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International Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I was admitted 2 weeks ago, why haven't I received my I-20 yet?
A: You should have received the congratulations email with the acceptance letter and the affidavit of support form
within a week. It would ask for the financial documents. Your I-20 will be issued after you submit qualifying financial
support documents. Please also allow five business days for processing time for the I-20.

Q: Do I need to sign the new I-20 I just received?
A: Yes, the US government requires that you sign your I-20 before your F-1 visa application. Before you sign it,
however, please double-check all the information listed on your I-20 first page very carefully. Your signature means
that you’ve confirmed the accuracy of your information on your I-20. Please also make sure to read through the third
page of your I-20, it contains the “Instructions to Students” issued by the US government for all F-1 students to abide

Q: I don’t see any of my personal information on the 3rd page of my new I-20. Do I need to do anything about the 3rd
page of my new I-20?
A: The 3rd page of your I-20 are the terms and conditions you are agreeing to when you sign your I-20. This page has
very important information regarding your status and policies which you must abide by including visa application,
employment, extensions, transfers, and re-entry.

Q: I found a mistake on my new I-20, what should I do?
A: If a mistake was found on your I-20 please contact The updated correct I-20 will be
sent to you electronically through email within three business days.

Q: The major in my I-20 is not the same as my Letter of Acceptance, please correct.
A: In SEVIS, there are a limited number of majors. The system tries to match the best description to the one at the

Q: My passport only has my first name (and no family name), but why does my I-20 show my first name as my family
A: US SEVIS system (Student & Exchange Visitor Information System) does not allow the family name to be left
blank. Therefore, the university has to move your first name to show your family on the I-20.

Q: I have received the I-20. I would like to know when is the deadline date for the Dog Days International Orientation
Registration (Fall 2024)
A: The Dog Days International Orientation Registration shows your intent to study at Fresno State, and help the
university to better project and prepare your arrival. Please register your Dog Days International Orientation as soon
as you decide that you will join Fresno State for Fall 2024. The deadline for registering it would be August 16, 2024.

Q: Can I create my Fresno State Email account after I arrive in the US?
A: No, you should create your Fresno State email account as soon as you receive your admission letter. The university
sends you very important information regularly through your Fresno State email account to prepare for your
successful study at Fresno State. You should create your Fresno State email and check the emails in that email box at
least twice a week after the account is created to receive information in a timely manner. To create the account,
please use this link. Please note that your Fresno State student portal and email use the same login information
(same username and password)

Q: Can I create my Fresno State Student Portal account after I arrive in the US?
A: No, you should create your Fresno State Student Portal account as soon as you receive your admission letter. Your
Fresno State student portal is the center of most of your activities, such as class enrollment, tuition fee payment, dog
days international orientation enrollment, Aleks test (for undergraduate students), etc. To create the account, please
use this link. Please note that your Fresno State student portal and email use the same login information (same
username and password)

Q: Can I enroll in Dog Days International Orientation after I arrive in the US?
A: No, you should enroll in Dog Days International Orientation after you decide to join Fresno State. It's proof of your
intent to study at Fresno State. It’s the first required step for you to take to join the University after being admitted.
Visit the Dog Days International Orientation website for instructions and information.

Q: I have received my Fresno State SEVIS record I-20 form, can I apply for an F-1 visa now?
A: Yes, once you receive a Fresno State I-20 form, you will know your SEVIS ID number (on the left top of your I-20
form, where it says “SEVIS ID: N00****”). You can proceed to the F-1 student visa application process with the US
embassy. You may apply for an F-1 visa as early as 365 days before the program start date shown on the I-20 form
(you can find it in the middle part of the I-20's first page)

Q: What are the steps to apply for an F-1 visa after I receive my Fresno State F-1 I-20?
A: Step 1: Pay the US government-required I-901 fee through this link for your newly received F-1 20
Step 2: Identify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that your city is closest to for your F-1 visa application
Step 3: Visit the website of the embassy or consulate you will visit, and follow the instructions on the site to 1)
Complete your online DS-160 visa application form, 2) Pay your F-1 visa application fee, 3) Get a list of all required
documents you must bring, and Schedule your visa interview appointment

Q: Is there any way I can know how many days I need to wait to get an F-1 visa appointment with the US embassy?
A: Yes, use this US government link, and type the city name of the US embassy that you will apply for an F-1 visa in.
The approximate waiting days will be available for your view.

