Frequently Asked Questions

Immigration Questions

When will I get my I-20/DS-2019?

In general, you will be contacted by an immigration counselor within two to three weeks of your admission to notify you that your I-20 has been processed or that more documentation is required.  If you have been waiting longer than three weeks to hear about your I-20/DS-2019,  feel free to contact us at  Be sure to include your full name and student ID number so that we may best assist you.

What is an F-1 or J-1 Student Visa?

F-1 Student Visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to an alien student who is pursuing full-time studies in a US academic institution. J-1 visa is usually issued to exchange visitors who is pursuing full-time studies and participating in programs that promote educational and cultural exchange.

How early should I apply for my Student (F-1/J-1) Visa?

You are encouraged to apply for a visa as soon as you receive the I-20 Form (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 Form (for J-1 students) from the school. The U.S. Embassy /Consulate may issue an F-1/J-1 visa not earlier than within 120 days prior to the program starting date indicated on the I-20.

I have received an F-1/J-1 visa. When should I travel to the USA?

Students on F-1/J-1 visas can arrive to the United States not earlier than within 30 days of the beginning of the program stated on the form I-20/DS-2019, respectively – regardless of how early the F-1/J-1 visa was issued.

Am I permitted to work off-campus?

You are only permitted to work off-campus with prior authorization from the OIP and/or USCIS.  For information regarding employment, please click here.

I have a question about my immigration status. How can I see an immigration counselor?

If you have any questions regarding your immigration status or your future plans, please make an appointment with one of the immigration counselors in the OIP by calling the front desk at 330-972-6349

Health Insurance Questions

Why do I need health insurance?

The cost of health care in United States is very high. You simply may not get the best treatment if you cannot prove that you have the ability to pay the bills. Without insurance, you could also face financial ruin if you have a serious accident or illness. This, in turn, could prevent you from completing your studies in the United States.

When should I buy health insurance?

You should be prepared to enroll in the University of Akron Student Health plan when you check into the Office of International Programs.Currently the annual premium is $1153.00. The premium is subject to change without advance notice.You must enroll in the insurance plan before you will be permitted to register for classes.

Can Graduate Assistants use their fee remission to pay for health insurance?

No. The health insurance fee is not included in the fee remission.

I have insurance. Where do I go if I get sick?

Start with the campus Health Services located in the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Have your student ID card ready. Even if they cannot solve the problem, they will be able to refer you to someone who can.

What if Health Services or the doctor's office is closed? (Some are closed at night or on weekends.)

If the injury or illness is life-threatening, you are bleeding uncontrollably, or you feel the injury could result in permanent damage to a vital organ or limb, go to the nearest hospital Emergency Room. Be sure to take your health insurance card with you because you will probably be asked for it before you see a doctor.

How can I pay for treatment that is not covered by my insurance (for example, pre-existing conditions, eyeglasses or dental care)?

Whenever possible, take care of dental and vision problems before leaving home. Dental and vision insurance is not required, but the University encourages students to have them. If you have to have treatment not covered by your insurance policy, it is important to discuss your financial situation with a financial counselor at the hospital or clinic before any elective (non-emergency) treatment. Find out how much the procedure will cost. They will ask you to list your assets. Tell them how much of your savings you could comfortably use to pay for this procedure. Some hospitals/clinics may demand payment in advance; others may be willing to arrange a payment schedule to pay the balance owed over time.