International Students

Multnomah welcomes any whose citizenship is in a country other than the United States. Some international students may find our way of life much like theirs at home and need very little help in adjusting to the new surroundings. Others will find new and strange circumstances and have many questions. The Registrar is also the International Student Advisor and will gladly work with international students in answering questions, solving problems, defining procedures and explaining immigration forms. You may also direct questions regarding immigration regulations to the United States Office of Immigration & Naturalization Service. Their address and phone number are available in the Registrar's Office.

As an international student at Multnomah, your programs and activities will be very similar to those of any other student. However, unlike other students, you will need to understand and observe certain specific United States government regulations and procedures. The following definitions and explanations will enable you to be aware of these and adhere to them:

F-1 Student

This student is an alien who has entered the United States on an "F-1 visa" to be enrolled in a full-time educational program, but they have no intention of remaining in the United States. They are also known as "non-immigrant students."


This is a certificate of eligibility for non-immigrant (F-1) student status, issued by the Registrar, to be used by the international student to apply for an F-1 visa to the United States. The institution indicates acceptance of the applicant as a full-time student and states the conditions of this acceptance including required English proficiency, needed financial resources, and dates of expected arrival. The Registrar must endorse the I-20 when a student first enrolls. The I-20 is used also for program extension. During the school year, a properly endorsed Form I-20 will be required for re-entry to the United States after a brief departure.


This is an entry permit. The form is issued to the international student at the port of entry giving him/her permission to enter the United States. Record of date of arrival is kept on this form, which is normally stapled to a page in the passport.

Duration of Stay

As an F-1 student, you are authorized to be in the United States for the period of time known as "duration of status" (marked as D/S on your visa). This period includes the time a student is pursuing a full course of study and making satisfactory progress in an educational program. After completing the program, a student has 60 days to leave the country.

Extension of Stay

As an F-1 student, you do not have to apply for an extension of stay as long as you maintain status and make normal progress toward a complete education objective as indicated on your Form I-20. If you cannot meet the expected completion date, and you program is satisfactory, you must apply to the Registrar for a program extension in the 30-day period before that date.

On-Campus Employment

If this is available, on-campus employment by F-1 students is permitted as long as the student works no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. Students may be employed full-time during vacations and recess periods, so long as they intend to register for the next term.

Off-Campus Employment

This may be available as determined by INS based on economic hardship. You must be in good academic standing and have been in F-1 status for at least one academic year. Details regarding requirements for off-campus employment are available from the Registrar.

Immigrant Student

This is a student who has entered the United States with a permanent resident visa. The student is permitted to stay indefinitely, may work at will, may or may not enroll in college, may become a citizen, and is subject to selective service. The immigrant student operates under normal legal and institution regulations rather than those governing the non-immigrant student.


All international students are required to have personal health insurance. This must be purchased prior to the first day of class each semester. Verification of adequate insurance coverage must be provided at that time. Insurance information is available at the Health Center during the school year and at the Registrar's Office during the summer.


This is the travel document issued by an individual's country of citizenship that permits him/her to depart from and return to his/her own country. Passports are generally valid for a limited period of time only. However, here in the United States they can normally be renewed at the Foreign Consulate or Embassy of an individual's country of citizenship. Canadians do not receive this document if entering the United States as non-immigrant students.

Re-Entering the United States

An international student must be particularly careful to carry the correct documents for re-entry when leaving the United States at any time. During the school year, a properly endorsed Form I-20 will be required for re-entry. Be sure to request this form from the Registrar in advance before your departure.