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International Students

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine hosts only F-1 visa types, which is a non-immigrant classification that allows an international student to remain in the United States as long as he or she is properly registered as a full-time student.

To maintain F-1 student status, an international student must be matriculated in one of our professional, master's or doctoral level programs on a full-time basis and maintain satisfactory academic progress. International students cannot maintain status if in a non-degree program.

For information on admissions, visit the international student application requirements page.

The Registrar is the designated school official that is responsible for preparation of I-20 forms for international students. Please contact the Registrar Office with any questions regarding status.

Maintaining Eligibility for F-1 Visa

In order to maintain eligibility for F-1 Visa, the international student must:

  • Maintain full-time study.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • If accepted into a new program, prior to the end of the current program, submit new financial support documentation for the duration of the new program. You will also be required to place these funds in PCOM's escrow account.
  • If transferring from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, notification must be given in writing to the Registrar Office. The Registrar Office requires that the name of the new school and program be provided in order to transfer I-20.

International Student Requirements

International students are required to:

  • Report any change of address to the U.S. federal government and submitting written notification to the Registrar Office within 10 days of your address change by completing a change of information.
  • Keep their passport valid. Passport should be valid for minimum of 6 months into the future. To renew passport in the United States, contact the embassy of your home country.
  • Consult with the Registrar Office if you require employment. Unauthorized employment will have adverse consequences on your future in the United States. Do not accept any unauthorized employment.
  • Students on an F-1 student Visa have a 60-day grace period for departure following the end date of their program as noted on the I-20.

Employment Options

International students must always make sure that any employment they engage in is legal employment. A student is required to have the necessary employment authorization before beginning work. Consultation with the Registrar before beginning any employment is required.

Categories of F-1 Student Employment
  • CPT - Campus Employment: Certain work experiences that are an integral part of your program of study may be the basis for curricular practical training employment authorization.
  • OPT - Optional Practical Training: F-1 students are eligible for 12 months of optional practical training (OPT). Optional practical training provides an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge obtained in an academic program to a practical work experience. Apply for Optional Practical Training.

General Questions

What is a visa?

A non-immigrant U.S. visa is issued as a stamp in your passport by a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States. A visa stamp indicates that you are eligible for entry and reentry to the United States in the immigration category indicated (F-1, J-1, H-1B, TN, etc). Most visa stamps are for multiple entries.

Citizens of foreign countries generally need visas to enter the United States. A visa is permission to apply to enter the United States. It is a document which is affixed to a page in your passport. Under U.S. law the Department of State has responsibility for issuing visas, and most visas are issued at one of the Department of State embassies and consulates abroad. Therefore, when you want to travel to the United States, you must first apply for a visa at an American embassy or consulate abroad. A consular officer decides whether you are qualified for a visa.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State website.

What visas does Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine accept?

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine only hosts F-1 visas.

How do I apply for a student visa?

For information regarding a Student Visa application, please refer to the U.S. Department of State website.

Can I get a visa inside the U.S.?

No, it is not possible to apply for or to renew a visa in the United States. Visas are issued only by a U.S. consul in a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States.

Do I have to return to my home country to apply for a new visa?

It is possible for most international visitors to apply for a visa in a country that is not their home country. Be sure to follow all U.S. embassy guidelines for applying, and additional wait time is possible if security checks are needed.