Maintaining Visa Status While at UAA

In order for an international student's visa to remain in status there are requirements set forth both by UAA and the United States Federal Government. The student is responsible for understanding these requirements and knowing what actions to take in order to remain in compliance with all conditions of their visa. 

Semester Check-In

It is the student's responsibility to check in with the International Student Services Office at the beginning of each semester. Notice will be emailed detailing the process to complete this requirement.

Health Insurance

International students are required to be covered by health insurance. LewerMark is the University's sponsored health insurance provider.  It is UAA's policy to charge each student's account the cost of this insurance; $1,427.16 for the year.  This expense is divided over fall and spring semesters.

As an international student you may continue to purchase a health insurance plan of your choice from your home country.  An official waiver form must be filled out by the home country insurance company and the home country insurance company must return the completed form to us by the first day of class or the charge will remain on your account.  Any alternate policy must:

  • Cover the entire semester (August 15-December 15 and January 15-May 15)
  • Provide comparable coverage in the amount of at least $500,000 annual coverage
  • Have a deductible or out of pocket expense of $500 or less per condition
  • Not have a waiting period for coverage of a pre-existing condition
  • Provide at least U.S. $25,000 for repatriation of remains to the home country
  • Provide at least U.S. $50,000 for medical evacuation to the home country if medically ordered
  • Treat mental illness as any other illness
  • Insurance company must be based in your home country

You may no longer purchase a health insurance plan of your choice that is based in the United States to fulfill university requirements.  It is now mandatory to purchase the LewerMark insurance plan chosen by the university if you are purchasing a plan that is based in the United States.  This means we no longer accept plans previously accepted such as ISO, HCC, PGH, Compass or ACI.

In addition, the University will not accept "travel" or "short-term" insurance policies that do not meet university health insurance standards. You may be required to spend additional funds to purchase the university policy or another policy that meets our standard requirement.

Coursework

Students are required to be in a degree program and take a full-course of study every semester.  Dropping a class due to low grades is not an option if dropping the class results in the student being enrolled in less than 12 credits for undergraduate programs or less than 9 credits for masters level programs. To meet this full-time requirement only one online class (3 credits or less) may be taken per semester.

Students in their final semester may take less than a full-course of study if they do not need additional courses to graduate. Students must be enrolled in at least one credit in a traditional course during their last term.

Summer term is considered a vacation term for students.  Students do not need to be enrolled during the summer; however, they may enroll in classes if they choose to do so.

Travel Authorizations

Students traveling outside the US must have the second page of their I-20 endorsed by a Designated School Official.  A signature is valid for one year; however, students traveling over summer break should get it signed before they leave.

Address Changes

Students should email uaa_intlservices@alaska.edu within 10 days of changing their address.  This will update the student's SEVIS record; however, the student will still need to log into UAOnline and change the address with the university.

Employment

Students may work on campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session.  During breaks and vacation periods, students are permitted to work up to 40 hours per week.

INTERNSHIP

If a student's program requires an internship students may enroll according to their program's policies.  The internship is a "for credit" class and the details are to be worked out with the student's academic advisor.  Undergraduate students must have attended UAA for a minimum of one year before enrolling in an internship.

WORK AUTHORIZATION AFTER GRADUATION (OPT)

Students may work in the US for one year after they graduate.  OPT may take place anywhere in the US and the work experience must relate to the student's degree.  The application process is done through ISS and may not be started until 90 days prior to the program end date.  If a student's program ends spring semester they will need to contact ISS no sooner than February 16th; if the program ends in the fall the student should contact ISS no sooner than September 21st.

STEM EXTENSION

Students in certain science, technology, engineering, or math fields may apply for a two-year extension to their regular OPT.  This extension may not be filed more that 120 days before the end of regular OPT. 

Taxes

US taxes are filed every year for the previous year's earnings.  Persons in the US at any point in a calendar year are required to provide the IRS with tax documentation the following year.

F-1 and J-1 students are able to apply for an exemption to be treated as non-residents for US tax purposes.  Persons are able to apply for this exemption up to 5 times in their life.  This exemption must be formally requested by providing form 8843 to the IRS.

Persons who have been in the US more than 5 calendar years should seek professional tax advice and will use the Substantial Presence Test to determine if they are a resident for tax purposes.

STUDENTS WITH NO INCOME

Students who were in the US for any part of the year and have not worked in the US, and who have not had any scholarship provided to them during the year, should compete and file form 8843 with the IRS by June 15 the following year.

STUDENTS WITH INCOME

Students who worked in the US during any part of the year must file a 1040NR/EZ and form 8843 by April 15 of the following year.

STUDENT ATHLETES

Students who have received a scholarship that includes money for room and board will receive a 1042-S in March from UA and must file a 1040NR/EZ and form 8843 by April 15 of the following year.

All other scholarship recipients must file a Form 8843 by June 15 of the following year.

Transferring to Another US School

Students who transfer to another US school need to have their SEVIS record transferred from UAA to their new school. Students wishing to transfer their SEVIS record must provide proof of their admission into the new school prior to UAA completing the transfer.

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CONTACT

International Student Services
University of Alaska Anchorage
3901 Old Seward Hwy, Room 106C
Anchorage,   AK 99503
United States
Tel: (907)786-1027
E-mail: uaa_intlservices@alaska.edu 
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