Frequently Asked Questions for Current Students (FAQ's)

  • How long does it take to receive my I-20 once my application is complete?

    Once all your documents have been received and you have been accepted, your case is placed on a queue within our office and the length of time that passes depends on the amount of international students that are in front of you on the queue. If getting your VISA will be time consuming or you feel that you will need more time, please consider applying EARLY to ensure you have enough time to receive your I-20.

  • I forgot to turn in my I-94 when I left the country, what do I do?

    When you leave the country, turning in your I-94 is your way of notifying the United States that you are returning to your home country and have no plans of staying in the United States past the allotted time. If you forgot to turn in your I-94 at the time of your departure, it is possible that your departure was not recorded properly and thus needs to be corrected. For more information on how to do so, visit the following link: I forgot to turn in my I-94 when I left the country, what do I do?

  • How can I get a job?

    If you are under an F-1 visa, you are permitted to work on campus for 19 hours each week. In order to find a job, you will first need to contact UTRGV's Career Center. They will help you build your resume and help you create an online profile that potential employers can review when you've applied for a position within the University. For more information about Career Center, visit their website at: http://www.utrgv.edu/careercenter/

  • How can I get a Social Security Number?

    Once you have received a job offer, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number. In order to do so, you must come to the office and request a form that your department will follow in order to start the process of attaining an SSN. Please keep in mind that you are not eligible for a Social Security Number unless you have a job offer and you have been present in the United States for 10 days.

  • How can I get a Driver's License?

    There are several items you need in order attain a Driver's License. To get a list of what you need as well as directions, please visit our office for one of our forms. There you will find detailed instructions that will help you obtain your Driver's License. You may also contact the department of public safety at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us.

  • I just changed my address. Now what?

    SEVIS requires that all non U.S. Citizens report a change of address within 10 days of moving. F-1 and J-1 students are required to complete this requirement by reporting your change of address to the International Admissions and Student Services. To pick up the form, please visit our office or download it by visiting the departmental forms section.

  • I want to change my major. What should I do?

    If you change your major, you will need to update the change at the Registrar’s Office. After you update the Registrar’s Office, you will need to come to the Office of International Admissions and Student Services to fill out a "Request new SEVIS I-20 for F-1 student" so that we may update your major on your I-20. For more information, please contact our office or download the form by visiting our departmental forms section.

  • I've lost my immigration documents. What now?

    If your immigration documents have been lost or stolen, there are several steps you need to follow in order to be eligible to apply for new documents. Please contact the International Admissions and Student Services as soon as it happens, and file a police report with the corresponding police department. Once the police report is ready, please bring the police report to our office for further instructions. Make sure you do not travel outside of the country.

  • Am I required to purchase the insurance provided by the school?

    UT Board of Regents requires all visa holders to obtain medical insurance. Due to this policy UTRGV automatically charges you for medical insurance per semester. If you are covered by a family member's medical insurance or would like to purchase your own separate medical insurance, you can stop by the office and fill out a medical insurance waiver. If your medical insurance meets the minimum medical insurance requirements, the school will waive the medical insurance charge. Please check with International Admissions and Student Services for waiver submission deadlines. You may obtain your medical insurance waiver by visiting this website: https://utrgv.myahpcare.com/waiver.

  • As an F-1 student, can I study part time?

    U.S. immigration law requires that all international students on F1 student visas maintain full-time enrollment. To be considered full time, undergraduate students must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours. Graduate students must be registered for a minimum of 9 credit hours to be considered full time.

  • As an F-3 student, can I study full time?

    F-3 students are Canadian and Mexican citizens who study part time or full time in the United States but who live in their home country and commute to classes in the U.S. To be qualified as a part-time or full time border commuter student, a student must:

    • Be a Canadian or Mexican Citizen
    • Be registered as a border commuter student
    • Attend a U.S. college or university located within 75 miles of the border
    • Pursue a "full course of study" (i.e. be pursuing an academic goal) but  be pursuing it part time or full time
    • Maintain actual residence and place of abode in the country of citizenship and commute  through a land border port-of-entry to the U.S. for study.
  • Can International students apply for Financial Aid?

    International students are not eligible for Financial Aid. They can, however, apply for scholarships! To learn more about what scholarships are available through The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, visit http://www.utrgv.edu/en-us/admissions/paying-for-college/scholarships.

    Mexican nationals are encouraged to apply for the Mexican Tuition
    Waiver. The Mexican Tuition Waiver program allows you to pay the tuition
    corresponding to a Texas resident. For more information, please visit our
    office to pick up an application or access the form electronically: http://www.utrgv.edu/_files/documents/admissions/undergraduate/mexican-tuition-waiver-form.pdf

  • I forgot my UTRGV password and/or username?