Q: Do you have any tips that you can share with me on how to conduct a successful F-1 student visa interview?
A: Yes, besides various tips you may encounter for a successful F-1 visa interview, there are 10 points you want to
remember when applying for a student visa. Please review the information on this link carefully for more details. You
will find the instructions on Study in the States website helpful as well; see this link.

Q: My visa appointment is scheduled late. I may not be able to arrive at Fresno State before the semester starts. What
can I do?
A: To start your study with a good beginning and set important foundations for success, it's important for new
students to not miss crucial moments such as new student welcome week bounding time as well as the important
orientation day, let alone the first week of lecture. Students should not miss important class information and can be
dropped from classes if they don’t show up for the first 2 weeks of classes. If you don’t show up for the first two
weeks of class, you will miss the important class information and you can be dropped from classes. university policy
requires that students arrive before the semester start date that is listed on your I-20. If you want to study at Fresno
State, here are your options:
1) Interview for the visa as soon as possible and arrive at the Fresno State campus before the program start date on
your I-20. If you have a late visa appointment, you may see if you could request a visa expedited service with your US
embassy to have an earlier visa interview day.
Suggestions for action items are below:
   a. Enroll in new semester classes: This could show the visa officer that you are serious about studying at Fresno
   b. Enroll Dog Days International Orientation: This serves as our "intent to enroll" at Fresno State
   Note: If you are denied a visa, or you can't come to Fresno State on the start date of your I-20, you would either 1)
need to DROP ALL YOUR CLASSES before the start date of your I-20, to avoid financial charge.

or 2) If you can't come to the Fresno State campus program start date on your I-20, enroll in online classes to begin
your course studies in your home country and do a visa interview at a later date, if you haven't gotten your visa yet.
Then plan on beginning your in-person studies in the US studies in the following semester. Suggestions for action
items are below:
   a. Enroll in online General Education (anywhere from one class to four classes) which you can complete in your
home country.
   b. Notify International Admissions at of your plan: We can issue an I-20 with a
following semester entry date.
   c. Schedule a mock interview, if you haven't got your visa approval yet and would like to practice for a visa interview.

or 3) If you can't come to Fresno State campus by the program start date on I-20, and don't want to enroll in online
classes for this new semester, reapply for admission for the following semester and arrive in the US in the following
semester to begin in-person study. This would require a new admission application. For any Admission related
questions, please contact them at International Admissions at

Q: Does Fresno State offer any assistance for committed students with students’ F-1 visa interviews?
A: Yes, Fresno State provides Visa Interview Practice services to new international students who are committed to
attending Fresno State. To receive Visa Interview Practice, new students will need to first show commitment to
attending Fresno State by completing the following:
    1.   Secure your visa appointment with the US embassy and have a visa appointment notice at hand
    2.   Created your Fresno State email account
    3.   Registered for Dog Days International Orientation
    4.   Paid the $70 Dog Days International Orientation fee

Please then follow the steps below to request your visa interview practice appointment:

STEP 1: Create your Fresno State account. Please follow the instructions to create your account at or follow the prompts at

STEP 2: Log in your Fresno State email account to complete the Visa Interview Practice Request form.
Helpful tip: If the Visa Interview Practice Request form shows that you "need permission" to access the form,
then please login using a different internet browser, such as Safari, Edge, or Firefox.

STEP 3: Please wait 2-3 business days for our office to process your request. If approved, you will receive a
calendar invite to your Fresno State email account with the Zoom link.


