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Get Connected is a New Student Orientation that all new students are expected to attend as they begin their experience at BYU-Idaho.
Get Connected, or New Student Orientation, is your official start to your BYU-Idaho experience. There are events for students and parents as well as helpful guidance provided on how to navigate the array of student services that are available to you through BYU-Idaho. For more information on dates and a schedule of activities during Get Connected, please click the following link:
Please note, that as an international student, we also have a New Student Orientation tailored to your needs and the requirements for maintaining your immigration status. Please click on the link (hyperlink to “International New Student Orientation document) for more information. We will also contact you at the beginning of your first semester with a personal invitation to attend.
All new international students are required to attend our Orientation meeting at the beginning of the semester.
If you are a new student and this is your first semester attending BYU-Idaho, you are required to attend our new student orientation, which will take place around the second week of the semester. We will send an email reminder with the date, time, and location during the first week. We will discuss many important regulations that you need to be aware of regarding the visa requirements while you are studying at BYU-Idaho. This is also a great forum to answer any additional questions you may have and a wonderful opportunity to meet new people. We will see you there!
Locate your Classes
Even before coming to the BYU-Idaho campus, you can use the map and your class schedule to see where you will be. Please click on the link below to view a virtual tour of campus and access the campus map.
When you arrive on campus, you will have an opportunity to get involved in the New Student Program called, Get Connected. They will take you on a tour of campus as well as provide activities to help you meet fellow students. You can find out more at the following link:
Please feel free to explore the campus when you arrive.
A list of local banks and credit unions in the Rexburg Area.
You may wish to have a local bank account while you are attending BYU-Idaho. There are several banks and credit unions in Rexburg where you can open an account. Depending on which bank or credit union you choose, you may be required to have a social security number and/or a driver’s license before you can open an account. Some banks will accept your I-20 in place of a social security number, but others may require you to apply for a social security number and submit the denial letter to them as proof. Please check with the specific bank or credit union on their document requirements prior to visiting them to open an account. Below is a list of banks with branches in Rexburg.
- Bank of Commerce
Location: 184 E 2nd N, Rexburg, Idaho
- Beehive Federal Credit Union
Location: 1087 Erickson Dr. Rexburg, Idaho
- Citizens Community Bank
Location: 452 North 2nd East Street, Rexburg, Idaho
- East Idaho Credit Union
Location: 412 Grand Loop, Rexburg, Idaho
- Key Bank
Location: 110 East Main St, Rexburg, Idaho
- Mountain America Credit Union
Location: 328 North 2nd East, Rexburg, Idaho
- U.S. Bank
Location: 77 East Main Street, Rexburg, Idaho
- Washington Federal
Location: 80 North 2nd East, Rexburg, Idaho
- Wells Fargo Bank
Location: 39 East Main Street, Rexburg, Idaho
- Westmark Credit Union
Location: 258 E. Lorene St., Rexburg, Idaho
- Zion’s Bank
Location: 149 West Main Street, Rexburg, Idaho
Shopping – Grocery and Retail
If you need help on where to shop for food or clothing, here are some suggestions for you.
Shopping in the United States may be a new experience for you. Whether it is shopping for food or clothing, hopefully you will find the following information very useful to you.
You will find that the majority of your food supplies can be purchased at a single location. Following is a list of the local grocery stores in Rexburg:
- Broulim’s Supermarket
Location: 124 West Main Street, Rexburg, Idaho
- Albertson’s Supermarket
Location: 490 North 2nd East, Rexburg, Idaho
Location: 1450 N. Second E., Rexburg, Idaho
There are a few locations in Rexburg where you will be able to find clothing. If you are looking for a more expanded selection than Rexburg can offer, you may need to visit Idaho Falls, a larger town located about 35 minutes South of Rexburg. Following is a list of Rexburg clothing stores as well as the Grand Teton Mall in Idaho Falls.
- Maurices (women’s clothing)
Location: 125 Valley River Drive, Rexburg, Idaho
- Rue 21 (women’s & men’s clothing)
Location: 485 North 2nd East, Rexburg, Idaho
- DownEast Basics (women’s clothing)
Location: 510 North 2nd East, Rexburg, Idaho
- Wal-Mart (women’s, men’s, & children’s clothing)
Location: 1450 N. Second E., Rexburg, Idaho
- Grand Teton Mall
- Take HWY 20 South and exit on the Hitt Road exit. Turn left onto N 25th East and continue on that road for about 6 miles. After you pass 17th Street, the mall will be on your right. For a complete list of stores available, please visit their website at http://www.grandtetonmall.com/
Cell Phone Options
Cell phone options and carriers.