    Visit https://myaccount.utrgv.edu and click on the appropriate link. Follow the instructions provided to reset your password or to retrieve your UTRGV username.

  • I didn’t receive the initial email that should have been sent to my alternate email. How do I update the alternate email address that UTRGV has on file for me?

    Contact UTRGV Enrollment Services at the telephone numbers or email listed below. Once your identity is verified, they will be able to confirm and/or update your alternate email address. Enrollment Services: 956-882-8983 (Brownsville area) 956-665-2999 (Edinburg area) Toll-free: 888-882-4026 Email: admissions@utrgv.edu

  • How can I change my password?

    Visit https://myaccount.utrgv.edu and click on the Change My UTRGV Password link. Follow the instructions. Be sure to read and follow the Password Requirements section.

  • How do I check my UTRGV email?

    Visit www.utrgv.edu/email and log in with your full UTRGV email address and password.

  • How do I set up my UTRGV email account on my mobile device?

    Apple Devices (iOS)

    • To setup your UTRGV email account on your iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) device follow the steps below:
    • Select Settings from the home screen.
    • Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars from the settings screen.
    • Select Add Account.
    • Select Exchange.
    • Enter the following information: 
      • Email address: Your full UTRGV email address
      • Username: Your full UTRGV email address
      • Password: Your UTRGV password
    • Select Join.
    • If prompted, type in the Server Address, outlook.office365.com and select Next.
    • You will then have the option to enable Mail, Contacts, and Calendars.
    • Select Save.

    *NOTE: When prompted, it is strongly recommended to keep existing contacts on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. You will now be able to access your UTRGV email on your iOS enabled device by selecting the Mail app from your home screen.


    • The set up method may be slightly different depending on your Android device. Please check      your device’s manual for specific instructions.
    • Select Settings
    • Select Accounts
    • Select Add Account
    • Select Microsoft Exchange, Exchange Active Sync      or Corporate Account
    • Enter Your full UTRGV email address
    • Enter Your password
    • Select Next
    • Select OK when prompted for remote security administration
    • Set desired sync options and select Next
    • Enter desired account name and select Next

    You will need the following information to set up on your Android device:

    • Email address: Your full UTRGV email address
    • Username: Your full UTRGV  email address
    • Password: Your UTRGV  password
    • Domain/Username: Your full UTRGV email address
    • Server Address: outlook.office365.com

    Windows Phone

    • You can setup your UTRGV email account on your Windows Phone by following the steps below:
    • In the App      list, tap the Settings, and then tap Email + accounts.
    • Tap Add an account  > Exchange.
    • Enter your email address and password, and then tap Sign in. If the phone finds your account, your settings, email, calendar, and contacts will be synced to  your phone. If not, continue to the next step.
    • On the Exchange screen, enter the following: 
      • Email address: Your full UTRGV email address
      • Password: Your UTRGV Password
      • Username: Your full UTRGV email address
      • Domain: (Leave blank)
    • If the correct settings are still not found, tap Advanced, follow the steps below and then tap Sign in. 
      • In the Server box, type the server address outlook.office365.com.
      • Tap Show all settings, and then make sure that the Server requires encrypted (SSL)       connection setting is checked.
  • I am having technical issues, how do I contact the UTRGV IT Service Desk?

    IT Service Desk contact information: For technical issues, please submit an online help request form at: www.utrgv.edu/IT-Help. 956-665-2020 - Edinburg Campus 956-882-4357 (HELP) - Brownsville Campus

  • Where can I view my class schedule, register for classes, and access other information regarding my UTRGV enrollment status?

    You can login to myUTRGV with your UTRGV username and password and click on the ASSIST icon under the Applications area.

  • Why should I file taxes?

    Every international student and their dependents (including spouses and children of all ages) are required to file their taxes if they were in the US during the previous calendar year. While filing your taxes may sound difficult, there are a number of benefits to filing your taxes other than it’s the law:

    • You might get a refund. Some international students will qualify for a refund due to tax treaties and a lack of serious income if they’ve earned income in the US.
    • Protect taxation of your worldwide income.
    • You fulfill your visa obligations. All international students must file at least Form 8843 (see below) in order to remain legal under F, J, M & Q visas, even if you didn’t earn any money in the US.

    The American Tax System - An Overview

    Americans and others residing within this country must pay taxes to the state and federal government, and the process is completed through an agency called the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS. Usually when someone earns money a portion of it is automatically deducted and sent directly to the government. Organizations that pay individuals send a summary of how much money they paid you every January or so, as well as how much of that was sent to the government. The purpose of filing your taxes is to report all your sources of income to the government, what you already paid, and what you still owe. It is also an opportunity to claim deductions or exemptions you may qualify for. At the end of the process, you calculate how much in total you should have paid. If you paid more than what you owe during the year, you get a refund. On the other hand, if you didn't pay enough, you have to pay the difference.

