International student resources

Welcome!

Welcome to the International Student Services page! CCAD is proud to have such a diverse international student population and we are here to ensure that you have an amazing experience during your studies at CCAD. This page primarily focuses on F-1 and J-1 students, including important government regulations and benefits pertaining to your specific type of visa. Additionally, there are some useful links to government websites and some fun links that highlight our fabulous city, Columbus! We understand that attending school in a foreign country is not an easy thing to do and we feel honored that you have chosen to attend CCAD!


CCAD PDSO and Visa Contact:

Emily Houlis 

Email: [email protected]

Immigration regulations 

Important regulations for F1 students

  • Keep your passport valid at least 6 months into the future at all times.
  • Attend the school you are authorized to attend.
  • Register for and complete at least 12 semester credit hours each semester during the normal academic year. The academic year at CCAD consists of two semesters: Fall and Spring. Do not drop below 12 credit hours during either semester without the permission of Emily Houlis.
  • Do not engage in off-campus employment without prior authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Freelancing is considered off-campus employment and is not permitted without proper USCIS authorization.
  • Notify Emily Houlis within 10 days if you change your address.

CCAD is required by U.S. Federal Law to record any F-1 student violation in the SEVIS database. Failing to maintain your status can lead to USCIS administered fines for minor violations. Far more serious consequences, including removal from the U.S.A., may be imposed for engaging in off-campus employment without prior USCIS authorization.

Form I-20

Form I-20 is a permanent record of your student status while in the U.S.A. and should be kept with your passport in a safe place. In conjunction with the SEVIS database, your I-20 form is used to record action taken by the USCIS that may affect your status. You must present the form to immigration officials each time you enter and exit the U.S.A.

If your I-20 is lost, damaged, or stolen, please notify Emily Houlis immediately. A replacement I-20 can easily be issued in most cases.  

F-1 Visa

The F-1 Visa is only needed for entry into the U.S.A. It is not a problem if your F-1 visa expires while you are in the United States as long as you are maintaining your status. 

Form I-94

Form I-94 is an electronic record of your entry into and departure from the U.S.A. You may view and print your electronic I-94 here


 

Travel

Summer vacation

F-1 students are permitted one vacation period each year. CCAD students normally use the summer (May – August) as their vacation period. During that period you may visit your home country, travel around the United States, or enroll in part-time studies at CCAD or another college.

Travel outside of the U.S.A.

If you wish to travel outside the U.S. at any time, please contact Emily Houlis at least 2 weeks before your departure. Emily Houlis will endorse page 2 of your Form I-20 for re-entry to the United States.

If you have an emergency situation and need to leave the U.S. immediately, please contact Emily Houlis right away.

 


 

Employment

Off-campus employment

Do not work off-campus without permission from the USCIS! Freelancing is considered off-campus employment.

F-1 students caught working off-campus without proper USCIS authorization will have their SEVIS record terminated immediately and must depart the U.S.A. within 15 days after the SEVIS record is terminated. There is no appeal process.

On-campus employment

F-1 students are permitted to work on the CCAD campus. Students interested in on-campus employment should visit the CCAD Career Services Office for more details. On-campus employment is not guaranteed. If hired, students are limited to 15 hours of work per week during the academic year.

F-1 students facing a severe economic hardship may apply to USCIS for off-campus employment authorization upon completing on full academic year. Contact Emily Houlis if your financial situation warrants off-campus employment.

U.S. Social Security Number

If you have obtained on-campus employment or have been authorized by USCIS to obtain off-campus employment you will need a U.S. social security number in order to be paid by your employer.  Contact Emily Houlis for assistance.

The Social Security Administration will not issue a social security card unless proof of employment is provided.

A social security card is not required to open a bank account or to obtain an Ohio driver’s license.

SSA office locator -- students can type in the 43215 zip code to find the SSA office closest to CCAD. 

SSN Application 

International Students and On-Campus Student Employment


Taxes

Filing taxes

If you are employed while studying at CCAD, you will be required to pay federal, state, and local taxes. Your employer normally withholds these taxes from your paycheck. Tax filing deadline is April 15th every year.

 


 

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

CPT is a benefit to F-1 students in good standing that permits participation in a paid or unpaid internship if the internship is either required or an integral part of the student’s major.  Students are not eligible for CPT until completing one academic year as an F-1 student. Contact Emily Houlis for details.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is a benefit to F-1 students in good standing that permits the student to engage in up to 12 months of employment related to their major area of study. It can be utilized after one academic year has been completed. Most CCAD students prefer to save their OPT to use after graduating from CCAD. USCIS must approve OPT. Contact Emily Houlis for details.

Ohio Driver’s License

Emily Houlis is not able to answer questions about obtaining an Ohio Driver’s License. For information on how to obtain an Ohio Driver’s License, contact the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles or visit their website.

F1 Visa advice

Never accept advice pertaining to your F-1 status from your friends, professors or CCAD staff. You should always contact Emily Houlis with any questions about your F-1 visa.

 


 

Important note

You are always welcome to contact Admissions at [email protected] with any questions about the rules and regulations pertaining to your F-1 status. These rules can be confusing, so please feel free to ask as many questions as necessary. Many immigration questions can be answered by e-mail. A personal meeting can be arranged to discuss more complicated questions or situations.