The University offers cell phone contracts to students through Sprint. You can visit the Sprint kiosk in the back of the University Store (bottom floor of the Manwaring Center) to see the different phones, prices, and plan options. You can also contact them by phone at 1.208.496.3469 for more information.
Other carriers* also have retail locations in Rexburg that you can visit to see what phone options and plans that they offer:
Location: 505 North 2nd East
- AT & T
Location: 261 North 2nd East
*there is a T-Mobile store in the Grand Teton Mall in Idaho Falls, a town about 35 minutes South of Rexburg. (Take Hwy 20 south, take the Hitt Road exit, turn left onto N 25th East. Continue South on that road for about 6 miles. When you have passed 17th street, the mall will be on your right.)
BYU-Idaho is blessed to be located within walking distance of most places of interest. However, there may come a time where a car or other means of transportation will be needed.
Roommates: Roommates are a great way to travel to nearby cities or even local places. It is referred to as “carpooling.” This is best used if you are both planning on going to the same location. As a courtesy, you can offer to share the cost of fuel with your roommate or whomever is driving.
Ride Board: There are many students who are willing to give rides to certain locations if they are traveling there already, or will be driving through your destination on the way. They usually charge a certain amount to take you where you need to go. You can also create a post indicating that you need a ride and a student may contact you to offer a spot in their vehicle. To locate the Ride Board, please sign in here.
For more information about transportation in the Rexburg Area, please go here.
On Campus Employment
As an International student you are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours during your on-track semesters. You are eligible to work over 20 hours during your off-track semester.
Jobs that are available on campus can be found on the job board at the following link: http://web.byui.edu/studentemployment. However some departments such as the food services, grounds, and custodial do not always advertise their jobs online, so we suggest going around to each department and seeing if they have any jobs available.
Once you have a job on campus you must visit with both the Human Resources office and International services. If you do not have a social security number, you must apply for one within 30 days of being hired.
You will need to be proactive in informing your employer about the number of hours that you are eligible to work. Should you go overtime for any reason, please inform your employer immediately.
You do not need special authorization from the International Services Office to work on campus.
All international students who have an income need to file an income tax return by April 15th of each year for the previous tax year. For example a student who works during 2014 may have to file a return by April 15, 2015. In addition, all F-1 and F-2 dependents must file a form 8843 each year by April 15th. If you are filing a tax return you should submit the 8843 with your taxes. If you are not filing a tax return you should submit the 8843 by itself.
If we missed our seminar please use the powerpoint slides to help you.
If you have any other questions you can contact our office by calling or emailing. Contact information can be found on the bottom of the page.
NOTE: International students on F-1 status are not allowed to file form 1040. Tax preparation software such as Turbo tax and Tax cut do not have the correct forms. Please do not use these products to file your taxes as you may have problems with the IRS. If you use a professional tax preparer, make sure they use the appropriate forms: 8843, 1040NR, etc.
Each of you will need to bring the following items with you to the seminar:
- Your W-2 forms. (Form sent to you by your employer reporting wages you received)
- Your Form 1042S received from the University (Reports scholarships & Compensation during study and training) Note: Not everyone will receive a 10425.
- The following general information:
- Type of U.S. Visa
- Current nonimmigrant status as reported on your Form I-94
- Your passport number
- Actual number of days you were present in the United States during 2014, 2013, and 2012
- Dates you entered and left the United States during 2014
- Total of your contributions to U.S. Charities (This would include the tithes and offerings paid to your ward)
- A happy smile
- Copy of your last year's return, if you filed last year.
If you entered the US as a student for the first time in 2014, you do not need to file tax forms for 2013. All others must file tax forms whether or not you worked in 2013.
Our goal is to help you complete your taxes before you leave the seminar. We hope you can be there for the entire time. We look forward to seeing you there.
Mail your Federal returns and the 8843 to the following address:
Internal Revenue Service Center
Austin, TX 73301-0215
Tax forms are available at International Services, or you can download them from the IRS website at: http://www.irs.gov/ (federal) or http://www.tax.idaho.gov/ for Idaho state forms. The most common forms can be downloaded below.
Commonly used forms
8843 Required of all international students and dependents
1040NR-EZ Simplified form for nonresidents
Instructions for 1040NR-EZ
1040NR Long form for nonresidents
Instructions for 1040NR
901 Tax Treaty Information
Additional Resources (No Charge)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information for international tax payers
International Students are not authorized to work off-campus without authorization.
As an international student you are only allowed to work on campus without prior authorization. However, there are exceptions for employment opportunities off-campus depending on your individual circumstances. For example:
- During your studies you may need to complete an internship, which will require you to work off-campus. If you plan on getting paid for this, please refer to the CPT link to apply for authorization to work off-campus.
