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Yes!

There are international sections of courses such as English, American Heritage and some religion courses.

Refer to the class schedule for details. Also refer to your department advisor.

Students who are not LDS are strongly encouraged to enroll in Rel C 100, Introduction to Mormonism, during their first semester in residence. Rel C 100 may be used to fill either the New Testament or Doctrine and Covenants requirement.

These classes fulfill the GE requirement the same way the general sections would. For more specific information, contact individual academic departments.

Please see the Guide to Annual Vacations: click here

If you want to change to status while in the United States, you must fill out a Form I-539 and submit it with the appropriate paperwork and fee to USCIS. Click here to learn more about changing your visa status.

If you want to apply to attend BYU from your home country, click here for details.

If you are a current student at another U.S. university, it is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. notify the school you are attending of your intentions to transfer to BYU
  2. apply and be formally admitted to BYU
  3. have your current school transfer your SEVIS record to BYU. click here for details

Direct your questions about BYU admission to BYU International Admissions. International Services does not process applications for admission, but we do provide our services to you once you are admitted. more

Sponsors must be obtained by individual effort. The university neither provides lists of possible sponsors nor can it assist in the finding of sponsors.

  • You are responsible to become aware of and dutifully observe the requirements to maintain your lawful status.
  • If you fail to do so, your lawful status will be terminated as is required by law. If you are out of status for more than five months, you may be removed from the U.S. by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and/or subject to a bar from re-entering the U.S. in the future.
  • If you think you are out of status, contact International Student Services immediately to review your situation. If you are out of status, you will not be eligible for a travel signature, change of status, employment or other F-1 benefits.
  • Below are details of the only two options for reinstatement:
  • Criteria--You may apply for reinstatement if you:
    • Have not been out of status over five months
    • Do not have a record of willful or repeated violations
    • Are currently pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study
    • Have not been engaged in unauthorized employment--It is illegal to work anywhere when out of status.
    • Are not removable on any other grounds
    • Can substantiate that  
      • the status violation resulted from circumstances beyond your control or
      • the status violation is related to a reduced course load that would have been within International Services power to authorize and
      • failure to approve reinstatement would result in extreme hardship.
  • How to Apply
    1. Complete a Form I-539--may be downloaded here and filled in by using your keyboard before printing or obtained from International Student Services after verifying with International Student Services that you are out of status and discussing your situation with your advisor.
    2. Make copies of your passport pages including your visa, passport number and expiration date, and your picture.
    3. Include your original Departure Record--Form I-94. This small white card is usually stapled to your passport next to your visa.
    4. Request a reinstatement Form I-20 from International Student Services.
    5. Draft a written request for reinstatement addressed "To Whom It May Concern." Consider including the following suggested items:
      • Reason for falling out of status
      • Provide support/documentation that the violation was beyond your control.
      • Make the request that you be reinstated to your F-1 student status giving all of the reasons to do so--one ought to be so that you might be able to complete the requirements of your program--list them and when you plan to graduate.
      • You might explain the negative impact that a failure to obtain reinstatement would have on you.
      • Indicate that you are currently pursuing a full course of study or that you are making arrangements to do so during the next enrollment period.
      • Personal declaration that you will follow all of the F-1 regulations if reinstated
    6. Provide proof of finances
    7. Obtain an official university transcript from each university attended
    8. Obtain a money order or personal check for $300 made to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    9. Make an appointment with your International Student Services advisor and bring the above documents with you for review.
    10. Submit the application and related materials to:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 
California Service Center 
P.O. Box 10539 
Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1053

  • If Application is Approved 
    • E-mail notice will be sent to International Services within about 45 days
    • You will be eligible for any J-1 benefits for which you qualify
  • If Application is Denied
    • E-mail notice will be sent to International Student Services within about 45 days
    • Your current visa will be automatically canceled.
    • You will be permanently limited to applying for visas in your home country.
    • You will not be allowed to continue your studies at BYU.
    • You will be required to depart the United States within a designated time given in the notice of denial.
    • An official record of your status violation will be recorded with the DOS.

There are three main situations which may qualify you to apply for residency.

  1. The first includes persons whose relative petitions in their behalf, (people who marry US citizens),
  2. those who qualify under work provisions and
  3. the third is those people who win the visa lottery.

All residency applications should be submitted to the USCIS office nearest you. Other exceptions exist, but they are rare. Please find information on the internet or consult an attorney for more information.

