Immigration Information

As an international student or scholar, it is your responsibility to maintain proper immigration status. If you ever have a question about this, make an appointment to see an immigration advisor in International Student and Scholar Services, located in Laurel Hall. You may also ask an advisor online.

Explore the resources below, which include many forms that you may need to complete depending on your immigration needs.

ISSS Services

Open Advising:

Open advising for brief questions (10 minutes or less). Students are seen on a first come, first served basis. Students are seen by the first available advisor.

Appropriate topics for open advising:

  • Information about immigration regulations
  • Information about immigration benefits
  • Questions about any forms
  • Travel Signatures
  • Advice regarding campus resources

Open advising available Monday to Friday, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 3 p.m.


Appointments can be made by contacting or directly contacting the staff member you would like to meet with. Appointment times will vary based on staff availability.

Appropriate topics for appointments:

  • Cultural adjustment problems
  • Academic problems
  • Replacement of I-20/DS-2019
  • Dependent I-20/DS-2019’s
  • Change of status
  • Reinstatement

Document Drop-off or Pick-Up:

You may drop off or pick up the following documents at the front desk during office hours:

  • Social Security Letter
  • Optional Practical Training Packets
  • Curricular Practical Training Packets
  • Program extension
  • J-2 work request to be reviewed

You may also email requests to

Your I-20 or DS-2019

Required Documents to be Issued an I-20 or DS-2019

Immigration Information

You will complete the immigration information as part of your application to CSU. Here you will specify:

  • Your sources of financial support and an affidavit of support from a family member or friend
  • The address of where you want your immigration document shipped
  • Your current US visa status, if applicable
  • Information about your dependents

If you are a returning student or applying to the Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine program, you will submit the Immigration Document Request Form to ISSS instead.

Financial Support Documents

Immigration documents (I-20 or DS-2019) can only be sent to admitted students whose financial support information has been received, verified, and approved.

I-20 Immigration Document for F-1 Students:

In order to be issued an I-20 immigration document, a student’s financial documentation must demonstrate the ability to pay the full cost of attendance for one full academic year. Please see the Estimated Expense Form for more information on cost of attendance. 

DS-2019 Immigration Document for J-1 Students:

In order to be issued a DS-2019 immigration documents, a student’s documentation must show enough funding to cover the duration of the document. For example: If financial documentation is only demonstrated for 1 year, than the DS-2019 can only be issued for 1 year.

Acceptable financial documents:

Bank statement or loan document:

  • Your document should be in English.
  • The name and address of the bank must be listed.
  • Your name or your sponsor’s name(s) must be on the letter or bank statement and must match the name(s) listed on your affidavit of support.
  • Financial documentation must be dated within 12 months of the start of your program of study.
  • Example bank statement

Financial guarantee from sponsoring government or organization:

  • The letter must match the student’s intended major and term of admission.
  • Financial documentation must be dated within 12 months of the start of your program of study.

Scholarship or assistantship letter:

  • Must include the dates valid, specific amount of financial support and/or what benefits are included
  • Must be written on official letterhead
  • Example assistantship letter

Copy of Passport

A copy of the ID page of your passport will be needed before the Office of International Programs can issue your immigration documents.

If you are bringing dependents (a spouse or children), copies of their passports will also be needed.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the start of your program.

After Submission

All communication from CSU will be via the email address used when your application to CSU was submitted. You will receive regular email communication from our office. If you are not receiving emails from our office, please check the email address you have listed on your RAMweb account.

When your documents (I-20 or DS-2019) are ready, you will receive an email from our office to confirm your shipping address.

If you have further questions, please contact us at with your name and CSU ID number.

Employment and Immigration

International students must follow employment regulations and are urged to meet with an international student advisor before accepting or beginning any off campus employment. Failure to do so is a serious violation of your immigration status and can result in a loss of your F-1 or J-1 status. Protect your immigration status and do not expose yourself to penalties caused by unauthorized/illegal employment. The income you earn will be of little value to you if you are not permitted to complete your program in the U.S.

F-1 Students

An F-1 student may work on-campus at Colorado State University as long as the student is in good academic standing and is maintaining their immigration status. On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours total per week during the academic year, and may be full time during official University vacation periods.

Graduate Research and Teaching Assistantship hours are counted as on campus employment and limited to the 20 hour per week limit while classes are in session. GRA’s and GTA’s can increase their work hours during official university vacations.

