contact the country’s embassy in Washington, D.C. to find the location of the consulate responsible for issuing visas to people living in the Bay Area. For information on consular offices, as well as travel advisories, please visit the Department of State (DOS) Web site.

When Leaving the United States

Except for travel to Canada, Mexico and adjacent islands for 30 days or less, you will need to submit the Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record at departure and receive a new Form I-94 upon re-entering the U.S.

Documentation for Travel

In order to ensure that you are permitted to re-enter the U.S. with no problems, keep the following documents with you:

  1. I-20 or DS-2019 signed and dated by your Designated School Official.
  2. Valid passport (must have an expiration date six months beyond your date of entry/return to the U.S.) Note: Even though your visa may be good till the end of your program, the port of entry can choose to restrict your entry into the U.S. to the end of your passport date even though you may have a D/S (Duration of Status) stamped in your passport;
  3. I-94 (the white card stapled in your passport); or it can be retrieved online here: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
  4. Documentation of financial support (copy of documentation you submitted to the school); and
  5. Documentation that you have paid for the upcoming quarter (if you are an enrolled student travelling between quarters).

Re-Entering the United States

Upon your return to the U.S., you must show the following documents to the U.S. Immigration inspector:

  1. A valid passport, with an expiration date at least six months beyond your date of return entry; (Note: Even though your visa may be good until the end of your program, the port of entry can choose to restrict your entry into the US to the end of your passport date even though you may have a D/S (Duration of Status) stamped in your passport)
  2. A visa that is valid beyond the date of your return to the U.S.; and
  3. A new or currently valid I-20 or DS-2019 with the endorsement page signed by the Designated School Official. 

If You Hold Canadian Citizenship or Landed Immigrant Status

You are still required to meet all of the above requirements if you travel outside of the U.S.

NOTE: Because of world events, while you're here in the United States, it is strongly recommended that you carry a copy of your visa on your person at all times.