International Students : Other Issues
There are many issues related to visas and immigration and they cannot all be covered on our website. If you do not find the information you are looking for please contact our office

Extending stay

If you need to extend your stay in the United States to complete your degree, please contact our office so we can discuss your options with you. Below you will find some general information about the process:

F-1 Students
Apply before the end date of your I-20. In order to complete your studies at Alfred University and maintain your legal status in the U.S., you must apply for a program extension at least 30 days before your I-20 expires. Please check item #5 on your current I-20 for the expiration date. Failure to apply for an extension on time could jeopardize your legal status in the US, interrupt your studies, and have other serious legal consequences.

J-1 Students
If an exchange visitor must have an extension of stay to complete the program for which he or she was admitted to the U.S., a request for a program extension must be filed with his or her program sponsor prior to the expiration date on the DS-2019. Extension periods vary depending on the category of exchange visitor.


Social Security Numbers

Social Security numbers are used to report your wages to the government and to determine eligibility for Social Security benefits.  You must have a Social Security number if you are collecting wages in the United States because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses this number for tax purposes. If you are offered a job on campus, you will need a letter from your employer as well as a letter from our office or organization sponsoring your DS-2019 to obtain a Social Security number. You cannot work until you have a Social Security number.

Some cell phone contracts and other forms may ask you for a Social security number but you are not required to have one to sign these. You only need a Social Security number if you plan to work in the United States.

Applying for a Social Security number and card is free. To apply:

  • Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5);
  • Show us at least two original documents proving your:
    • Identity,
    • Work-authorized immigration status, and
    • Age.
  • Take your completed application and original documents to the local Social Security office, located in Corning, NY. 

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. Photocopies, notarized copies, or receipts for document applications cannot be accepted.

The Social Security Office may use one document for two purposes. For example, they may use your DHS work permit as proof of both your identity and work-authorized immigration status. Your birth certificate or passport may serve as proof of age. However, you must provide at least two separate documents.

The Social Security Office will mail your number and card as soon as they have all your information and have verified your documents with the issuing offices.

To prove your identity and work-authorized immigration status, show your current U.S. immigration documents and your unexpired foreign passport. Acceptable immigration documents include your:

  • Form I-551 (includes machine-readable immigrant visa);
  • Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) showing DHS work authorization; or
  • Forms I-766 (Employment Authorization card).

If you are an F-1 student and eligible to work on campus, you must provide a letter from your designated school official that:

  • Identifies you;
  • Confirms your current school status; and
  • Identifies your employer and the type of work you are, or will be, doing.

They will also need to see evidence of that employment, such as a recent pay slip or a letter from your employer. Your supervisor must sign and date the employment letter. This letter must describe:

  • Your job;
  • Your employment start date;
  • The number of hours you are, or will be, working; and
  • Your supervisor’s name and telephone number.

If you are an F-1 student authorized to work in curricular practical training (CPT), you must provide your Form I-20 with the employment page (page 3) completed and signed by your school’s designated official.

If you are an F-1 or M-1 student and have a work permit (Form I-766) from DHS, you must present it.

If you are a J-1 student, student intern or international visitor, you must provide a letter from your sponsor. The letter should be on sponsor letterhead with an original signature that authorizes your employment.  You will also need to show your DS-2019 form as well.

The Social Security Office cannot process your application if:

  • Your on-campus or CPT work begins more than 30 days from your application date; or
  • The employment start date on your work permit from DHS (Form I-766) is a future date.



Some students coming to Alfred University may be bringing their spouse or children with them.  If your spouse comes in under an F-2 or J-2 visa they should know a few important regulations about their status.  Persons in F-2 status cannot work in the United States. However, if they have an opportunity to take a temporary professional job while in the United States, it may be possible to change status to H-1B. Contact the office to discuss your options. Persons in J-2 status may accept employment in the United States only if USCIS has granted them employment authorization. Spouses in F-2 status are not permitted to study full-time or part-time. However, they are permitted to take a class that is recreational in nature. If an F-2 spouse wishes to begin a program of study, he or she must apply for a change status to F-1 or J-1 and must obtain the new status prior to beginning classes. Children in F-2 status may engage in full-time study at the K-12 level. At this time, there is no restriction on a J-2 spouse's ability to study. However, if you are interested in pursuing a degree program as a J-2, please speak with an advisor in the office prior to beginning your studies.

Children accompanying you will be required to attend school if they are between the ages of 6 and 16.

  • K-12 Education: Students may attend the school in the district in which they live for free. If you live in Alfred, the Alfred Almond Central School (AACS) is the school within your district. It is located on Route 21 in Almond (a few miles from Alfred University with a bus system that covers the full district). More information on AACS is available at
  • Daycare/Pre-school: Alfred Montessori School, located at 8 ½ S. Main Street in Alfred, offers pre-school and after school services for children in the community.  For more information, call 607.587.9334. 



You must submit federal and state tax forms if you have received any income, including scholarships. All income must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service by April 15th of each year. Tax forms and instruction booklets can be obtained on-line or at the US Post Office. On-campus assistance with filling out the forms is available. We can also provide you with a toll-free number to call Internal Revenue with any questions you may have.


Transferring Schools

While we hope that you will complete your degree at Alfred University, we understand that sometimes things change and you may want to transfer schools.  If you are planning to transfer universities please contact us immediately.  


F-1 Visa: If you are here in an F-1 Visa, before you decide to transfer you will need to:

  • Make sure you are in status at Alfred University.
  • Inform us of your intent to transfer and provide us with the complete name and, if available, school code of the new institution.
  • Contact your new institution to receive your new I-20.

You must begin classes at your new institution within 5 months of leaving Alfred, otherwise you will not be permitted to remain in the country.


J-1 Visa: To transfer on a J-1 visa you must be transferring to a program that is consistent with the goals of the exchange visitor program. Before you decide to transfer you will need to:

  • Make sure you are in status at Alfred University.
  • Inform us of your intent to transfer and provide us with the complete name and, if available, school code of the new institution.
  • Contact the international office of the school you wish to transfer to and discuss your plans.

Once you have done the above and completed your transfer:

  • Have your program validated by your new institution’s RO no later than 30 days after the transfer effective date.  This acknowledges that you have arrived at your new institution and will update SEVIS with your new address.
  • When you check in you will need to receive a new DS-2019 from your new institution for you and any dependents you have with you.

Graduate School: If you are planning on starting graduate school after completing your undergraduate degree, this is a different process than transferring schools.  Please contact our office so we can help you with this process.


Military Service

Persons holding non-immigrant visas (F-1 and J-1) are not subject to regulations affecting service in the United States military branches. However, students in immigrant status are subject to these regulations and males must register within six (6) months of residence in the U.S. with the Selective Service Office.