Carnegie Mellon University
August 26, 2016

International Student Responsibilities

The Office of International Education (OIE) would like to remind you of some important responsibilities you have as international students in the United States. Read this message carefully.  Remember to READ all OIE messages carefully so that you can remain informed and maintain your legal status in the US!

Maintaining Legal Immigration Status

Understand your immigration status and know what you may do, what you may not do, and what you are REQUIRED to do while in the U.S.  Know which documents you need to have, how to keep them current, and when and why they may need to be updated. All of this information can be found on OIE’s website.

Allow sufficient time for requests for signatures or documents from OIE!  OIE requires 3 business days to process requests for signatures and 5 business days for new documents.


F-1 and J-1 students are required to be enrolled full-time each semester in order to maintain status.  If you are considering dropping below full-time, you MUST consult with your OIE advisor first in order to determine if you are eligible for reduced course load authorization.  Failure to do so will result in the loss of your legal status.  If eligible, you will need to provide a completed Reduced Course Load authorization form to OIE.  The form to request a reduced course load is available on the OIE website.

Change of Address

You must update your “Off Campus Residence” within 10 days of moving.  This is done through the Student Information Online (SIO) website.

*For all international students, the PERMANENT ADDRESS fields must be completed with an address in your home country (NOT a U.S. address). 

*International students living off campus must provide their U.S. residential address in the OFF-CAMPUS RESIDENCE field.

Log on to SIO and confirm that your information is current.   


There are limits to the type and the amount of employment you may have while in the U.S.  F-1 and J-1 students may work on-campus for Carnegie Mellon University part-time (no more than 20 hours per week) while classes are in session and full-time during official school breaks or vacations. On-campus employment is defined as work for which you will be paid by Carnegie Mellon University.   J-1 students need to request authorization from their program sponsor before beginning on-campus employment.   If CMU is your J-1 sponsor, you must submit a J-1 On Campus Employment Form.

All F-1 and J-1 students must visit OIE and receive authorization before beginning ANY type off-campus employment.  Visit the OIE website for details on off-campus employment options.  Since some types of work authorization can take months to receive, plan ahead!


Know before you go!  If you are traveling internationally and will need to return to the U.S. to resume your studies, be sure to have all documents necessary to re-enter the U.S.  If you are traveling to a country that is not your home country, you must contact that country's embassy or consulate website to find out what documentation is required to go there.  Detailed information regarding travel is available on the OIE website.

Contact OIE

If you have questions or situations not covered by our website or office handouts, contact our office by phone at 412-268-5231 or email at  For complex questions or problems, schedule an appointment with an advisor by calling 412-268-5231.  For emergency situations, call or visit the office - DO NOT SEND EMAIL. 

OIE Express Services

OIE now offers “OIE Express Services” every Monday afternoon from 3:00-4:00 PM.  At OIE Express, you may request a new travel signature on your I-20 or signature on your SSN form.  This is a walk-in service and registration is not required. 

If you are unable to come to the Express Services Hour, you may always request a signature at the OIE front desk.  Processing time is 3 business days.