This section provides information for TTIC international scholars and students.
The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security provides information for F-1 international students on how to maintain visa status at Study in the States. The U.S. Department of State provides information for scholars and students on J visas on the BridgeUSA website.
You may direct any questions to TTIC’s International Office.
TTIC requires all incoming new F-1 and J-1 students to electronically “check in” within two weeks of their arrival to Chicago.
If you are an incoming new F-1 or J-1 student, you must check in to avoid a registration hold on your student account and/or student privileges, which will remain in effect until you check in. This hold will prevent you from enrolling in courses. This check-in is separate from the new student orientation check-in.
Check-in Form (must login with TTIC.edu login and password to access)
TTIC requires all scholars and visitors in J-1 status to check in with Amy Minick in the International Office within 7 days of the start date on their Form DS-2019. Without this check-in, your program cannot be validated and you may jeopardize your visa status. Make an appointment with Amy Minick to check in.
The visa is the stamp in your passport issued by the consulate allowing the international student or scholar permission for entry/re-entry to the United States. The visa does not determine how long you can stay. You can stay in the United States with an expired visa, but you must renew it if you leave the U.S. and want to return.
Status is the legal category under which the visitor was admitted to the U.S. The program dates on the I-20 or DS-2019 govern how long a foreign national can stay in the U.S. If your status is expired, you must leave the U.S.
University of Chicago has a great explanation of the difference here.
Adhere to the requirements of your visa status! For F-1 students, that means maintaining full-time enrollment. If you need to drop below full-time enrollment, contact IO to see what your options are.
Report any change in your name, address, or other vital information to IO promptly. According to USCIS regulations, persons on F-1 or J-1 status MUST report any change of address within 10 days of occurrence. Send the International Office an email with your new address and the effective date.
Be careful with alcohol and cannabis. Consulates can automatically revoke the visas of foreign nationals who had DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) arrests. While cannabis is legal for recreational consumption in Illinois, it’s still illegal under federal law, and can have severe immigration consequences including arrest revocation of current visa status, deportation from the U.S. and ineligibility for future visas to the U.S.
Carry a copy of your I-94 Arrival Record in your wallet or purse. This is proof that you have entered the U.S. legally. Don’t rely on cell phone connectivity to be able to retrieve it.
Don’t perform work (especially “off the books”, for cash) anywhere other than TTIC without work authorization. This could be a serious violation of your status.
If your passport is going to expire, contact your country’s embassy or consulate in the United States to renew it. If you are leaving the U.S. and returning (for instance, during summer vacation), make sure your passport and visa will be valid for at least six months into the future when you return.
If you’re not sure whether you should do something, talk to IO before you do it! Communication is key!
Foreign nationals on J-1 visa status (and their dependents) must have health insurance for the entirety of their program. That conforms to the following standards:
Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
Scholars in J-1 status may be subject to two year home residency requirement, often called a 212(e), as it is referenced in immigration regulations. Sometimes this requirement can be waived. If you would like to apply for a waiver, contact IO.
Those in J-1 visa status with a subcategory of “Research Scholar” or “Professor” are subject to a two year repeat participation bar. This requirement cannot be waived.
University of Chicago has excellent explanations of these restrictions. Contact IO if you have further questions.