Based upon medical reasons or as your annual vacation, you may request authorization for a leave of absence from enrollment from fall to winter or winter to spring while remaining in the U.S. and retaining your lawful status.

Eligibility:

  • Medical—must be in lawful status
  • Vacation
    • must be in lawful status
    • must have been enrolled full time for the PREVIOUS eight months (e.g., spring, summer and fall for a winter leave of absence).

Process:

  • Medical
    • Obtain a letter on institution letterhead including the date and appropriate signature from a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy or licensed psychologist recommending the interruption in your studies.
    • Submit the letter along with an International Leave of Absence form to International Services.
    • When approved, you will be able to to take less than the required 12 hours during the desired semester, allowing you to retain your lawful status.
  • Vacation
    • If you have been enrolled full time for the previous eight months, you may submit a Leave of Absence form to International Services to change your vacation.
    • THIS PROCESS CHANGES YOUR ANNUAL VACATION IN SEVIS, TYPICALLY FROM SPRING AND SUMMER, TO THE REQUESTED SEMESTER.
      • That means your future annual vacations will be shifted to that major semester thus requiring a full course of study (full-time enrollment) during the remaining enrollment periods during the year.
      • Vacation details

If you do not qualify for an international leave of absence and do not continue with a full course of classes, you may not remain in the United States because your lawful status will be terminated in SEVIS, and you must reapply to the university for admission.

You must personally request and authorize your SEVIS record be transferred to your new school in order to maintain your F-1 status.

  • Eligibility
    • Admittance to another school
    • Current maintenance of your lawful status, including
    • NOTE: In order to attend your new school if you are ineligible for transfer of schools because you are out of status, you must
      • Apply to USCIS for reinstatement OR
      • Leave the country and renter with an initial Form I-20 from your new school.
  • Procedure
    • After being accepted as a student at the school where you plan to transfer, your new school will either send or have you bring to BYU International Services a form to verify your transfer eligibility from BYU.
    • International Services then completes and returns the transfer eligibility form to your new school.
    • Complete and submit a Transfer Out Form to BYU International Services.
    • International Services will transfer your SEVIS record effective the date you designate on your Transfer Out Form. 
      NOTE:Your employment benefits at BYU terminate on the effective transfer date.
    • Enroll in a full course of study during your initial semester or term specified on your new Form I-20. 
      NOTE: You are not subject to the $200 SEVIS fee.
    • Check in with your new school upon your arrival to that campus

You may work 20 hours a week while school is in session and more than 20 hours a week while school is not is session. Be sure not to go above 20 hours a week while school is in session. This will put you out of status. more

You may work more than 20 hours a week during vacation.

The International Student Association (ISA) is a club for all international students. To be involved contact the ISA president. In addition to this, there are many clubs available to all BYU students.

International students are eligible to apply for all scholarships available to any regular BYU student.

Refer your questions to the BYU Scholarship Office

A J-2 may work when he/she has obtained authorization from USCIS. J2s must have an EAD card. This is obtained by applying through USCIS with Form I-765. A J-2 may work for pleasure purposes only; the money from employment cannot be used to support the J-1.

Under no circumstances may an F-2 (dependent of an F-1) work.

Once you and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident consider marriage, your immigration status for the purposes of leaving and entering the United States changes. You are no longer considered an F-1 non-immigrant but a prospective immigrant.

After marriage, you must apply to adjust your status to permanent residency through USCIS to receive the benefits of residency which allow you to live and work in the U.S. while retaining citizenship in your home country. Link to government site explaining permanent residency through a family member--your spouse.

  • Requirements
    • The marriage must:
      • not have been entered into for the sole purpose of conferring permanent residence status on the alien,
      • be legally binding when performed and
      • be currently in effect.

