Current Students/International Student Services

    Frequently Asked Questions

    New Student Questions

    Is there temporary housing when I arrive?
    Please visit our university housing website: http://web.csulb.edu/divisions/students/housing/

    What are my options for health insurance?
    California State University, Long Beach requires all F-1 international students and J-1 exchange students to purchase and maintain adequate health insurance coverage prior to registering for classes. International students will not be able to register for classes until the Center for International Education (CIE) has received verification that you have purchased the mandatory California State University (CSU) International Student Health Insurance group policy offered through Wells Fargo Student Insurance.  ONLY students with U.S. employer based policy of a parent or spouse that covers the student may meet certain criteria to be exempted from this requirement.
     
    For more information, including how to purchase the university approved health insurance please click here.

    Immigration & Current Student Questions

    Minimum Enrollment Requirements (Academic Units)
    Undergraduates must enroll in at least 12 units every Fall and every Spring semester. Undergraduates are also advised to comply with Timely Graduation requirements of our University.
    Graduate students must enroll in at least 8 units every Fall and every Spring semester.

    For information on exemptions from the minimum enrollment requirements, click here.

    What are GWAR and WPE?
    Please click here for information on GWAR and WPE.

    My passport will be expiring soon. What should I do?
    Each passport has an expiration date listed. As a student it is your responsibility to keep your passport valid at all times. If your passport expiration date is approaching you must contact your embassy or consulate in order to have your passport renewed. You must provide CIE with a copy of your valid passport.

    My visa is about to expire. Will I be out of status?
    No. It is legal for you to be in the United States with an expired visa; however, you must have a valid visa to re-enter the United States if you travel. If you will be traveling outside of the United States and have an expired visa, we recommend that you travel during the summer or December breaks so that you will have a better opportunity to renew your visa in time to return to your studies.

    What documents do I need to renew my visa?
    You will need to contact the U.S. Consulate in your home country for a complete list of requirements, but you should have the following: your current I-20, a current financial statement, a current academic transcript and a passport valid for at least 6 months.

    What do I do if my I-20 is about to expire?
    Contact ISS! You need to apply for a program extension.

    What if I decide to transfer to a different university?
    As part of your admissions process at the other university, you may be asked to bring us a form to verify that you have maintained your status while at the University. You will need to provide an acceptance letter to the new university and fill out the Transfer Out Request Form.

    What is the expiration date on my I-94?
    As an F-1 or J-1 student, your I-94 does not have an expiration date. Your I-94 should contain the phrase “D/S” which stands for “Duration of Status.” This designation means that as long as you are satisfying all the legal requirements of your student status and making normal progress toward completing your degree, you are legally allowed to stay in the United States.  For more information on I-94 visit the US Customs and Border Protections I-94 Frequently Asked Questions.

    I am taking a semester break from studies. Who do I need to notify?
    Under the F and J visas, you are required to be enrolled full-time during the Fall and Spring semesters. If you decide to take a semester break and return to your home country you must contact CIE and make an appointment with an advisor.  Call 562-985-4106 for scheduling information.

    When may I take a vacation or holiday from my academic study?
    Many students travel during December holiday and summer break, as enrollment is not a requirement during these breaks. You may travel during Fall and Spring breaks. If you intend to travel while classes are in session, remember that enrollment is required for Fall and Spring terms.

    How can I apply/renew for my driver’s license?
    F-1 students will need to request a Verification of Enrollment letter from CIE.   For additional information on receiving a driver's license please see the How To Apply for a California Driver’s License handout.

    How do I invite my family or friends for graduation?
    Please refer to the guide Regarding Invitation Letters for Family & Friends. Also, a request for a letter of verification of enrollment can be requested.  You will be notified by email when the letter is ready to be picked up.

    How do I update my address?
    Students should update their address through MyCSULB. If you are on OPT and can not access MyCSULB, please use the OPT Employment and Address Update Form.

    How long will it take to get my requested document from International Student Services?
    We ask that you allow at least 7-10 business days for documents and requests to be processed. Notice of processed documents will be sent through e-mail addresses provided on the forms.

    I have changed my name. How do I update my documents?
    Begin by updating your passport in your home country or at your country's embassy or consulate here in the U.S. Once you receive the new or amended passport, fill out an I-20 Request Form. Submit this form to International Student Services along with a copy of any supporting documentation (i.e., a marriage certificate or a court order). Your name will be updated in the university system and in SEVIS. You will receive a new I-20 in the new name.

    You should then update your name with the Social Security Administration, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and any other agencies which have records for you.