Thank you for your interest in applying to Adventist University of Health Sciences as an international student. We are currently accepting a limited number of applications from individuals requiring an F visa. If you are a Permanent Resident or Naturalized Citizen, you are welcome to apply at any time.
If you are an international student requiring an F visa, please complete our online application and your Enrollment Specialist will contact you for further screening.
Important Information for International Students
Adventist University of Health Sciences (ADU) is enriched by the diverse body of international students on campus. It is our goal to educate each international student as to their responsibility as the recipient of an F‐1 visa from the United States government. The following information will help explain how to stay in status. Failing to maintain status is serious and could result in removal (deportation). It is each student’s responsibility to make sure that all Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rules and regulations pertaining to international students are observed.
The International Student Advisor in the Office of Enrollment Services is happy to assist our students with documentation, application for Optional Practical Training (OPT), and other individual needs. The following regulations apply to currently enrolled international students only. Adventist University is not accepting applications from new international students requiring an F visa at this time.
All F‐1 students are required to enroll in no less than 12 credits per trimester. Please refer to “Permission to Fall Below Full‐Time Status” for limited exceptions to this rule.
As part of the admission process, F‐1 students must purchase health insurance coverage provided through Adventist University and must maintain this health insurance coverage during their entire period of study at Adventist University.
Obtaining a Social Security Card
Effective October 13, 2004, the Social Security Administration will not accept an application for a social security number from an F-1 student who will be engaged in on‐campus employment unless the student has both a letter from the Designated School Official and proof of employment. For more information visit http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/. Please contact the International Student Advisor for more information or assistance.
On-campus employment is defined as employment on the University's premises. This would permit eligible F-1 students to work on campus for 20 hours per week or less. Working over 20 hours per week cannot be authorized. F-1 students who are maintaining their status by enrolling in no less than 12 credits per trimester may work beginning with their first term at the University.
Students with an F-1 visa are strictly prohibited from working off campus. Only two exceptions apply to this rule:
- Severe financial hardship – if an F‐1 student has been enrolled at ADU for one full year and can exhibit severe financial hardship, they can appeal to the government for permission to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week.
- Clinical requirements – if an F‐1 student is required to complete clinicals at a location other than one of the seven Florida Hospitals located in Orlando, they must be authorized for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
The International Student Advisor must be consulted for either of these off‐campus employment options. If an F-1 student is found to be working off‐campus without CPT or economic hardship authorization, they will be terminated from SEVIS immediately and must exit the country as soon as possible. Any appeals for reinstatement will be automatically denied by the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
F-1 students planning to travel out of the country during school breaks should contact the International Student Advisor no less than two (2) weeks before their departure date. The Advisor must sign the student’s I‐20 before leaving the country to ensure a smooth return into the United States.
Permission to Fall Below Full‐Time Status
There are three main instances in which F-1 students may legally fall below full-time student status (12 credits per trimester). They are:
- Language difficulty (this can only be authorized for the student’s first trimester).
- Medical reasons (will be approved only with proper documentation from a Medical Doctor, Doctor of Osteopathy, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist).
- Final trimester of study.
Application for Permanent Residency
Once an F-1 student has filed an I-485 Form with USCIS to apply for Permanent Residency and has received a Notice of Action from USCIS, that student is no longer required by law to maintain full-time student status. However, Adventist University strongly recommends to its F-1 students with a Notice of Action that they continue to maintain full‐time student status in the event that the Notice of Action is withdrawn. Please consult with the International Student Advisor as to the best course of action in this situation.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a temporary employment benefit extended to F-1 students after graduation who have been maintaining their full-time student status for at least one full academic year. Its purpose is to give students the opportunity to gain work experience related to their degree and is limited to 12 months total for each degree level in a field directly related to the student's course of study.
Students with an active I-20 cannot attend school while completing OPT, whether full‐time or part-time. OPT authorization expires the day an international student enrolls in a new academic program with an I- 20 prior to the expiration of the OPT. Part-time classes may be taken for enrichment purposes only during OPT.
To apply for OPT, make an appointment with the International Student Advisor at least four months prior to the date of graduation. Do not apply for OPT if you think you may not graduate on time. There is no way to defer OPT authorization.
Requirements Following Graduation
Students graduating from an Associate of Science degree program intending to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree program at Adventist University should see the International Student Advisor once acceptance to the BS program has been obtained and no less than one month before graduation for an updated I-20.
After graduation, all F-1 students have a 60-day grace period before returning to their home country or enrolling in a new academic program. If no arrangements are made to maintain legal status in the United States, the student will be in violation of their F-1 status on the 61st day after graduation.
Keep in Touch
One of the most common difficulties encountered by international students is miscommunication. Abiding by the government regulations pertaining to F-1 students are the responsibility of each F-1 student, but the International Student Advisor is always willing to assist with questions. It is very important to keep in touch with the International Student Advisor and you can do so by calling 407-303- 7742.