- If you have been enrolled in school full time (12+ credits) for at least 2 semesters, you may also apply for CPT to gain work experience off-campus in a job that is directly related to your major.
- If you find yourself in difficult, unforeseen financial circumstances, you may apply for a work visa while studying in the states. Please refer to the Economic Hardship page for more information.
If you feel that you qualify for off-campus employment, please refer to the CPT page to fill out the correct form.
Information for students who are experiencing financial difficulties.
Economic hardship is for students who are struggling financially due to unforeseen challenges. Under these unique circumstances, a student will be allowed to work up to 20 hours a week in any job while school is in session, and full-time during school breaks.
To be eligible for Economic Hardship you must meet the following requirements:
- Must have been in F-1 status for at least one full academic year.
- Prove that employment is necessary due to economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond your control that arose after obtaining F-1 status.
You will need to provide a little background as to why you are applying for Economic hardship. Also tell us what unforeseen hardship is causing you to apply for employment authorization. We will also ask about why other employment options are not available or sufficient. Documents which validate your applying for Economic Hardship should be provided where possible; for example, a letter from home telling of a change in family circumstances or proof of a currency devaluation.
- Complete e-form for economic hardship on Sunapsis at https://international.byui.edu
- You will also need to provide the following documents/items:
- A copy of Form I-20
- A copy of your I-94 (both sides)
- Two passport style photos
- A copy of your passport
- A letter explaining your circumstance of hardship
- Form I-765; please indicate code “(c)(3)(iii)” at item 16
- A check for $410.00 made out to USCIS
Applying for BYU-Idaho Scholarships
International Students are not eligible to apply for FAFSA, or US government financial aid. They are, however, eligible to apply for a few of the BYU-Idaho scholarships.
The BYU-Idaho Scholarship Application is available from November 1st to April 15th every year, and you will need to complete and submit a new application every year that you attend BYU- Idaho.
Please note that the application is for scholarships that will be awarded for the following academic year, not the current academic year. For example, if you are completing the application during the 2014-2015 academic year (Fall 2014, Winter 2015, or Spring 2015), any aid you may be awarded would be for the 2015-2016 academic year (Fall 2015, Winter 2016, or Spring 2016), not the 2014-2015 academic year. In some instances, you may be allowed to complete a scholarship application for the current academic year. Please contact the Student Financial Aid Office and speak with a Financial Aid Counselor to see if this option is available to you. You can reach them by phone at (208) 496-1600, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit them on campus in the Kimball Building, office 100.
If you were admitted to BYU-Idaho and have accepted your track after the April 15th scholarship application deadline, you will need to contact the Student Financial Aid Office and request that the BYU-Idaho scholarship application be re-opened so that you can be considered for academic and need based scholarships. Be aware that once the scholarship application is re-opened, you will only have 2 weeks to complete and submit the application. After that time period you will no longer be able to access the application.
You can access and submit the application during this time period by visiting the following link and clicking on the BYU-Idaho logo:
You will be directed to sign in with your BYU-Idaho Net ID and password before being allowed access to the application. After you have submitted the application, you will receive a confirmation number that you should keep for your records.
If you have any other questions regarding the scholarship application or financial aid, please contact the Student Financial Aid Office.
Social Security Number
Students who want to work in the US need to do to obtain a Social Security number.
If you want to work on or off campus while you are attending BYU-Idaho, it is important to know that you will need a social security number. Please note that you will need to submit the following documents with your application for a social security number:
- Form SS-5 (application for a Social Security Card)
- Signed Letter from Human Resources and from the International Services Office giving you authorization to work
Once you have these forms, you will need to take them to the Social Security Office in Idaho Falls (25 miles south of Rexburg). Their address is:
2196 Channing Way
Idaho Falls, ID 83401
Information on how to obtain an Idaho driver’s license.
Idaho State law requires students who wish to drive while in the United States to have an Idaho driver’s license or for a foreign-issued driver’s license. If you have a foreign-issued driver’s license, it is also recommended that you carry an International Driver’s permit from your home country.
When applying for an Idaho driver’s license you will need:
- A current, valid Passport
- A current, valid I-94
- A Social Security Card or Denial Letter
- Proof of Residency (Apartment contract, utility bill such as gas, electric, or land phone line, or a pay check stub with a full name and address)
Once you have all these documents you will want to take them to the DMV office in Rexburg located at 145 E Main St, Rexburg ID. You must also wait until your SEVIS status is shown as ‘Active’ in the SEVIS system. This should be updated approximately 10 business days after you have entered the United States. Please check with our office to make sure your status is ‘Active’ and you have the correct documentation before applying for an Idaho driver’s license.