Q: Does the university have any recommendations for an off-campus apartment?
A: No, the university does not provide any recommendations for off-campus apartments. It's the student's
responsibility to evaluate and choose the off-campus housing of their own choice. The university provides a limited
list of off-campus apartments that are close to the university campus to ease your searching process and is for your
informal information only. These apartments are NOT affiliated with Fresno State, therefore, the university is not
reliable if there are any issues between you and your rental host. The information on this sheet may be constantly
changed by the rental apartments without informing the university. Please contact the apartment directly for
up-to-date and formal confirmation. Please see the link for the off-campus housing options.

Q: Where can I choose to live while studying at Fresno State?
A: There are several options available for students to live either on campus or off campus. If you prefer to live on
campus, you can apply for student housing. Alternatively, there are several off-campus apartments that you can
consider such as Palazzo at Campus Point, University Village, The Victor, Bulldog Village, Avery, University Place,
Parkwood Apartments, University Plaza, Copper Beech Townhomes, Maple Wood, North Park, Topanga Ridge, Bullard
Gardens, Cedar Commons, and Arbor Collection.

Q: What are the benefits of living on campus?
A: Living on campus offers several benefits. Firstly, students can save time and have more opportunities to study as
the location is very convenient and near campus resources. The library, Resnick Student Union, and the University
Student Union are all just a few minutes' walk away. Additionally, 24-hour computer labs with printers are available for
students to use. Students also have access to the swimming pool, billiard boards, darts, bean bag toss, football game
tables, and a fully-equipped gym. Meals are provided in the all-you-can-eat University Dining Hall, so students don't
need to worry about cooking food. However, for those who want to cook, a kitchen is provided. Lastly, numerous
events are held in the dorms, giving students an excellent opportunity to socialize and make friends. Please see link
for on campus housing application detailed instructions.

Q: What is the “Student Portal To Do list”? Do I need to do anything about it?
A: Yes, you need to complete everything on the “To Do List” because those are your reminders. Things on your list
affect your visa status or graduation requirements, so a “To Do List” is important. However, sometimes it takes a
while to reflect on the system even if you complete them. Just make sure you have done everything on your “To Do

Q: I’m a graduate (Master's level) student, do I need to take the Aleks Math test?
A: No, Aleks Math Exam is a requirement for undergraduate students to determine their math class, so graduate
students don’t have to take it.

Q: I’m a first-time undergraduate (Bachelor level) student, do I need to take the Aleks Math test?
A: Yes, you must take the Aleks Math Exam because your test result will determine your GE math class.

Q: I’m a transfer undergraduate (Bachelor level) student, do I need to take the Aleks Math test?
A: Yes / No. Mostly you don’t have to take the Aleks Math Exam if you are a transfer student. However, if you haven’t
completed math class in another school, you have to take it. It depends on your transcripts.

Q: Do I have to complete the Aleks test independently?
A: YES, you must complete the Aleks test independently all by yourself to reflect your actual math ability. The test will
be proctored. Your score will not be entered unless you show a picture ID when prompted and have a camera turned

Q: Can my friend sit by me and tell me the answer while I take the Aleks test?
A: No, the Aleks test must be completed by yourself and within your own knowledge and skills during the Aleks test.
You must not have your friend or someone else sit in the same testing room, and ask for help or answers. If caught,
your score will be voided, and you may be reported to the student conduct office for reasons of plagiarism.

Q: Can I retake my Aleks test if I didn’t do well in the precious Aleks test?
A: Yes, you can. Actually, you can take as many as 5 times on the Aleks test. The university will pick the highest score
amongst the 5 Aleks test time. You must wait for 48 hours in between 2 Aleks tests though.

