Immigration Issues

International Students: Living in the US is a nice experience, but is important to understand how the laws of immigration and taxes work in the US. Always consult with appropriate offices for updates, and keep notes below in mind. Excerpts below were extracted from the Tuskegee University Bulletin/Course Catalog for your convenience. Refer to the Bulletin/Course Catalog for all academic matters, including additional criteria for acceptance into graduate programs.

Cultural Adaptation
The USA is a melting pot with many people from many countries, but there are customs practiced in the US that many foreign nationals may not adopt. People may not tell you straight what they like or dislike about your behavior, but you always assess reactions. A good rule is "when in doubt ask."

Application for a F-1 Visa after notifying the International Student office of your acceptance to Tuskegee University. A Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS & I-20) form is sent to you for acquiring the consulate approval (unless you are Canadian). Canadians are required to bring their documents (SEVIS & I-20) to their point of entry into the US. The visa will be granted there, where I-94 will be supplied that must be stapled to your passport - The following are required at point of entry for all foreign students: A valid passport (or proof of Canadian Citizenship) A SEVIS I-20 form and proof of payment Evidence (usually in a form of a letter) of financial support Evidence.

Extra requirements for non-Canadian foreign students: Application at the US consulate for visa stamp. The visa will allow you to enter the US. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is designed to facilitate communication between the school and the Bureau of immigration. Fees apply for entering the US.

After obtaining their SSN, many people choose to start a secure line of credit to obtain a credit rating. Health Care and Auto Insurance in the United States is not free. Automobile insurance can be expensive for a foreign driver without a US drivers license and with no driving history in the US. For Canadian drivers that have a driver’s record in Canada, companies that are based in both countries will acknowledge your driving record in Canada. Contact an auto insurance company for more information. It is recommended that you obtain an Alabama Drivers License as soon as possible. Remember to always shop around for the cheapest rates; as you can switch in and out of plans whenever you want to.

Social Security
Students who are hired by the university and earn income need a social security number (SSN). In order to apply for a SSN, students must have a letter from the international students office that must also be signed by the employer.

A valid driver license is needed to operate a motor vehicle in the US (There are no exceptions to this rule). Drivers in the U.S. must drive on the right-hand side of the road. Passing is always in the left lane, which should be open for passing traffic. Driving behaviors that in other countries are the norm, may not be in the U.S. For instance, honking vehicle horns is reserved for warning or alerting dangers. Traffic speeding violations in excess of 10 mph are expensive, remain in your record and increase the amount of money you have to pay for insurance. On all roads and highways, slower traffic always operates in the right-hand lane. All traffic should slow down and move to the opposite lane of an accident, emergency, or law enforcement vehicles.