Once they have received your documents the testing procedure will go as follows:
You will be charged $9.50 when you make your initial visit. ($3.00 is for the written test, $6.50 for the state’s part of the driving test.)
Once you pass the written test, you will need to make an appointment with a skills tester (list will be provided). They will charge you $17.50.
Exceptions: Korean and German citizens are not required to do a driving test. However, they will have to surrender their home country’s driving license if applying for an Idaho license.
If you have any questions you may contact Madison County DMV at (208)359-3281
Information on extending the date on your I-20.
If you will not complete your degree before your I-20 expires due to compelling academic or medical reasons, such as a change of major or an unexpected illness, you can apply for an extension BEFORE it expires.
If you need an I-20 extension, you will need to complete the steps listed below.
- Complete the I-20 Extension request e-form which can be found on SUNAPSIS.
- Submit a copy of your Graduation Plan that has been approved by your academic advisor.
- Submit updated financial documents (part 8 of the admissions application) to show you have sufficient funds to complete your degree for each semester that you need to extend for.
The International Office will create an updated I-20 form once everything has been approved.
If you intend to transfer to a new U.S. school, you will need to contact the International Office to transfer your SEVIS records.
If you intend to transfer schools, you will need to contact the admissions office. In addition, the International Office will also need to be aware of your intent to transfer. You will need to complete the “Transfer Out Request” e-form online so BYU-Idaho can update SEVIS with your new transfer information in order for your new school to be able to issue you a new I-20.
Once you have been accepted to a new school, you will want to fill out the “Transfer Out Request” e-form in SUNAPSIS. You will need to submit a copy of your acceptance letter from the school you plan to transfer to.
Please note that we cannot transfer a record in the middle of a semester. A transfer request can be made during the semester, but we cannot transfer it until the last day of that semester.
If you find that you need to defer your education or reduce the number of credits you take in a given semester, you can explore your options here.
There are three different types of deferments offered to all students at BYU-Idaho:
- Continuing Student
A ‘Continuing Student Deferment’ allows a student to miss one of their on-track semesters without having to reapply for admission.
A ‘Missionary Deferment*’ is for students who will be serving a mission during the time they are enrolled at BYU-I.
A ‘Medical Deferment*’ is for students who experience severe medical conditions during the time they are enrolled at BYU-I.
If you need to defer your enrollment at BYU-Idaho for a mission, medical, or other issue, please come visit our office as this will have an impact on your immigration status. You can also find more information regarding a request for an academic or medical reduced course load by clicking here.
As an International Student, you can apply to take classes during your off-track.
With permission, you can apply to take a few courses during your off-track, without affecting your status.
The requirements to receive this override include the following:
- You must be maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA.
- You must have been enrolled in classes during your previous semesters.
With an override, you may take as many or few credits as you like. You may choose to take online classes as well. Under certain circumstances, you may need to take 12 credits, but we will inform you if this is the case.
You will need to apply for the Off-track Override on the SUNAPSIS website.
If we need more information, we will contact you.
Once it has been approved, we will send the request to the admissions office. You will then be authorized to sign up for classes.
When an international student falls out of status and the I-20 is terminated, they may apply for reinstatement which will keep them from having to leave and re-enter the U.S.
A reinstatement application is used to petition your status after you have fallen out of status. This requires that you acknowledge what you did to lose your status (suspension, failure to enroll, under enrollment, etc.) and must be filed within 5 months of losing your status. In addition, if your request for reinstatement is denied:
- The visa that the student used to enter the United States is automatically cancelled;
- The student is permanently limited to applying for nonimmigrant visas in the future only in his or her country of citizenship or permanent residence;
- The student will begin accumulating days of "unlawful presence." If the student remains in the United States after the denial for over 180 days, he or she will be barred from returning to the United States for three years; if he or she remains after the denial for one year or more, he or she will be barred from returning the United States for ten years.
Please consult with the International Services Office with any questions or for more information.
Please complete the I-20 reinstatement request e-form on SUNAPSIS. We will contact you when your I-20 is ready
Pay fee of $370
Complete Form I-539
Please consult with International Services for more information.
Change of Status
General information on changing your immigration status
Occasionally students need to change immigration status to or from F-1 based on their circumstances. For example a student might decide to serve as a missionary and will therefore need to change status to a religion visa and then change back to F-1 after the missionary service has been completed. Others students might be in the U.S. as an H-4 or other category and need to change to F-1 now that they are attending school. The basic procedure is the same in most cases, however, different information is needed for each.
