Current International Student Information
Office of International Affairs
Official Office Letters
The OIA provides letters for students applying for Social Security cards, Driver's License, etc. Please fill out and return the appropriate form found here for Social Security cards or here for Driver's License. Please allow 2 business days to process your letter after it has been received.
Undergraduate Students who have first-year status (less than 30 credits) are required to live on campus. Descriptions about undergraduate housing options are available at the Residence Life website.
- Thanksgiving Break – Students may stay in the residence halls during Thanksgiving Break.
- Winter Break – International students may stay in the residence halls but will need to fill out a petition with Office of Residence Life.
- Spring Break – Students may stay in the residence halls.
- Summer break – International students need to apply for permission to stay on campus during the summer break. There is a separate summer charge. Students are generally housed in Laughlin Residence Hall.
- Students MUST apply for break housing following Residence Life Procedures. They will receive an email to their Chatham Accounts with information to register.
Graduate Students may live on-campus or off-campus. Descriptions about graduate housing options are available on the Residence Life website.
On campus students may request a summer lease. You may stay in the same apartment or room if you will be a student in the fall semester. Separate permission is not needed to stay during academic breaks.
On campus employment
Students on F-1/J-1 visas are allowed to work on campus. F-1/J-1 students and federal work study students have first priority for on campus positions. Employment opportunities available on campus are listed on Chatham Handshake. You will need to create an account to access these positions. Per Chatham University regulations, all students are only allowed to work 19 hours per week during the academic year and hold only one job. During the summer students may work up to 35 hours a week and have more than one position on campus.
For finding jobs or internships, check Chatham Handshake registration instructions – interns and jobs in the U.S. (registration is required. )
For off-campus employment there are four options for F-1 student: Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training, STEM OPT-Extension, and Sever Economic Hardship.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training is off-campus employment authorization for F–1 students who have been studying in the U.S. for at least one year.*** It allows F-1 students to gain practical work experience in their field of study, prior to the completion of their academic programs. CPT may only be used while taking classes. Authorization is granted by the university.
Steps to applying for CPT
- Attend CPT workshop or set up meeting with Office of International Affairs.
- Obtain a job/internship offer
- Download and review the CPT application for undergraduate students here, graduate students here
- See your advisor to get CPT application form signed
- Make an appointment with International Affairs
- Start job/internship
CPT authorization is required for both paid and unpaid jobs/internships.
Optional Practical Information
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students who have been studying in the U.S. for at least one year. Almost all students save their OPT time to use after graduation. Students receive 12 months of OPT at each level of education – Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. Authorization is granted by USCIS. Information sessions are held at the beginning of each semester.
Procedures for applying for OPT at Chatham:
- Attend OPT workshop or set up meeting with Office of International Affairs.
- Make appointment with Office of International Affairs and review the OPT application package here
- Download other required forms: I-765 here, I-538 here
- Bring completed items to OPT appointment (including graduation verification form)
- After appointment, mail off OPT package. Check to be sure you have included all items on the mailing checklist located on my.Chatham.edu. (package needs to be received within 30 days of OPT I-20 processing date)
STEM Optional Practical Training Extension
The STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student's program of study in an approved STEM field.
Eligible F-1 students with STEM degrees who finish their program of study and participate in an initial period of regular post-completion OPT (often for 12 months) have the option to apply for a STEM OPT extension.
Procedures for applying for STEM OPT-Extension
- Download STEM OPT- Extension information here
- Complete form I-983 found here with employer
- Contact OIA Office regarding applying for STEM OPT - Extension, and submit forms to OIA. OIA must receive a complete I-983 form in order to process the STEM OPT- Extension I-20. If you are in the area, you may set up a meeting to go over your documents.
- After application packet is complete, mail to appropriate USCIS office.
STEM OPT-Extension Information:
- https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/assets/stem-opt-hub/story.html (how to complete the I-983 form)
Severe Economic Hardship
It is off-campus employment authorization for F–1 student who have been studying in the U.S. for at least one year who have and/or are experiencing financial difficulties. Please contact the International Student Services Coordinator for more information.
For off-campus employment there are two options for F-2 students: Academic Training and Economic Hardship.
It is off-campus employment authorization for J–1 students who have been studying in the U.S. for at least one year who have and/or are experiencing financial difficulties. Please contact the International Student Services Coordinator for more information.
International Students at Chatham who worked during each given calendar year (January 1–December 31) are required to file federal, state (e.g. PA) and local (e.g. Pittsburgh) taxes. This year taxes are due by April 15.
All students and dependents are required to file the form 8843. The form 8843 is due by June 15. We recommend your mail this form by April 15.
|FORM 8843||Required for all F-1, F-2, J-1, J-2 - even if you did not work|
|FORM 1040NR-EZ||Federal tax form for non-residents who worked in 2017||You are only required to file one of these forms. Please pay attention to the location it needs to be sent. Please read instructions to determine which form you need to fill out.|
|1040NR||Federal tax form for non-residents who worked in 2017|
|PA-40||Required if you lived in Pennsylvania for part of the year and earned income||You can also file online. Mail with tax forms a copy of 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ|
|TAXPAYER FINAL RETURN 70 (replaces PGH-40)||Required if you lived in Pittsburgh for part or all of the year and earned income||Mail tax form with a copy of visa, copy of I-94/I-94 print off, copy of PA-40.|
1040NR and 1040NREZ forms cannot be e-filed. Students may qualify for e-filing of state and/or local taxes. Please check the state and local tax websites for additional information.
Please make sure to make copies of all documents before mailing.
Instructions on how to complete the forms are found on the IRS website, or the website of the local tax authority.
Department of State – Study in the States, resource for international students: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/
Department of State – J1 Exchange visitor home page: https://j1visa.state.gov/
United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS): https://www.uscis.gov/
Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP): https://www.ice.gov/sevis/students
Please contact the Office of International Affairs at InternationalAffairs@chatham.edu with questions and concerns about being an international student at Chatham.