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Please reach out to the International Student Center by calling us at 918.495.7448, emailing us at ISC@oru.edu, or by stopping by our office.  


During the International Student Orientation, the ISC will provide you with practical information such as visas, D2L training, mentoring opportunities, and culture shock. This is an effort to help you acclimate to community living at ORU. The event is mandatory, and it takes place at the beginning of each semester.

Ready to get started? Download or print the checklist below to guide your next steps. 

New International Student Checklist

International Student Resource Guide


On-campus work study opportunities are available for international students, or learn about working in the United States after graduation.

Work Study Information CPT Form OPT Form


The following is for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax, financial or legal advice. Please consult your own tax or financial advisor with any questions.

Who must file a U.S. income tax return (Federal and State)?

Generally, anyone who receives income must file a federal and state income tax return between January and April 15th of the following tax year.

  • Nonresident aliens (a nonresident alien is an individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national) for U.S. tax purposes are taxed on income that is considered U.S. source.
  • Resident aliens (a resident alien is a person who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national and who meets either the “green card” or “substantial presence” test for the calendar year, January 1-December 31) are taxed on their worldwide income the same as U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
  • ORU partners with SprinTax to help file non-residential taxes.
  • You can create an account and file your taxes online here: SprinTax
  • Check your email for an ORU international student discount code, that will cover the cost of filing your federal tax return. 
What tax reporting documents will I receive from Oral Roberts University and when?
  • Type of income: Nonresident alien Resident alien
  • Employment W-2 (if you worked for ORU, you can access this document in Vision/Employee Services)
  • OPT Employment W-2
  • IRS Form W-2 is mailed by ORU to employees by January 31st

* 1040 and 1040NR Tax forms are available at the local Post Office or www.irs.gov

For more information on filing taxes as an International Student, please visit:


You are eligible to drive a motor vehicle while residing in the United States. However, if you wish to operate a vehicle you must successfully apply for and receive a driver’s license. Driving a car without a driver’s license is illegal. To acquire a driver’s license, you must apply for one at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

These steps include:
  • Waiting 10 days after arriving in the United States to apply for a driver's license so that your Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record,” information can update in all the government systems.
  • Obtaining a Social Security number (SSN), if required by your state or territory.
  • Visiting and submitting the proper documentation to the DMV.

The DMV may need to verify your nonimmigrant student status to determine if you are eligible for a driver’s license. To verify your status, the DMV may use the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program. To find out more about this program, please visit the Checking Your SAVE Case Status page: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students/study/save-case-check.

Required Documentation

When you apply for a driver's license at your local DMV, make sure to bring original copies of the following documents:

  • All signed versions of your Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”
  • A valid passport and your most recent student visa (Please note that you do not need a visa if you are from a visa-exempt country, such as Canada or Bermuda).
  • Proof of residence. This varies from state to state and you should check your local DMV’s website to ensure you understand what is needed to fulfill this requirement.
  • If your state requires it, an SSN card or a Form SSA-L676, “Refusal to Process SSN Application.”
  • If you are on optional practical training, bring your Form I-766, “Employment Authorization Document.” The DMV will use the A number on this card to verify your status.

After a successful application process, a DMV official will explain the next steps for attaining your driver’s license. It is normal for some nonimmigrants to only get temporary licenses. In addition, you may receive the license immediately or you may have to wait several weeks, depending on the state.


  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit that gives F-1 students 12 months of "temporary employment for practical training directly related to the student’s major area of study.”
  • There are two types of OPT available to F-1 students: (1) Pre-completion OPT and (2) Post-completion OPT. It is highly recommended to use Port-completion OPT, which begins after completion of your degree program.
  • OPT does not require a job offer. An F-1 student may be eligible for a new 12-month period after completing a new degree program at a higher education level.
  • The Office of International Student Relations (ISR) recommends F-1 students for OPT, and the U.S. Government (USCIS) approves OPT applications. OPT is a benefit, not an entitlement, therefore a recommendation from the ISR Office does not guarantee USCIS approval.

OPT elgibility requirements 

OPT is available to F-1 students who:

  •  Have been lawfully enrolled in a full-time student status for at least one academic year in the United States. 
  • Are currently active in their F-1 student status.
  • Are physically present in the United States during the time of their OPT application.
  • Have not used more than 12 months of full-time CPT.
  • Apply within the allowed time period for their OPT.


  •  You can apply for OPT as early as 90 days prior to your expected program completion date on your Form I-20.
  •  USCIS must receive your application within 30 days of when a DSO recommends you for OPT on your Form I-20.
  •  USCIS must receive your complete OPT application no more than 60 days after your program end date.


To apply for OPT you must follow these steps which involve YOU, your academic department or college, the ISR Office, and ISCUS. The OPT application to USCIS is your own personal application that YOU alone are responsible for filing timely, correctly, and with full documentation.

Steps to apply for OPT

  • Attend OPT Workshop through the ISR Office at ORU.
  • Prepare OPT application materials.
  • Complete the OPT Request Form with ISR Office, including OPT start date, academic advisor letter, and upload of all application materials for review.
  • Receive updated I-20 with DSO recommendation via email from ISR Office.
  • Create your USCIS account and file your OPT application (I-765 online form) within 30 days of DSO recommendation.
  • USCIS Adjudicates your OPT Application
  • If approved, you will receive an approval notice and your EAD work authorization card.
  • Begin work.
  • Update SEVP Portal with employment information.

Maintaining F-1 Status on OPT

After you begin OPT, the ISR Office will still monitor your SEVIS status, and students must still work to maintain their F-1 visa status. It is the student’s responsibility to report information related to their post-completion employment and to continue to maintain their F-1 status while on OPT.

An SEVP portal will be available to students once approved for OPT and after they receive their EAD cards. The SEVP portal will be where you update your employment information and maintain your updated personal contact information.

You will receive an email to set up your SEVP portal account from USCIS to your email address in the SEVIS system. It is important you create your SEVP portal account within 14 days after your OPT approval date.

Videos and Tutorial Resources

As a disclaimer, these videos and tutorial resources are for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. If you require personalized legal advice, please consult a licensed and experienced immigration attorney.


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