All other work for any kind of remuneration (free housing, groceries, lap tops etc.) is considered to be employment and is notauthorized unless the student has approved work authorization under one of the employment options discussed below:

Curricular Practical Training (CPT): Required or optional employment which is an integral part of the student’s established curriculum. “Integral” here is defined as employment that has a strong and measurable connection to the student’s academic program/goals. Employment that is related to the student’s major and provides valuable work experience is not sufficient justification for approval of CPT. The employment must not only be related to the student’s major, but must be required for a specific course, required to earn internship or practicum credit, or required for the student to successfully complete thesis or dissertation research. In other words, the program curriculum, rather than the student’s desire for employment, should drive the decision whether the opportunity should be approved as CPT. CPT must be approved by the Office of International Programs before a student may begin their CPT employment.

For more information on CPT, review the CPT portion of the Employment Presentation, review the CPT application, or attend a CPT workshop available each semester through the Office of International Programs.

Optional Practical Training (OPT): Temporary employment for practical training which is available at each degree level. The employment must be directly related to the student’s major area of study. OPT has very specific timing and deadlines and requires adjudication (approval) from a USCIS Service Center. For more information on OPT, review the OPT portion of the Employment Presentation, review the OPT application, or attend an OPT workshop available each semester through the Office of International Programs.

Severe Economic Hardship: Students facing financial difficulty which is unexpected and unforeseen, should meet with an International Student Advisor to see if they qualify to apply for Severe Economic Hardship through USCIS. This benefit is very limited by USCIS and not a guarantee that applying will result in approval.

F-2 dependents are not permitted to accept employment under any circumstances.

J-1 Students

J-1 Exchange Visitors in the student category may be granted permission to accept on-campus employment by written approval of the responsible officer of their sponsoring agency prior to beginning work. CSU may not authorize work permission for another sponsor. The Exchange Visitor student may be authorized to work on campus up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session, and up to 40 hours a week during official school breaks and annual vacation–as long as the student is in good academic standing, is engaged in a full course of study, and has received written approval in advance from the responsible officer for the specific employment. Such approval may be valid for up to twelve months but is automatically withdrawn if the student’s program is terminated.

J-1 students may also qualify for academic training to work on or off campus. Academic training, as described by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is authorized employment for up to 18 months which may be taken prior to or following the completion of a student’s course of study. True Postdoctoral positions may utilize up to 36 months of Academic Training. Non-degree students may also be eligible for academic training. Please see the Academic Training Request Packet for more information.

J-2 dependents may apply for permission from USCIS to accept employment if they make their request in writing, stating that the income will be used only for the support of the J-2 dependents and not for the support of the J-1 Exchange Visitor. An application packet containing detailed information is available as a handout in the Resource Room at the Office of International Programs, Laurel Hall.

More Information

J-1 Scholar Forms

J-1 Exchange Visitor DS2019 Initial Request Packet

To request a DS2019 for a visiting scholar, please fill out this form.

J-1 Visitor DS2019 Dependents Request Packet

Use this form for visiting scholar dependents.

J-1 Exchange Visitor DS2019 Extension Request Packet

If you need to extend your permission to stay in the U.S. to achieve your original objective as a J-1 exchange visitor.

J-1 Scholar Occasional Lectures or Consultations Request

This document explains the regulations which permit J-1 scholars to participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations.

J-2 Dependent Employment Authorization Packet

J-2 dependent employment authorization application instructions.

J-1 Out of Country Request

To request leaving the U.S. for period of time to conduct research.

J-1 Transfer Out Form

To transfer your immigration record to another university.

Going Home Checklist

A list of things to do prior to departure from CSU.

Departure Form

Prior to departing CSU please fill out a Departure Form.

Insurance Compliance Form

Mandatory J-1 visa Health Insurance Requirements

H-1 / O-1 / E-3 Employee Forms

H-1B Request Packet

A description of the process and to request H-1B status.

Invitation to Immediate Family to Visit the U.S.

To request a letter from the International Student & Scholar Services office at Colorado State University to invite an immediate family member to visit the USA.

Short Term Visitor Check-In

Please have any international visitor who comes to Colorado State University for a brief visit and has entered the U.S. without any papers issued by Office of International Programs fill out this form and send it to our Office.

CSU Department Forms

Visa Classification Overview

Descriptions of Visa Classifications

J-1 Researcher DS-2019 Request Form*

To request a DS-2019 for a J-1 Researcher.

J-2 Dependent Employment Authorization Packet*

J-2 dependent employment authorization application instructions.

H-1B Request Packet

A description of the process and to request H-1B status.

O-1 Request Packet*

The O-1, for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business or athletics, is a non-immigrant Employment-based visa classification. To request an O-1 visa use this form

Social Security Number

To request a Social Security Number.

Required Health Insurance

Mandatory Health Insurance information

English Language Classes

INTO English Language Programs

Short Term Foreign Visitor Check-In*

Please have any international visitor who comes to Colorado State University for a brief visit and has entered the U.S. without any papers issued by Office of International Programs fill out this form and send it to our Office.

Permanent Residency Processing

Information on obtaining permanent resident status.