FAQs for International Students
Yes, but traveling during this time should be undertaken with caution. USCIS may send you a request for evidence while you are away, so make sure you have provided a correct U.S. address both to your DSO and on the application - and that you will be able to send in requested documents.
Also, if USCIS approves your OPT application, you will be expected to have your EAD in hand to re-enter the U.S. Like a request for further information, USCIS can only send the EAD to your U.S. address.
If USCIS has approved your OPT, you will be expected to have your EAD in hand to re-enter the U.S., along with your Form I-20, valid passport and visa, and a letter of employment if you have one. If you exceed the limits on unemployment while outside the U.S., you will not be eligible to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status.
Your travel signature is valid for six months from the last signature date. If you need a new travel signature, you will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org with a PDF attachment of your current I-20 to request a new signature. The CIS will email you an electronic I-20 for you to print and sign.
If you are a non-resident for tax purposes, you are not eligible to file your tax return electronically. Commercially purchased tax return software will file your return incorrectly. Non-residents for tax purposes should only use the Glacier Tax Prep software.
For tax assistance, schedule an appointment with the Center for International Studies at 325-942-2083. Bring these items with you to your appointment:
- Any W-2 or 1042-S forms
- All other tax forms you may have received
The deadline to file tax returns in the U.S. is April 15. Glacier Tax Prep is accessible through June 16. Glacier Tax Prep will prepare the following forms:
- Form 8843
Before logging into Glacier Tax Prep, make sure you have the following documents:
- Form W-2
- Form 1042-S (please note: the Form 1042-S was issued by the CIS in February)
- Copy of last year’s non-resident tax return, if you filed a return
When prompted to enter your Academic Institution information in Glacier Tax Prep, please enter the following:
Academic Program Director Name: Meghan Peña
Telephone Number: 325-486-6503
Institution Address: 2601 W. Avenue N, San Angelo, TX 76909
Mandatory Immigration Orientation will be held by the Center for International Studies the week prior to the first day of class. For the specific dates of orientation you are required to attend, please check the first page of your Form I-20.
Students should plan to wait until after the Census Date for the current semester of registration before visiting DPS. This date can be found on the Academic Calendar.
Students and scholars who will be in the U.S. for longer than 30 days and plan to drive a car should obtain a Texas Driver’s License at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). Access to a car, knowledge of Texas driving regulations, as well as testable driving skills are basic requirements for a driver’s license. You must provide your own vehicle when taking the driving test.
Take the following steps to obtain your driver’s license:
- Study the information about traffic laws in the Texas Driver’s Handbook, which is available in both English and Spanish, from the Department of Public Safety (DPS), as well as on-line.
- Take the written and in-car examinations for driving at any DPS office. If you do not have a driver’s license from another state, you must take both a written and a driving test. There is a fee, valid for three opportunities to take the test within a 90-day period.
- You can monitor the progress of your secondary verification on the SAVE verification website. Be sure to ask DPS or SSA when you can return for services after your case has been resolved. Although your case may be resolved in SAVE, the information may take additional time to sync with agency databases.
- Pay the fee for your Driver’s License.
You will need the following documents in order to make your application:
- Form I-20
- Form I-94
- Completed application
- Social Security card (if you are eligible to obtain an SSN). If you are not eligible for an SSN, you will need to sign a “Social Security Affidavit” at the DPS office when applying for your Texas Driver’s License.
- If you live in the dorms, please make an appointment to visit the Center for International Studies for Texas Driver’s License Questions. We can provide you with a TX Residency Affidavit for your proof of address. You should bring all the documents listed above along with your ASU P.O. Box #.
If you live off campus you may be asked to show two items proving your current address, such as a lease or piece or mail with your name and address (cable, gas or electric bills are good choices). To avoid difficulties at DPS, ensure that your address matches on each document, including the room or apartment number.
(A TX Residency Affidavit can be obtained for students living off campus as well by scheduling an appointment at the Center for International Studies for Texas Driver’s License Questions. You should bring all the documents listed above along with your apartment lease/contract with your name and address listed on the document.)
For more detailed information and links for how to apply please visit the Department of Public Safety’s web page.
We also suggest that you visit the following page for more general information. Navigating U.S. Roads and an International Driver.
Note: If you own a car but do not have insurance, you will NOT be permitted to apply for a driver’s license. If possible, it is recommended that you apply for a driver’s license before you purchase a car.
Here are some common reasons students and scholars are not able to get a Texas ID or driver’s license on the first try:
- You have gone to the DPS office too early. After you arrive in the U.S., the International Student and Scholar office counselor must update your SEVIS record (I-20) to show that you are here and that you have checked in with our office. So, before going to DPS you must check-in with your international student advisor at the CIS. Students should also plan to wait until after the Census Date for the current semester of registration before visiting DPS. This date can be found on the Academic Calendar.
- Inconsistencies in your immigration documents. If your name on your I-20 or does not match your passport exactly, please bring this to the attention of your international student advisor before visiting DPS.
- You have a pending status change or OPT application. If you are changing to a new immigration status or you are applying for OPT, it may be difficult for the DPS officer to verify your valid status. Additional research may be required to verify your status. If this is the case, the DPS officer will initiate secondary status verification. You will need to present your I-797C receipt notice from USCIS in order to process secondary verification. You should expect delays in the processing of your driver’s license or Texas ID if: you have a pending OPT or STEM OPT application, you have a cap gap I-20, or you have a pending change of status application.