 

  • Application Procedure 
    • Obtain the required forms and documents as listed by USCIS on their Website at https://www.uscis.gov, click on “Green Card (Permanent Residence)”–center left menu, click on “Green Card Through Family, follow the link on the upper right for “Green Card Based Forms.” Currently the forms are: 
      • I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $355,
      • I-131 Application for Travel Document (optional),
      • G-325A Biographic Information (one for you and for your spouse),
      • I-485 Adjustment of Status Application $1,010,
      • I-693 Medical Examination form (call 1-800-375-5283 for current list of doctors),
      • I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (optional),
      • I-864 Affidavit of Support–include copy of latest IRS form 1040 and copy of previous year’s W-2
    • For answers to questions or concerns, you should consult directly with USCIS officers (appointments made through the InfoPass Website, https://infopass.uscis.govor with an attorney knowledgeable in immigration law since the application process involves your immigrant status and International Services works with non-immigrant status.
    • Obtain checks or money orders for the $355 and $1,010application fees
    • Obtain passport style photos as directed.
    • Mail your application in the order specified on the USCIS website to:
      • If sent through U.S. Postal Service:

        U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

        P.O. Box 805887

        Chicago, IL 60680-4120

      • If sent through non-U.S. Postal Service courier:

        U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

        Attn: FBASI

        131 South Dearborn – 3rd Floor

        Chicago, IL 60603-5520

         

    • Processing may take up to 14 months and involves interviews and providing biometrics. During this time you may work and travel outside the U.S. only if you have applied for and received the appropriate work and travel authorizations. These take approximately three months to process. note: During this time you become ineligible for non-immigrant (F-1) benefits like re-entry into the U.S. with a Form I-20 after a temporary absence from the country.
    • You are officially designated as a conditional permanent resident when a designating stamp is placed in your passport. Conditional permanent residency extends for two years.
    • Within 90 days before the two-year anniversary of being granted conditional residency, you must apply to have the conditions removed and to become a permanent legal resident; otherwise, your residency is automatically terminated. Legal permanent residency is granted for ten years and may be renewed multiple times. After a minimum of three years of legal permanent residency, you may apply to become a U.S. citizen. This process is called naturalization.

NOTE: IT IS ILLEGAL TO LEAVE THE UNITED STATES AND RE-ENTER ON YOUR STUDENT VISA IF AT ANY TIME DURING YOUR STUDIES YOU INTEND TO APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY.

Only the following situations, properly documented and approved by International Student Services before reducing your credit hours, will qualify you to maintain your F-1 status without being registered in a full course of study (If you do not take a full course of study, you will be out of status.):

studying

  • Academic --initial difficulty with the English language or reading requirements, unfamiliarity with American teaching methods or improper course level placement
    • Obtain a letter(s) from your teacher(s) and/or advisor explaining your situation and recommending the reduction in studies.
      • You must take a minimum of six hours.
      • Supporting statements must be written on institution letterhead and include the date and appropriate signature.
    • Bring your letter(s) to International Student Services and consult with your advisor. If authorized, you may reduce your credit hours for the current semester or term only.
  • Graduate Teaching or Research Assistantship --participation in a graduate assistantship which would limit your ability to appropriately attend to a full course of study
    • You must register for at least six credit hours.
    • Bring your TA or RA contract to International Student Services when you seek approval of an exception to your full course of study.
  • Medical --an illness or other medical condition that interrupts your ability to maintain a full course of study
    • You should obtain a statement from a medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed counseling psychologist recommending the interruption or reduction in studies. (Medical statements must be written on institution letterhead and include the date and appropriate signature.
      • If you wish to work, please have your doctor indicate in your letter that you are able to do so.
      • You cannot work if you drop to 0 hours.
    • If necessary, you may use a total of 12 months approved medical reduction during your course of study. Beyond that, if further medical assistance is necessary, USCIS requires that you return to your home country.
  • Practical Training
    • Curricular Practical Training--requirement by your department to engage in full-time training such as an internship
    • Optional Practical Training--participation in pre-completion OPT
  • Program Completion
    • Undergraduate--less than a full course of study is needed to complete your program during your last semester or term
      • Obtain a signed, dated letter on letterhead from your department stating the current semester is your last semester or term.
      • Submit the letter to International Services.
      • If you are employed on campus, at the same time, complete a Last Semester Option form and submit it to Employment Services.
    • Graduate--completed all course work and are preparing for comprehensive examinations or are engaged in research on your thesis or dissertation, you are only required to maintain matriculation (thesis credits)
      • Obtain a signed, dated letter on letterhead from your department that you have completed your coursework but have remaining research or dissertation/thesis hours before completion of your degree.
      • Submit the letter to International Services.
      • If you are employed on campus, at the same time, complete a Last Semester Option form and submit it to Employment Services.
  • Vacation
    • You are not required to register for classes during your annual vacation period--typically during the spring and summer terms--if you are eligible and intend to register for the next semester or term.
    • Check with International Services if you have any questions about your vacation eligibility.
  • School Approval Withdrawn

Your F-1 lawful status is the official U.S. government designation and authorization of your stay in the U.S. as a non-immigrant student.

