Important International Student Documents
The documents below can be utilized by both incoming and current international students studying at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. If you have any questions about the documents, please feel free to email us and we would be happy to assist you.
Please read all document directions carefully and contact us to schedule an appointment when necessary.
As an F-1 visa-bearing international student, your primary responsibility is to be full-time student. However, USCIS regulations allow for F-1 students to work on their college campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week, when they are not in classes. To begin the process of obtaining a job, review the following "to-do" list:
- FIND AVAILABLE STUDENT WORKER JOBS
- As a BCTC student, you are eligible to work on BCTC and University of Kentucky campuses,
since we share
campus space and services
- When looking for jobs, be aware that you are not eligible for Federal Work Study or other need-based positions
- Bluegrass Community and Technical College
BCTC does not have a website for student worker positions. We suggest that you visit the following places on campus to inquire about possible open positions:
- College Bookstore: Cooper or Leestown Campus
- Library: Cooper or Newtown Campus
- Dining Services: Cooper Campus
- University of Kentucky
Visit UK's student employment website to learn more about possible opportunities to work on campus.
- As a BCTC student, you are eligible to work on BCTC and University of Kentucky campuses, since we share
- RECEIVE JOB OFFER
After you have been offered a position, you will need to communicate with your new employer about your status.
Make sure that they know you are an F-1 student and will require additional paperwork.
- COMPLETE REQUIRED PAPERWORK
Visit the ISS Office (Oswald Building, 202A) or our website to obtain the "Employment Verification Form". You
must complete this form with your new employer for approval from the ISS Office. Once we have approved your employment, we will provide you with a letter for the Social Security Administration stating that we have
authorized your employment & ensured that you are regulating your F-1 visa status.
- VISIT THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (SSA)
Bring the following:
- Most recent active I-20
- Letter from the ISS Office
- Employment Verification Form
- BEGIN WORKING
You do not have to have your social security card to begin working, since it may take several days to receive. You may provide your employer with the letter from SSA stating that you have applied for a number and may begin
If you are currently an international student and interested in changing your status, you have two options to change your status to an F-1 Student Status:
- Travel to your home country and re-apply for a visa at your country's US Consulate
- Apply for a change of status within the US
Depending on your situation, either scenario could be better for you. Oftentimes, obtaining the I-20 before leaving the US and then applying for a new visa is the quickest method to change your status. If you choose to change your status while in the United States, you should be aware that the process could take between 3-6 months.
If you choose to change your status while staying in the United States, you may enroll in classes as long as you remain within the guidelines for your current visa. For example, an F-2 student may enroll in classes, but not full-time, until their change of status has been approved.
In order to begin the Change of Status process, collect the following documents:
- Form I-539 (Must be completed BEFORE appointment)
- Pay the SEVIS fee ($200 via www.fmjfee.com)
- Print out the electronic receipt after paying your SEVIS fee
- Obtain a check or money order for the filing fee payable to: "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" (Usually $290) Visit http://www.uscis.gov/i-539 for special instructions.
- Letter to accompany the application explaining why you are requesting change of status
- Photocopy of your passport ID page
- Photocopy of your visa page (CHECK VISA: Expiration date cannot be any more that 30 days before start date on I-20)
- Photocopy of I-94 card (This can be obtained online now)
- Admission letter from Bluegrass Community & Technical College
- Proof of Financial Support
- New I-20 issued by BCTC
Email Brian Schanding to make an appointment to begin your change of status process!
If you have been offered an on-campus job, or if you are seeking on-campus employment, you will need to follow the next steps to become eligible to work and ensure that your F-1 status is maintained with the International Student Services (ISS) Office.
- Apply to jobs on campus. Some suggestions include:
- Cooper or Leestown Bookstore
- Dining Services through the University of Kentucky
- On-campus library
- After you are offered a job, you will need to have your direct supervisor complete the Employment Verification Form. You can access this form online on the ISS website, or pick a copy up in the ISS Office.
- Bring your completed and signed Employment Verification Form to the ISS Office (OB 202A). We will sign off on your form, make a copy, and give you the original.
- We will notify you of when you can pick-up your letter from our office for Social Security Administration. It may take 24-48 hours to process your request. Please be patient.
After you have your letter from the ISS Office, it is time to visit the Social Security Administration to apply for your Social Security Number (SSN). Bring the following with you:
- Letter from International Student Services
- Letter from Employer verifying employment
- Employment Verification Form
- Most recent I-20
- Most recent I-94
- Photo Identification/Passport
**All documents must be ORIGINAL, no photocopies will be accepted.
Social Security Administration Office
2241 Buena Vista Road
Lexington, KY 40505
- Monday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
- Tuesday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
- Wednesday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
- Thursday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
- Friday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Request for Employment Authorization
Document for Optional Practical Training
WHAT IS OPT AND WHEN CAN I APPLY?
Optional Practical Training, or OPT, is designed to provide F-1 international students
with the opportunity to gain employment experience in their chosen profession. Students
are permitted to take part in OPT for a maximum initial
period of 12 months. Students may choose to participate in "pre-completion OPT" before graduating or "post-completion OPT" after graduating.