Q: How do I know which level of class I would be placed in, based on my Aleks test score.
A: Please see the information below:

  • If your score is 76 or higher on ALEKS PPL, you are eligible to enroll in MATH 75.
  • If your score is between 66 and 75 on ALEKS PPL, you are eligible to enroll in MATH 75A.
  • If your score is 51 or higher on ALEKS PPL and a Biology major, you are eligible to enroll in MATH 70.
  • If your score is between 40 and 65 in ALEKS PPL, you are recommended/advised to enroll in MATH 6
  • If your score is 39 or lower on ALEKS PPL, you may want to consider enrolling in MATH 3L (for category III
    and IV) and/or MATH 5 (Trigonometry). Use the ALEKS pie chart to determine which class is better after
    consultation with your advisor.

Q: For complete Aleks test information, please go through this webpage very carefully.

Q: What kind of college sports are available in Fresno?
A: If you wish to join the sports clubs check this link Fresno Club Sports.

Q: Who do I contact if I want to know more about it or sign up for it?
A: There are contact list on each of the sports clubs for more information.

Q: Is it safe to live in Fresno? How can I stay safe?
A: Fresno State as a campus is very safe since there is a police department on campus available and working 24/7,
moreover, there are safety escorts that can accompany persons to their destinations on campus 24/7. Fresno is a
safe place to live, but like every other place, you should always take precautions. To navigate Fresno safely, it is
recommended that you avoid walking to destinations as much as possible if you don’t know the area you are going to,
avoid less populated areas after dark, use reliable transportation methods, and be aware of your surroundings.

Q: What’s the weather like living in Fresno?
A: In the summer, it gets very hot, like 90-110F. It gets cold in winter like 30-40F, but rarely snows. It tends to rain much
more often in winter, and rarely to see rain in summer time.

Q: I like hiking, where can I go hiking in my free time if I study at Fresno State?
A: The best places to hike near Fresno are Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Q: Is it convenient to do grocery shopping while living in Fresno?
A: Yes, there are many options for grocery shopping in Fresno/Clovis. This includes stores such as Target, Walmart,
Costco, Trader Joe's, and Save Mart which are all in close proximity to the Fresno State campus. There are also
numerous farmers' markets where you can buy fresh produce grown in Fresno, the agricultural capital of the world.

Q: Is there an international food market or grocery store in Fresno?
A: There are a couple of international markets in Fresno such as, “International Market,” and “Papaya Fresh
International Marketplace.” Furthermore, there are many different cuisine restaurants around Fresno, including Indian,
Mediterranean, Chinese, South Korean, Mexican, etc.

Q: What do international students usually do over the weekend?
A: One of the best things about attending Fresno State is that it is geographically located in the center of California.
Students can visit places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Yosemite on the weekends. Fresno also has many
athletic events which students can attend including Basketball, Softball, Football, Water Polo, and Volleyball. There
are also various markets and malls in the Fresno area where students can spend their weekends.

Q: I’m traveling to the US for the new semester, are there any personal items that you highly recommend me to bring?
A: Your phone, your laptop, cash or/and debit/ credit card, clothes, and your personnel essentials. And most
importantly, don’t forget your documents (I-20, passport, visa, acceptance letter, etc). And if there are rare items you
think might be difficult to find in the US, only found in your home country.

Q: Are there any student clubs on campus?
A: Yes, visit this website to explore the student clubs offered at Fresno State.

Q: Can international students work in the United States?
A: Yes, you can under certain terms and after receiving the employment authorization through the International Office.
Generally speaking, during the first year, international students are only allowed to work at on-campus jobs. After
enrollment of 1 year full-time classes, students can apply for CPT which allows for students to work off-campus as
long as it relates to their major. During the academic calendar, students can only work 20 hours per week. More
detailed information will be provided during new student orientation and the International office workshops.

Q: How can I get my Social Security Number (SSN)?
A: If you are applying for an SSN, you will first need to find a job, then you need to come to the International Office and
receive your work permit. After you receive your work permit as your employment authorization, you can go to the
Social Security office to apply for SSN.

Q: Where can I find an on-campus job?
A: All on-campus student positions are posted through the Career Development Center, on a website called
HireFresnoState. All students have access to HireFresnoState on their Fresno State student portal. The Career
Development Center provides all aspects of services to students such as job opportunities finding, resume building,
interview skill training, professional clothing providing etc.

