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U.S. Visa Documents

If you are in "F-1" status in the U.S., these forms and rules apply to you. You may email the International Student Office ([email protected]) with questions. 

Initial I-20 Paper

F-1 Visa in Passport

F-1 Basics

Health Insurance

Enrollment in Classes

Employment & Taxes

  • Working On-Campus: Limited to 20 hours/week during the semester and 40 hours/week during school breaks.  Apply for jobs on Handshake
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
    • Before starting a job in the U.S., you need to apply for an SSN
    • Step 1: Apply for jobs on Handshake
    • Step 2: Get a paper, ink-signed “Job Offer Letter” (example), and email us a picture of it
    • Step 3: Gather your documents - job offer letter, continuing I-20, I-94, passport, F-1 visa in passport (or change of status approval notice), an SSN application form (blank, example), and an SSN Request Letter created by the ISO (example)
    • Step 4: Bring all documents to an office with us or by yourself 
    • Step 5: Before starting working, visit Student Employment in MacDonald Hall and hand in your new hire paperwork (blank, example)
  • CPT: Curricular Practical Training
  • OPT: Optional Practical Training
    • OPT Request Form 
    • OPT Info Session: Video, Slides, and Instructions
    • Photo tool from the government, so you can create an acceptable 2"x2" passport-style photo
    • STEM extension instructions; and a Form I-983 Training Plan blank form and example
    • You're required to remain on American health insurance; more information here
    • Report your OPT Participation: Email [email protected] with the following information, so we can update your SEVIS record and print you a new I-20 with employer information
      • Name, off-campus address in the U.S., & preferred email
      • Start date at company, company name, company address, & whether the job is full time (e.g., 20 hours/week or more) or part time (e.g., 20 hours/week or less)
      • 1-2 sentence answer to the question, "How is this job related to your major?"
      • If on STEM OPT, also: Employer EIN, supervisor name, supervisor email, & supervisor phone
  • Taxes and Reporting Obligations
    • The Tax Workshop: Video, Slides
    • Deadline: April 15, 2024
    • Tax Year: 2023 
    • Blank Forms88431040NRSchedule 1 of 1040Massachusetts Form 1 NR-PY
    • Tax TablesFederal Tax TableMassachusetts Tax Table (found in the instruction booklet) 
    • Helpful Resources: Sprintax professional help for people who are nonresidents for tax purposes including most F1 students, FreeTaxUSA professional help for people who are residents for tax purposes including some F1 individuals who have been in the U.S. for more than 5 calendar years, I-94 Travel HistoryDate-to-Date CalculatorIRS - U.S. Federal GovernmentMassachusetts State Government
    • Do you have a W2 Form?  If you worked in the U.S., then your employer (company) mailed you a paper W2 form.  If you can't find your W2, email Student Payroll or your off-campus employer, and they will mail you a W2 PDF.  Your income from the tax year is listed in Box 1 of your W2.  Your withholdings from the tax year are listed in Box 2 of your W2. (Note: W2 Box 2 will show an amount if you marked "0" on your W4; it will be blank if you marked "1")
    • Do you have a 1042-S Form?  If you received a taxable scholarship, then SFS mailed a paper 1042-S form to your Gordon College mailbox. Only 5-10 students qualify each year.  If you can't find your 1042-S, please email Karen Fritz at Gordon, and she will email you a PDF 1042-S


  • Travel Info Session: Video, Slides
  • Exiting the U.S. - No paperwork required
  • Entering a Destination Country - If it's not your home country, then you might need to get a transit visa or a visitor/tourist visa to enter. Check the Passport Index
  • Returning to the U.S. - Passport, I-20 with Travel Signature, F-1 Visa, and (if you're on OPT) an EAD card. You might need to renew your F-1 Visa while you're outside of the U.S.  You cannot renew your F-1 Visa from within the U.S. (see video and slides at the links above)

Driver's License

  • Screen-by-Screen Instructions for getting a learner's permit and then a driver's license in Massachusetts
  • Study in the States official U.S. government guide for F1 students getting driver's licenses
  • Transfer your driver's license from one of these foreign countries: Canada, Mexico, U.S. Territories, Rep. of Korea, Germany, France, and Taiwan. (Use this online form to "Transfer Out Of State License")
  • Proof of Residency Letter: Email us to ask for one, and we will create it and send it to your campus mailbox (it cannot be emailed)

Leave of Absence (LOA)

Visitor Invitation

  • Visitor Invitation: Email us to ask for a visitor invitation, and include information about the visitor: full name, date of birth, passport country, relation to you the student, the reason he/she is visiting, approximate length of stay in the U.S. (in weeks), and the month he/she plans to arrive in the U.S. 

Professional Help

  • Sprintax is the preferred provider of professional tax help for Gordon's international students
  • Iandoli is the immigration law firm that Gordon's international students have worked with in the past

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