  • Your status is designated by the Customs and Border Patrol officer who reviews your visa and other documents at your port of entry, and upon your admittance, writes your lawful immigration status and the length of time you may remain in the U.S. on your Form I-94 (shown below).  more details
  • You will probably have “D/S” as the length of stay; it means “duration of status” or until the completion date noted on your Form I-20 #5—providing you continue to maintain the requirements of your status.
  • In most instances, your lawful status and visa category will be the same, F-1, unless you change your status after entering the U.S. Click here for an example

Immigration matters are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Your F-2 lawful status is the official U.S. government designation and authorization of your stay in the U.S. as a non-immigrant dependent of an F-1 student. Your status is dependent upon and in effect for the duration of your F-1 prinicpal visa holder.

Before leaving the port of entry, check to make sure this information has been entered in your documents.

  • Your status is designated by the Customs and Border Patrol officer who reviews your visa and other documents at your port of entry, and upon your admittance, writes your lawful immigration status and the length of time you may remain in the U.S. on your Form I-94 and Form I-20 (shown below).
  • You will probably have “D/S” as the length of stay; it means “duration of status” or until the program completion date noted on your Form I-20—providing you continue to maintain the requirements of your status.
  • In most instances, your visa category and immigration status will be the same, F-2, unless you change your lawful status after entering the U.S. For example, you may change from F-2 to F-1. 

Immigration matters are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Your J-1 lawful status is the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) designation and authorization of your stay in the U.S. as a non-immigrant professor or scholar.

  • This status is granted at your port of entry by a USCIS officer who reviews your visa and other documents, and upon your admittance, writes your immigration status and the length of time you may remain in the U.S. on your Form I-94 and Form DS-2019 (shown above).

  • Your permission to stay in the U.S. is based upon that status. You will probably have “D/S” as the length of stay; it means “duration of status” until the program completion date noted on your Form DS-2019—providing you continue to maintain the requirements of your status.
  • In most instances, your visa category and immigration status will be the same, J-1, unless you change your lawful status after entering the U.S. For example, you may change from J-1 status to J-2 status as a dependent of an J-1.
  • Since you are responsible to learn and observe the requirements to maintain your status, we encourage you to carefully review all of the related materials on this site. If you are unsure of any of the requirements, please consult with International Services’ staff.

Immigration matters are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Your J-1 lawful status is the official U.S. government designation and authorization of your stay in the U.S. as a non-immigrant student.

Before leaving the port of entry, check to make sure this information has been entered in your documents.

This status is granted at your port of entry by a Customs and Border Protection officer who reviews your visa and other documents, and upon your admittance, writes your immigration status and the length of time you may remain in the U.S. on your Form I-94 shown below). fact sheet

  • You will probably have “D/S” as the length of stay; it means “duration of status” until the program completion date noted on your Form DS-2019—providing you continue to maintain the requirements of your status.
  • In most instances, your visa category and immigration status will be the same, J-1, unless you change your lawful status after entering the U.S. For example, you may change from J-1 status as a student to J-2 status as a dependent of an J-1.
  • Since you are responsible to learn and observe the requirements to maintain your status, we encourage you to carefully review all of the related materials on this site. If you are unsure of any of the requirements, please consult with International Student Services' staff.

Immigration matters are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Your J-2 lawful status is the official U.S. government designation and authorization of your stay in the U.S. as a non-immigrant dependent of a J-1 Principal status holder. Your status is dependent upon and in effect for the duration of your J-1 principal.

Before leaving the port of entry, check to make sure this information has been entered in your documents.

This status is granted at your port of entry by a Customs and Border Protection officer who reviews your visa and other documents, and upon your admittance, writes your immigration status and the length of time you may remain in the U.S. on your Form I-94 and Form DS-2019.

  • You will probably have “D/S” as the length of stay; it means “duration of status” until the program completion date noted on your Form DS-2019—providing you continue to maintain the requirements of your status.
  • In most instances, your visa category and immigration status will be the same, J-2, unless you change your lawful status after entering the U.S. For example, you may change from J-2 status as a student to J-1 status as a dependent of an J-1.

Immigration matters are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.