There are some categories with restrictions on attending school while waiting for the application to be processes, for example, an F-2 dependent may not attend school full time until the application has been approved.
We encourage you to contact our office for information specific to your situation.
Please note that we do not recommend change of status applications from B-1/2 to F-1 as nearly all of these have been denied in the past.
Apply through Sunapsis, fill out application, complete FULL application
Reduced Course Load
International students are required to be registered for at least 12 credits during their on track semesters. However you may find yourself struggling with your course load due to unforeseen circumstances. Therefore you may be eligible for a reduced course load for either academic or medical reasons.
You may qualify for an academic reduced course load if:
- You are in your first semester in the United States and need time to adjust to the American classroom, the English language, or intensive reading materials.
- Improper course level placement – your academic advisor would need to provide a further explanation on how the department incorrectly advised you regarding your registration.
You must submit a request for reduced course load through Sunapsis before being under-enrolled in the current semester, and you will need to resume a full course of study in the next semester. If you are granted the reduced course load for the semester you applied, you will need to take at least 6 credits during that semester to maintain your immigration status.
You may qualify for a medical reduced course load if:
- You are experiencing unforeseen medical issues and are unable to take 12 credits due to your health. In order for your request to be processed you will need to submit documentation from a licensed medical doctor (MD), doctor of osteopathy (DO), or licensed clinical psychologist.
A reduced course load for medical reasons will allow you to take less than 12 credits down to 0, depending on the seriousness and stress of the situation. You must submit a request for reduced course load through Sunapsis before being under enrolled in the current semester. Please note that you can only apply for up to 12 months or 365 days of the reduced course load. If you need to continue your reduced course load for medical reasons for more than one semester, you will need to submit another request with the required documentation before the next semester begins.
Please log into Sunapsis and complete either the academic or medical request for a reduced course load.
Curricular Practical Training or CPT gives international students the opportunity to gain practical experience in a field directly related to the student’s major.
Students in F-1 status may be eligible for CPT. The primary purpose of CPT is to give students practical experience in a field directly related to their major. Most international students use CPT for internships. You must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:
- You must have been in F-1 status for at least one academic year
- The position must be directly related to your major
- You must receive academic credit for the work experience
After you have received an offer of employment, you should speak to the internship coordinator over your major to make sure that it meets internship requirements. If it does not, you will need to speak with your faculty mentor to verify that the position is related to your major. You will also need to arrange for some type of academic credit for the work experience. If the position does meet the requirements for an internship, the verification will come from the internship office and you will receive internship credit. To apply, log in to Sunapsis and complete the CPT request form located in the F1 practical training category
- Complete the required information
- Upload or otherwise provide a copy of your job offer containing the following:
- Start and end dates
- Job responsibilities/description
- Name and address of the location where you will be working
- Indication that you will be working part time(less than 20 hours/week) or full time (more than 20 hours/week)
- Enter the name and email address of either your faculty mentor or the internship office contact person as indicated on the eform.
International Services will review the information and issue the CPT I-20. If there are problems with your application, you may be asked to provide additional information.
OPT (Optional Practical Training) is authorization to work in a position directly related to the student’s major area of study for up to 12 months after graduation.
When you near completion of all the course requirements for your degree, you may apply to obtain OPT. This will allow you to find employment anywhere in the U.S. in a field related to your major. Once approved, you will be authorized to work up to one year in the U.S. and may extend for another 17 months depending on the major.
You may apply up to 90 days before you graduate and as late as 50 days after you graduate. The application takes about 2 ½ - 3 months to process, so many start the process early. You will want to do the following:
- Fill out the “OPT Request” e-form in Sunapsis.
- Apply for graduation. If you have not applied, we will not approve your OPT request.
- You will want to begin gathering the following documents for your application:
- Copies of all previous CPT I-20s
- Copy of your most recent I-94 (both sides if in card form). If your I-94 is not in your passport, you can download it at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/
- Two passport style photos
- Copy of your passport
- Contact your academic advisor to pick up your graduation letter
- A check or money order for $410 payable to “Department of Homeland Security”
- Valid address: If your current address will not be valid for the next 5-6 months, we recommend that you use our office address
- The International Office will provide the following documents for you to include in your application:
- Form I-765
- Form G-1145 (Optional form which allows applicant to receive case status updates through text message and e-mail.)
- SEVIS print-out
- OPT I-20 form
Please note that the International Office will not mail the application for you. You will need to assemble the application, make a copy (a scan for your records) and mail it yourself. We will gladly look over the application for errors before it is sent per request of the student.
276 Manwaring Center, Mailstop 0775, Rexburg, ID 83460-0775