All international applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions for additional information on the application process. To apply, please visit the LSAC website. All international students must attend law school full-time. The La Verne Law full-time program begins each August.
All international applicants are required to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and submit two letters of recommendation to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS).
Applicants who earned their Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a foreign country, excluding Canada, are required to have transcripts evaluated and/or translated through the JD Credential Assembly Service (JD CAS) of LSDAS. Questions about the JD Credential Assembly Service should be directed to LSAC at (215) 968-1001 or email@example.com.
Upon acceptance to the College of Law, students are required to submit a financial certification form (sponsor letter, bank statement, etc.) to verify available funds (in U.S. dollars) to pay expenses for one full year while studying in the United States.
Applicants in their home country will need to apply for the F-1 visa at the nearest U.S. consulate. Please click here for additional information regarding Student Visas. When applying for the F-1 visa, applicants should provide their letter of admission and financial certification.
Additional information is also available at the University of La Verne’s International and Study Abroad Center (ISAC). For questions on immigration issues please click here.
Test of English as a Foreign Language – TOEFL
Upon review of your application file, you may be required to submit a TOEFL score. The minimum score requirement to be considered for admissions is 600 on the paper based test, 250 on the computer based test, and 100 on the internet based test. For more information on the TOEFL, please visit www.toefl.org or call 1-800-257-9547.
Students who are attending law school on F-1 visas should note the following, and that the regulations for F-1 non-immigrant visa holders are found in 8 CFR 214.2 (f):
1. Designated School Official (DSO): the individual at the school who is authorized to issue I-20s to international students, and is the individual you must communicate with regarding student visa matters, reduction in course load, withdrawal from classes, extension of program of study, transfer to another school, and other similar matters
Philip Hofer, Director of the International and Study Abroad Center and Designated School Official (DSO, as referred to in immigration regulations)
Phone: (909) 593-3511, x4330
2. Employment Authorization Card (EAD): a card that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues to qualified applicants as evidence to show an employer that you are allowed to work for pay in the United States.
3. Full course of study: required to maintain valid F-1 student visa status. It is determined by the DSO. In law school, that means a three year program. The University of La Verne requires 88 credits to graduate. Law students must complete 28-30 credits per year, or 14-15 credits per semester.
4. International and Study Abroad Center (ISAC): part of the Division of Student Affairs of the University of La Verne, provides professional service to international students through information on issues related to immigration, the university, American culture, and living in the United States. The ISAC also provides information to ULV students and faculty on study abroad opportunities. The Web site has helpful information regarding student visas, maintaining your student visa status, information regarding employment, and an international student handbook. Go to www.laverne.edu, to the box marked “Quick Links” at the bottom right side of the web page. Scroll down to I.S.A.C.; or go to www.laverne.edu/isac.
I.S.A.C. (International and Study Abroad Center): Office located at the main campus; southwest corner of Third and B Streets
University of La Verne
1886 Third Street
La Verne, CA 91750
5. Optional Practical Training (OPT): an F-1 student who has been lawfully enrolled on a full time basis for 8-9 months may be authorized for the equivalent of 12 months of practical training in a position that is directly related to his or her major area of study. Optional practical training requires employment authorization. For information on OPT and Curricular Practical Training (CPT), another legally authorized form of employment in the U.S., see http://www.region12.nafsa.org/r12hiringintl.htm.
6. Curricular Practical Training (CPT): an F-1 student who has been lawfully enrolled on a full time basis for 8-9 months may be authorized to work in a position that is related to his/her curriculum. The work must be part of the curricular program of the student and must be authorized by the student’s adviser, the DSO, and the Director of the Career Center. For information on CPT and OPT, another legally authorized form of employment in the U.S., see http://www.region12.nafsa.org/r12hiringintl.htm.
You are responsible for maintaining both your academic standing, as well as your F-1 student status. You should always think of these as parallel tracks. Immigration statutes and regulations change so make sure that you aware of any and all changes. Just as you consult with your academic advisor and/or the Registrar’s Office regarding particular academic issues, you must also consult with the DSO before you take any action, such as withdrawing from classes, working, registering for a reduced course load, among others. Immigration regulations generally require you to seek advance permission from the DSO for such actions. Acting without the prior approval of the DSO may cause you to fall out of F-1 student status. If you also have dependent family members in the U.S. on F-2 visas, maintaining your valid immigration status is extremely important to your family members’ status.
1. Your I-20. The I-20 is an important document. Keep your I-20 in your passport and both in a safe place. If you lose the I-20, immediately contact the International and Study Abroad Center at the main campus in La Verne to obtain a replacement copy. KEEP YOUR I-20 CURRENT. The I-20 indicates the length of your program. Remember that your visa status is dependent both on the length of time you have been given to complete a program AND other factors. One important factor: You must be a full time student (see A.3. Full course of study). A full-time law school program is three years and law students on F-1 visas must be full time. You need your I-20 for the following:
- Travel outside of the U.S. (to be readmitted into the U.S. requires proper endorsement on page 3 by the Designated School Official (DSO);
- Authorization for both on-campus employment and employment through practical training options (OPT and CPT);
- Transfer to another school; and
- Application for a social security card and a driver’s license or identification card.
