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International Students

Your source for information about admissions and enrollment.

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Welcome International Students


Welcome to the Alliant international community, where you can study psychology, education, business, hospitality, nursing, forensic behavioral science, and more. This page is designed to help you learn about the university’s academic qualifications, enrollment requirements, programs, and what you need to know when you join us. 

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Prospective Students

Get answers to common questions about living, working, and studying in California, and find the programs that will help you reach your goals. 

Admissions Requirements Study and Work Lifestyle Alliant Ambassadors Talk to Admissions FAQ Dean Dr. Rachna Kumar

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Admitted Students

Find out what you need to do to prepare for working and going to school in the US, both before you leave home and after you arrive. 

PRE-DEPARTURE

FAQ

POST-ARRIVAL

HOUSING STUDENT ORIENTATION STUDENT SERVICES

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Current Students

Congratulations—you made it! Now it’s time to focus on your studies and on getting the most from your life as an international student.

 Why CPT Matters Important Acronyms Preparing for Success How We Help International Students Succeed student resources travel FAQ

 

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FAQ

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What is Curricular Practical Training (CPT)?

Curricular Practical Training refers to various work/study options that are considered an integral part of the curriculum and can include opportunities such as internships, cooperative education, and required internships or practicums connected to your fields of study.

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What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) refers to temporary employment that directly corresponds to the major field of study pursued by an F-1 student. Students who meet the criteria can apply to obtain employment authorization for a maximum of 12 months, either prior to completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion). It's important to note that any duration of pre-completion OPT will be subtracted from the total period of post-completion OPT available to the student.

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What is STEM OPT?

Certain F-1 students who have completed their studies in STEM fields, such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, have the chance to extend their post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) period for an additional 24 months. This extension is available to those who possess a job offer from a U.S. employer or an acceptance letter from a college, enabling them to continue their stay in the United States following the completion of their STEM degree program.

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What's the difference between part-time and full-time CPT?

Part-Time: When you are enrolled in classes and work for 20 hours or less per week, it falls under the category of part-time Curricular Practical Training. Consequently, the authorization on your I-20 form should clearly indicate permission for part-time training, and it is crucial to ensure that your work hours do not exceed 20 hours per week.

Full-Time: Engaging in employment exceeding 20 hours per week is classified as full-time Curricular Practical Training, and accordingly, the employment authorization noted on your I-20 form should explicitly state permission for full-time training. There is no set duration limit for participating in full-time Curricular Practical Training. However, if you engage in it for twelve months or longer, you will become ineligible for any form of Optional Practical Training, including post-completion practical training.

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Will I have to pay US taxes while pursuing my education?

The IRS typically categorizes most F-1 students as nonresident aliens. As a nonresident alien, you will be required to complete Form 1040-NR, the federal tax return form, to report your federal income and taxes. Even if you do not earn any income during your stay in the United States, it is still necessary to file Form 8843 with the IRS before the April deadline. Depending on the state in which you reside, you may also have an obligation to file a state tax return.

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Do CPT (Curricular Practical Training) students need to pay any type of tax on their income?

Yes, F-1 visa students engaged in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) are not eligible for exemption from federal taxes. The majority of F-1 students are classified as nonresident aliens in the United States, necessitating the filing of a U.S. tax return (Form 1040-NR) to report income derived from U.S. sources.

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Do F-1 students pay taxes on OPT (Optional Practical Training)?

If you receive income from Optional Practical Training (OPT), it is necessary for you to fulfill your tax obligations by paying taxes. Additionally, when commencing employment, you are required to complete a W-4 tax form with your new employer.

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What is considered income?

Income can come in many forms, including:

  • Wages and compensation
  • Salaries
  • Tips
  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Some scholarships/fellowship grants
  • Prizes/awards

     
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What forms must international student fill out?

For international students holding an F-1 visa and without any income from the United States, it may be sufficient to complete only Form 8843. However, if you are an international student who has earned income, it is likely that you have already filled out your W-4 or 1099 when you began your employment.

In addition to that, prior to filing your taxes, it will be necessary to fill out a 1040-NR form, wherein you provide the IRS with precise details regarding the amount you owe and the amount eligible for refund or credit. 

 

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What forms can international students expect to receive?

  • W-2 (wage and tax statement): Individuals who were employed in the United States during the prior year will receive this document. The Form W-2 displays the portion of taxes that were deducted from their earnings throughout the year. This form is essential for filing both federal and state taxes. As per IRS regulations, employers are obligated to furnish the W-2 no later than the conclusion of January each year.
  • Form 1042-S (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding): Nonresident individuals for tax purposes who received taxable scholarships, stipends, or fellowships, as well as those who received wage/salary payments exempt from federal tax withholding under a tax treaty, will receive this form. If you fall under these categories, the university will provide you with the Form 1042-S. It is important to note that the IRS typically requires employers to furnish the W-2 by mid-March each year.
  • Form 1095-B (Health Coverage): This form is used to report the details of your health insurance coverage, including information about covered dependents and to confirm that the plan meets the minimum requirements for qualifying health insurance coverage. Nonresidents for tax purposes are not required to pay attention to this form.

     
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How does an international student file a tax return?

If you have received income sourced from the United States within the given calendar year, it will be necessary for you to submit Form 8843 and, in most cases, Form 1040NR to fulfill your tax obligations.

As part of the tax return process, you will be obligated to provide various personal details, including your name, current address, and either your Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), along with other general personal information.

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Where can international students file their taxes?

Student can file their taxes online or mail it to the Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service in whichever state you were in. 

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Do international students get a tax refund?

Yes, many students can claim tax refunds from the US.

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What resources can I refer to for travel information?

 

Below are some travel resources that you can refer to when planning to pursue your educational program:

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