In order to be approved for OPT, an F-1 student must:
- Receive a job offer from a company within their field of study
- Receive a recommendation from the ISS Office for OPT, no more than 90 & no fewer than
30 days before the job
- Submit the I-765, Request for Employment Authorization, within 30 days of the recommendation submission
- Receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before beginning work
- During OPT, a student is expected to complete a check-in form each semester and keep
the ISS Office updated
with any phone number, address, or possible employment changes
CHECKLIST TO APPLY FOR EAD & OPT:
- Make an appointment with the International Student Services Office (OB 202A)
- Complete the I-765 form
- Student's I-94
- Student's Passport
- Two identical color photographs of yourself taken within 30 days. Photos must have
a white background and be printed on glossy paper. The photo must be a "passport-style"
photo measuring 2" by 2". Passport photos can be
taken at many stores in the area such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, the Post Office, and more.
- Sign the back of each of your photographs and write your SEVIS ID number in pencil.
- Money order made out to "USCIS" for the amount of $380.00
- Photocopies of any previous EADs, if applicable
- Photocopies of any previous I-20s, if applicable
- New I-20, requesting OPT, signed by PDSO/DSO
SUBMITTING MY I-765 APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT:
Students are responsible for mailing their completed request for reinstatement to the following address:
USCIS Dallas Lockbox
IF USING US POSTAL SERVICE:
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
IF USING USPS EXPRESS MAIL/COURIER:
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT NEXT?
- After you have submitted your request, you should expect to receive a "Notice of Receipt/Action"
within a few
weeks from the processing center. This does not mean that your reinstatement has been approved, it is simply
notifying you that you the center has received your request.
- If the Service Centers requires further information, they will send something that
is an RFE or "Request for Evidence". Should you receive this document, contact your
PDSO immediately. The International Student Services Office will need to assist you
in gathering the needed information and it will need to be submitted in a
- While your request is pending, do not leave the country. It is important to properly
maintain your status even
while your request is pending. For further questions about maintaining your status, contact the ISS Office.
- You will receive an "I-797 Receipt Notice" that will notify you of your approval/denial.
If you are approved,
please do the following:
- Notify your PDSO that a decision has been made
- Bring any communication from USCIS and your EAD to the ISS or email us a scanned copy
- Do not begin working until: (1) You have received your EAD (2) Your OPT start date
on your I-20 and/or
EAD is reached and (3) You have completed all requirements for your program of study/graduation
***Please note that processing times vary throughout the year. The ISS office cannot
control processing times from USCIS.
Please be patient while your request is pending and if you receive any notification, contact the PDSO immediately
- Make a copy of your complete application before mailing it & keep the copy for your personal records.
- Keep a copy of your express mail or postal receipt with a tracking number.
- Once you receive your Notice of receipt, login to www.uscis.gov to check the status of your case
-765 APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT FORM:
- The ISS Office strongly suggests filling the form out on the computer and printing the document, rather than writing by hand
- In section #3, provide the mailing address where you can receive mail for at least
4 months from the date of submission. This
will be the address that USCIS uses to communicate with you.
- In section #16, use the appropriate code based on your eligibility category:
- Pre-Completion OPT: (c)(3)(A)
- Post-Completion OPT: (c)(3)(B)
- Make sure to sign and date the form in blue ink. All unsigned documents will likely be rejected.
We know that there are many words that your professors, academic advisors, and International Student Service staff may use that you are unfamiliar with concerning your educational experience. Read the terms below to learn more about terms that you will hear often while on BCTC's campus!
- Minor: The second subject or field you choose to study. For example, you could have a major in business and a minor in computer science.
- Prerequisite: A course or proficiency that is required before you can register for a higher level course. For example, English 101 is required before English 102.
- Probation: A student who's GPA falls below a certain level and will be placed on probation.
Students on probation may not take more than 12 credit hours per semester. Students
who remain on probation cannot graduate. Also, a student who is on
probation for two consecutive semesters will not be allowed to enroll for the following semester. For an international student, that would mean you would need to leave the country.
- Remedial Class: This is a class with a course number less than 100. Remedial classes
are designed to help students prepare for a higher level course. For example, there
are several English classes in the 90s that some students may need to take before
English 101. Student's class levels are determined by the placement test they take
enrolling in courses.
- Requirements: Classes that you must take for general education or as a part of your major.
- Suspension: A student on probation who fails to raise the GPA to a 2.0 will be placed on academic suspension for one semester and cannot enroll and must leave the country.
- Transcript: A complete record of a student's academic work. An official transcript is one that the student uses to transfer credits to another college or university. There is a $5.00 charge for a BCTC transcript.
- Tuition: The amount of money charge for a credit hour. To calculate your tuition,
multiply your credit hours by the tuition charged per credit hour.
FOR EXAMPLE: 12 CREDIT HOURS X $515 = $6,180.00
International Student Checklist (Winter or Summer)
As an international student, it is important to make sure that you have completed
at BCTC before you leave to go on break. Whether you are traveling home for the break, or
staying in the United States, please make sure that you read the list below carefully to ensure
you have taken the necessary steps to return the following semester.
Before leaving, you must:
- Meet with your Academic Advisor to schedule your classes for the next term
- Visit the Billing Office to set up a payment plan for the next term
- If you are a SACM student, they can help you obtain necessary documents to
send to your SACM advisor.
- If you are a SACM student, they can help you obtain necessary documents to
- Visit the International Student Services Office to complete the following:
- Obtain a travel signature on your I-20 from either the PDSO or DSO
- Check with PDSO/DSO to ensure you are in-status in SEVIS for the next semester
- Confirm housing with your apartment complex, dorm, or house
- Renew your insurance policy (if necessary)
Please note that the International Student Services Office is CLOSED for Institutional Closing during the winter holiday. Your PDSO/DSO will be inaccessible during this time. Please ensure that you have taken all necessary steps to return to campus before you leave for your break! Have a wonderful summer or winter break. We look forward to your return to campus!