Seminar Schedule

ImmigrationConcept’s "Fundamentals of Foreign Student Advising" seminar is our flagship program. This three day seminar, held each April, is designed for F-1 and M-1 Designated School Officials, managers responsible for DSO activity, or other professionals seeking a greater understanding of F-1 or M-1 regulatory issues. This is the most comprehensive seminar in the field and provides intensive, carefully structured training in the basics of immigration regulations and immigration procedures. Hand-outs and reference materials are provided that each participant will want to keep at their finger-tips when they return to the office.

Immigration Concepts strives to teach “why” at every step and provides training that is 100% job-related. You will be taught that information must be evaluated critically, not merely accepted. You will learn how to critically evaluate immigration information for yourself and you will return to your office equipped to solve problems. You will be challenged and you will leave with a greater understanding of your job.

Fundamentals of Foreign Student Advising Curriculum:

Day 1
Immigration Basics

  • Definition of important terms
  • Immigration statuses
  • Immigration forms
  • Pertinent regulations

Student Rights and Confidentiality
  • What documentation must you keep
  • What information can/should be given out

Issuing Form I-20

  • What is an I-20?
  • Who is eligible for an I-20?
  • Who can sign the form?
  • Item by item guide to completion
  • When must a new I-20 be issued?
  • Replacing a lost form I-20


I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
  • Purpose of form I-94
  • When is it issued?
  • Replacing a lost form

Obtaining a Visa and Entering The USA
  • Rules for eligibility
  • Authority of consuls
  • How to advise students
  • Visa “renewals”
  • Canadians and visa exempt aliens
  • New forms and security checks
  • US Visit System

Student Travel and Re-entry

  • New I-20 or not?
  • When to check finances
  • Re-entry endorsements
  • Checking the Visa
  • Neighboring countries and adjacent islands
  • Form I-515A

Day 2
Maintaining/Extending/Changing Status
  • Duration of status
  • Grace periods
  • Full-time enrollment
  • School transfer
  • Change of academic levels
  • Program extension
  • Change of status to F-1
  • Special registration requirements
  • Change of address requirements
  • What is a status violation?
  • Reinstatement to status
  • What is an overstay?
  • What is unlawful presence?
  • Income Tax filing requirements
  • What constitutes becoming a public charge

Student Employment Options
  • On-Campus Employment
    • Eligibility/Limitations
    • Off-Campus locations
  • Optional/Curricular Practical Training
    • Eligibility/Limitations
    • Filing procedures/fees
    • Employment authorization document
  • Severe Economic Hardship/Special Student Relief
    • Eligibility/Limitations
    • Filing procedures/fees
    • Employment authorization document

Day 3
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
  • What is SEVIS?
  • What data does SEVIS require?
  • How data can be transmitted to DHS
  • How to use SEVIS
  • Who must pay the SEVIS fee
  • How to pay the SEVIS fee
  • Developing an effective SEVIS implementation strategy

Advising Students In Other Statuses
  • Our legal and ethical responsibilities
  • The concept of “principle activity”
  • Dependents vs. Principles
  • When must dependents change to student status?
  • Undocumented aliens

Taxation Issues
  • Required forms and deadline
  • Tax treaty benefits
  • Income tax assistance programs

Eye on Ethics Exercise

Resources Available to DSOs

  • Important websites
  • Developing handbooks, orientations, videos and other information tools
  • Keeping students informed about changing regulations