International Students

Information for exchange students on a J-1 Student Visa can be found on the study abroad office website under the International Student Tab.


F-1 students, please report any of the following changes to an international student advisor within 10 days:

  • Address/Phone number/ Name Changes
  • Change of major/minor/program of study
  • Program end date
  • Academic Probation


Work/Employment in USA

Any paid job/internship on or off campus will require a Social Security Number (SSN) (must be logged into UNCA email account to view) prior to start of employment. Students will need a job offer letter in order to apply for a Social Security number in Buncombe County. Unpaid internships or volunteer experiences will not require a social security number, but may require work authorization.

According to the US Federal Regulations, “work” is described as any paid/unpaid internship, volunteer experience, or job. Below is information about the types of work and the regulations for each on-campus or off-campus.

    • F-1 International students are allowed to work on campus for up to 20 hours while school is in session and 40 hours when school is not in session.
    • On campus work does not need to be related to your program of study.
    • On campus work does not require authorization from the international student advisor.
    • If paid, you will need a Social Security Number prior to employment start date.
    • Any off-campus volunteer/ paid or unpaid internship / job is considered work with the United States Federal Government and will require authorization from the international student advisor prior to start date.
    • This MUST be related to your program of study.
    • Two ways to obtain off campus work authorization as an F-1 International Student
      • CPT (Curricular Practical Training) – before graduation. Please click here for the CPT Authorization Process. (Must be logged into UNCA email account to access).
      • Post Completion OPT (Optional Practical Training) – allows 1 year employment after program end date. Please contact the international student advisor about the OPT application.


Your F-1 Student visa can expire while you are in the USA.  If you leave the USA and your visa is expired, you will need to renew the visa. Additional costs and time may be associated with this.

Within the USA

Students can travel within the USA on their F-1 Student Visa. It is recommended that you carry your I-20 and passport but not required. If your visa is expired, as long as you do not leave the USA and you maintain compliance with SEVIS this is acceptable.

Outside the USA

If your visa or passport is expired and you travel outside the USA you will have issues returning and will need to make sure you renew them. Contact your home countries embassy for information on how to do this.

  • MUST have a non-expired visa and passport
  • MUST have an updated travel signature on your I-20 (signatures are valid for one calendar year)