2. Your passport. Keep your passport valid at all times. If your passport has expired, or will expire within the next six months, you will not be able to travel to your home country and return to the U.S. This is very important in cases of emergency. Your passport can be renewed at the nearest consulate of your country and addresses and phone numbers of many consulates are available at http://www.laalmanac.com/immigration/im01.htm.
3. Visa expiration. Know when your visa expires. Your visa is affixed to your passport and is presented when you are at a port of entry to the U.S. If your visa expires while you are studying, you will need to renew it the next time you return home. Remember that you may remain in the U.S. on an expired F-1 visa, as long as you are a full time student, completing a course of study. To avoid difficulties in re-entering the U.S. DISCUSS ALL TRAVEL PLANS WITH AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ADVISER at ISAC. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO RENEW YOUR VISA WHILE YOU ARE IN THE U.S. YOU MUST RENEW THE VISA AT A U.S. CONSULATE OUTSIDE THE U.S. THE BEST CHOICE IS THE CONSULATE IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY.
4. Before leaving the U.S. Before you leave the U.S., have your I-20 signed and updated by the International Student Office. This is done on page 3 of the I-20.
5. YOU MUST ENROLL IN A FULL PROGRAM OF STUDY. Law students must satisfy 28-30 credits per year, so 14-15 credits per semester.
- FALLING BELOW 14 credits in a semester may constitute failure to maintain full-time student status and must be reported to the Department of Homeland Security through the electronic SEVIS system. However, credits earned during the summer also count as part of the academic year. The academic year begins with the fall session and ends with the summer session. If you wish to register for less than 14 credits due to additional credits satisfied during the summer session, please contact the ISAC office to speak with the DSO.
- It is important to consult with the DSO before you drop a class or take less than a full time course load so that you do not violate the terms of your student visa and fall out of student status. The DSO will help you to determine whether a reduced course load is appropriate.
- During the semester, if you are considering withdrawing from classes, receive a notice of involuntary withdrawal, or other circumstances interfere with your ability to maintain full-time status, contact the ISAC office at the main campus. You may communicate by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have fallen below full-time status and consequently lost your F-1 status, consult with the International Student Office and your faculty adviser.
6. Less than full time. See the following document regarding situations where you may take less than a full time course of study: Click Here
- In particular, the DSO may authorize a reduced course load due to a student’s temporary illness or medical condition. The reduced course load may not exceed an aggregate of 12 months while a student. The student must provide medical documentation from a doctor or clinical psychologist as evidence of the medical condition.
- The DSO may also authorize a reduced course load during the student’s final semester if fewer courses are needed to complete the academic program. Again, you will need permission of your adviser and the DSO before you may take a reduced course load.
7. Reinstatement. One who fails to consult with the DSO before making a decision may violate the terms of the student visa and may fall out of status. When this happens, the student will need to meet with the DSO to determine whether it is possible to be reinstated to F-1 student status. Returning to status may take place by:
- Leaving the U.S. with a new I-20 and returning to the U.S. in status.
- Applying for reinstatement on an application filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, or
- Application for Reinstatement. Reinstatement may be granted if the applicant (i) files the application within five months of falling out of status unless there were exceptional circumstances; (ii) does not have a record of repeated or willful violations of regulations; (iii) intends to pursue a full course of study immediately at the school that issued the I-20; (iv) has not engaged in unauthorized employment; (v) is not deportable (except for the violation of student status); and (vi) shows that the violation of status resulted from circumstances beyond the student’s control or relates to a reduction in the student’s course load that the DSO could have authorized and failure to reinstate would cause extreme hardship to the student.
- College of Law support for reinstatement must be requested by using the general student petition, and filing it with the Registrar’s Office. The petition must document the six factors listed above. If a petition requesting that the school support the student’s application for reinstatement is denied, the student may request reconsideration of the denial, addressing the specified reasons for the denial.
For information on reinstatement of status, see the DSO at the ISAC. A document on reinstatement can be found at click here.
8. Permission to Work. Students on F-1 visas are not allowed to work except under certain circumstances. Please see the DSO and Assistant Dean of Career Services for additional information.
9. Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- It is your responsibility to initiate the application process for optional practical training (OPT). In order to receive OPT, you must have a recommendation from the DSO, have the DSO sign your I-20 indicating the recommendation, and file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There is an application fee for OPT. As of 2008, the filing fee is $340 dollars. You may apply within the 90 days prior to your graduation date, but no later than 60 days after your program end-date. The application must be filed with USCIS within 30 days of the date the DSO recommends OPT. You may not begin working until you have received the employment authorization card, which indicates the validity period. The maximum period of OPT is 12 months.
- You may not be unemployed for more than 90 days while on OPT. If you are unemployed for more than 90 days you must apply for reinstatement of status.
- You must report any change of name or address or interruption of employment to the DSO during the time you have OPT. If you travel during the time you have OPT, you must show both the employment authorization card and the I-20 to reenter the U.S. and proof of your employment (payroll receipts or a letter from the employer).