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International Services FAQs

Learn more about international services and how to make your experience at BYU-Idaho more rewarding.

New/Prospective Students

Visit the Admissions site for information on how to apply to BYU-Idaho.
Visit the Financial Aid site for information regarding financial aid and scholarships.
Visit the Housing Search page for help finding housing.
You should begin looking for potential housing options after you have accepted your admission to BYU-Idaho. However, you should not purchase any housing contracts until you have received your I-20 and your F-1 visa.
Before you can receive your I-20 you must first be accepted to BYU-Idaho. Once you have accepted your offer, you will need to apply for an I-20 through Sunapsis. Only after you have completed all requirements can you receive an I-20.
You can apply for your I-20 through the Application for Form I-20 on Sunapsis. Keep in mind that you will not have access to this form until you have accepted your admission to BYU-Idaho.
Now that you have your I-20, you should pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee and make preparations for your visa interview. Set up an interview with the U.S. embassy closest to you.
If you have been issued a new I-20 with a new SEVIS number, you are required to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee. You do not need to pay the fee if your I-20 has been extended or transferred to or from another university. See the I-901 SEVIS Fee page for more information about how to pay.
See the I-901 SEVIS Fee page for more information about how to pay.
You will need to set up a visa appointment with the nearest U.S. embassy. There will be additional information on the embassy website about how to apply for a nonimmigrant visa.
If your visa has been denied or delayed, you should contact International Services as soon as possible. Your start date may have to be pushed to a future semester. International Services will coordinate efforts with you to make you a new I-20 if needed.

If you already made travel or housing arrangements and your visa has been delayed or denied, you should cancel those as soon as possible if you will be unable to begin school on your original start date.
To check in with International Services, you should fill out the New Student Check-In form on Sunapsis. You will need to provide information regarding your travel as well as your personal phone number and U.S. address.


If you are traveling in and out of the U.S. you should always carry your passport, visa (if applicable), and your I-20. You will need to get your I-20 signed by a DSO on page two for a travel endorsement so that you can reenter the U.S.
If you do not have the correct documentation or a valid signature you may be denied entry to the U.S. If you are admitted into the U.S., you will likely be issued an I-515A document.
You can remain in the U.S. on an expired visa. If you travel outside the U.S. on an expired visa you will need to renew it before reentering the U.S.
If you have lost your passport/visa or had it stolen, you should file a police report as soon as possible. You can do this by going to the local police station. Once you have done that, contact your embassy in the U.S. to find out how to get a new passport/visa.
If you want to go home and are not sure when you will be back in the U.S. or if you would like to withdraw from school, you should fill out the Departure Request form in Sunapsis and withdraw from school if needed.


The best place to look for job openings on campus is the job board.
You cannot work off-campus without permission from International Services in the form of a new I-20. You can only work off-campus in a job that is related to your major, while taking academic credit for the job, and after receiving authorization from International Services.
You can apply for an internship through IPlan. Before you can apply for the internship, you must have a job offer. The job must be related to your major and must fulfill all internship requirements. Once you have applied for the internship, it must be approved by your faculty coordinator and International Services. When applying for your internship, you should apply several weeks in advance as you cannot begin working without a new I-20 from International Services.
OPT stands for Optional Practical Training and is a work authorization available to graduated students. This allows you to work for 1-3 years in the U.S. after graduation in jobs that relate to your major. You can apply for this in your last semester through Sunapsis. Additional information on OPT can be found here. For more information about OPT, see the OPT STEM Extension page.
You can only receive a social security number if you have a job, and you are required to have a social security number once you have a job. If you receive a job on campus, you will need to take the paperwork provided by HR and signed by a DSO along with your immigration documents to the Social Security Office in Idaho Falls.
You may begin working before receiving your social security number. Questions regarding this should be directed to Human Resources.
Yes, all international students are required to file and pay taxes.
TurboTax is meant for U.S. residents only. Non-immigrants who file using TurboTax have filed incorrectly and it could cause issues with future government applications.
A deposit is only refunded if you have graduated, are withdrawing from school, leaving on a mission, or transferring schools. When a deposit is refunded it will go to the person who paid for it originally. If you did not pay for your deposit on your own, it will not be refunded to you without permission from the original payer.

Enrollment/Student Status

Full enrollment means being registered for a minimum of 12 credits. Only one class or three credits of online coursework count toward the required 12 credits.
You are required by law to be enrolled in 12 credits for two semesters out of the year. Generally, the two semesters are your on-track semesters. If you wish to not be fully enrolled during an on-track semester you could apply for an annual break, but only if you were fully enrolled during your flex semester. if you feel you have extenuating circumstances, please schedule an appointment with an advisor.
Yes, you can take classes during your flex track. You can take as little or as many classes as you want. You can apply for an override through Admissions to register for classes before the semester starts.
During your flex track, you are not required to be in a full course load. If you would like to take less than a full course load during an on-track semester, there are different circumstances that would permit you to do so. Contact International Services with specific questions regarding this.
If you changed your major, you will be issued a new I-20 from International Services.
When you leave for your mission your I-20 will be terminated for Authorized Early Withdrawal. You should apply for a missionary deferment with admissions to keep your spot with the school. Because your I-20 will be terminated, you will need to apply for a new I-20 before continuing your studies at BYU-Idaho.
If you need additional time to complete your degree, you can apply for an I-20 Extension through Sunapsis. You will need to provide a copy of your grad plan and additional financial proof as part of the application.
When you get married, either to a U.S. citizen or international student, your status will not change.

However, if you get married to a U.S. citizen and travel outside the U.S. after getting married you could have problems with reentry. When you try to reenter the U.S. the CBP office will consider you an immigrant and you would be entering the U.S. with the wrong visa status. F-1 is a nonimmigrant status and you could be barred from entering the country. International Services recommends that you do not travel out of the U.S. after marrying a U.S. citizen. This would include getting married or honeymooning outside the U.S.
If your status has changed you should contact our office as soon as possible. If you have received a green card and are now a permanent resident, we need proof of the change of status and will terminate your I-20 as it will no longer be valid.


If you need a new I-20 because yours was misplaced, lost, stolen, damaged, etc. you can apply for a Replacement I-20 through Sunapsis. International Services will contact you when your new I-20 is ready.
You can start applying for OPT during your last semester at BYU-Idaho. You can start the application by filling out the OPT Request form in Sunapsis. The form will have additional information you need to submit an application to USCIS.


Yes, your spouse/children may come to the U.S. with you. You will need to provide their information in the I-20 application, and they will need to apply for visas before traveling to the U.S. with you.
Yes, family members or friends may visit you while you are in the U.S. You can fill out a Letter Request form in Sunapsis for them to take to their visa interviews before they visit.

Life in Rexburg

In order to get a U.S. driver’s license, you must apply for one at the DMV in Rexburg. Some foreign driver’s licenses will still be valid while you are in the U.S. Contact the DMV to find out more.
If your address has changed you should update that on your profile on myBYUI. This will update with the school and will update in our system so we can report the change to SEVIS.
See the Student Records and Registration page for information on how to change your marital status.

Campus Resources

There are several resources that the University offers to students.