Q: Can I work without employment authorization from the International Office?
A: No, you must receive authorization from the International Office to work. ALL employment needs to be authorized
by the International Office before you can start your employment, whether it's on-campus or off-campus.

Q: How can I get an on-campus employment work permit?
A: After you receive an on campus job offer letter, you can visit the international website or come to the international

Q: How many International Students find on-campus jobs at Fresno State?
A: The number may change semester by semester. For now, approximately 1 out of 7 international students find on
campus jobs at Fresno State.

Q: How much do international students get paid working on campus?
A: Most all-campus jobs rate start at $16.0 per hour which is the current minimum wage.

Q: How many hours can international students work on campus per week?
A: You may work for a total of 20 hours or below per week during the Fall and Spring semesters, and more than 20
hours per week on campus jobs when it's winter or summer breaks

Q: What can I do if I have difficulty finding an on-campus job?
A: Visit the Career Development Center on weekdays in person in the University Student Union Room 306 for help
with your resume, cover letter, and HireFresnoState using, job opportunities locating, etc.

Q: How can I work off/outside of campus?
A: A Fresno State International student must be in active/legal F-1 status for one full academic year before he or she
is eligible to apply for off campus job. There are usually 2 types of off campus employment CPT and OPT.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is an employment option available to F-1 students before program completion
where employment is considered to be an integral part of the curriculum or academic program. According to the
immigration regulations, this employment must be major related and may be an internship, cooperative education
job, a practicum, or any other work experience that is either required for your degree (as defined in the course catalog)
or for an internship related class. Authorization for CPT is granted by the International Office and takes 5 business
days to obtain. CPT workshops are available throughout the semester.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an opportunity for students to work 12 months in their major related job
positions, after program completion at Fresno State. Students may apply 90 days prior to completion of their course
work or 60 days before the program completion date on their I-20. It is possible to use some of your OPT during your
course of study, but it is not advisable. Authorization for OPT is granted by the USCIS, and can take at least 90 days
and frequently up to 120 days to obtain. OPT workshops are available throughout the semester.

Q: Is it mandatory for me to purchase Fresno State approved health insurance?
A: Yes, as a condition of your enrollment at Fresno State you must purchase the Fresno State-approved health
insurance policy when enrolling and residing in the US. For additional information regarding health insurance
requirements, please visit

Q: What are the Health Insurance coverage dates?
A: If enrolled, health insurance coverage is from August 9, 2024 – January 8, 2025

Q: What does the health insurance cover?
A: Refer to this link to learn about what is covered by the GEO Blue Health Insurance:

Please note that your Health Insurance does not cover dental, vision, spouse, or dependents. For VOLUNTARY
self-enrollment options click on this link.

Q: How can I get dental or vision insurance?
A: As stated on our website, your Student Health Insurance does not cover dental, vision, spouse, or dependents. If
you are interested in purchasing dental insurance, then I recommend that you search for options online. You can
Google dental insurance plans in Fresno, California. Depending on what you are looking for, you may find it easier to
find a dentist in your local area first and ask them for a quote for the service you are seeking. If you’d like to purchase
dental or vision insurance through the insurance that partners with Fresno State, please see this link.

Q: How much will the health insurance cost?
A Cost varies by semester based on the dates of coverage.
$977.14 charge will appear on your bill for Fall 2024."

Q: Who must file tax forms for the 2023 tax season?
A: Even if you did not earn any income, if you were physically in the US on F or J status anytime between 1 January –
31 December 2023, you're obligated to file a Form 8843 with the IRS (the Internal Revenue Service, or ‘IRS’, are the US
tax authorities).

Q: Where do I file?
A: For US nonresident (meaning you’ve been in the US for less than 5 years) tax return students will sprintax please
visit the link for more information

Q: Tax Filing Deadline?
A: April 15, 2024, is the last day for residents and nonresidents who earned US income to file Federal tax returns for
the 2022 tax year.