  • How do I file taxes?

    Step 1- Determine your residence status.

    International students on F1 visas are automatically considered non-resident aliens for their first 5 calendar years in the US. If you’ve been in the US for longer than the 5 calendar years, the Substantial Presence Test if will be the formula to determine if you should be taxed as a resident or nonresident alien.

    I am a nonresident.

    ALL nonresidents MUST fill out Form 8843, which essentially proves that you’re a nonresident. Additionally, all F-2 and J-2 visa holders must file the same form separately regardless of age and income.

    I am a resident for tax purposes.

    If you file as a resident, you will be required to declare both your US and your worldwide income. Therefore, before filing as a resident, check to see if you qualify for the Closer Connection Exception. If you still believe you qualify as a resident, you should file taxes as if you were an American citizen. You can do so for free at the IRS website, or you can use one of the many aforementioned tax preparation program.

    2- Determine whether you had any income from US sources in 2016

    Be advised that the factors determining whether you earned money from American sources is different for nonresidents than that which applies to residents. If you do have US source income, it will probably come from wages, scholarships, and/or bank interest. (See the entire list of taxable sources ).

    3- Determine which forms you need to fill out

    In addition to the links provided below to download each form, the IRS provides instructions for filling out most forms as well. The instructions can be found by going to the IRS website, and then searching by form number.

    You may need to fill out some or all of the following forms:






    Requires additional form?


    More information


    Form   8843

    Declaring your nonresident status


    Mandatory for all nonresident aliens, even if you didn’t have any US source income. A SSN or an ITIN is not required.

    Form   1040-NR

    Declaring your US source income and determining how much taxes     you owe on that income.


    Mandatory for all nonresidents with US source income. Requires     a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer   Identification   Number (ITIN).

    Form   1040NR-EZ

    Simplified version of the 1040-NR. Most international students     can use this form.


    Requires a SSN or ITIN.

    Form W-7*

    Application for an ITIN.

    Yes; see below.

    You do not need to submit this form if you already have an ITIN or a SSN.

    *If you’re submitting Form W-7, you must also submit proof of identity and foreign status:

    • Photo copy of  your Passport
    • Photocopy of your visa
    • Photocopy of your I-20
    • Admission or scholarship award letter

    Step 4: What information do I need to fill out these forms?

    You will need the following documents to properly fill out your tax forms. Copies of each of these forms must be sent with your federal tax returns. Please keep in mind that not all tax service centers offer assistance to non-residents.







    Your employer reports wages you earned and taxes withheld  from those wages.


    Your bank reports interest earned on your accounts.


    Tuition Statement


    Reports wages paid to you if you already claimed a tax treaty benefit, and  scholarship income that was used for expenses   other than tuition and fees   (such as room and board or travel).

    Step 5: Determine if you owe anything.

    Once all the forms have been filled out properly, you will know if you owe taxes or if the government owes you a refund. If you need to pay, the best option is to enclose a check with your tax documents, because you will have to file by mail (see step 7).

    Step 6: Double-check the documents to make sure they are correct.

    Before finally mailing off your documents, make sure the following items are correct on all the forms:

    • Your name and either SSN or ITIN appears on every page (unless you are applying for an      ITIN, and therefore don’t have one yet).
    • Your mailing address is correct on every form so you can receive your refund check.
    • Double-check the math on every form.

    Step 7: Mail your forms to the appropriate address.

    Nonresidents are not allowed to file electronically. Therefore, you must mail hardcopy documents to the correct address. It is important to send the files to the correct address; otherwise, you risk being fined for filing a late return. Remember the deadlines!


    Forms to be Filed






    ONLY Form 8843

    Department of the Treasury
     Internal Revenue Service Center
    Austin, Texas

    June 15th, 2018

    Forms 8843 and 1040-NR, and others if appropriate (NOT   filing a W-7, NOT enclosing a payment)

    Department of the Treasury
     Internal Revenue Service Center
    Austin, Texas

    April 17th, 2018

    Forms 8843 and 1040-NR WITH PAYMENT ENCLOSED

    Internal Revenue Service
    P.O. Box 1303
    Charlotte, North Carolina

    April 17th, 2018

    Form W-7, along with all required tax return  forms,   including payment

    Internal Revenue Service
    ITIN Operation
    P.O. Box 149342
    Austin, Texas 78714

    April 17th, 2018

    Step 8: Keep a copy of all the documents for your own record.


    It is recommended that you keep tax documents for at least seven years in case the IRS makes a claim.

    Source: https://www.internationalstudent.com/tax/