Joining University of Western States means becoming part of a community of students from all over the world.
Please feel free to email [email protected] with any questions about international student requirements or services.
Please refer to the below resources to help you navigate the process for studying in the United States.
- Study in the States – Overview of U.S. requirements for international students.
- US Embassy & Consulates in Canada – Information for Canadian students on requirements to enter the United States to study.
You may also email [email protected] with questions.
Designated School Officials (DSO)
The Designated School Officials (DSOs) will be your primary contact for international student requirements as UWS.
Contact [email protected] with questions.
Prospective students with a degree from a school outside the U.S. or Canada need to have their credentials evaluated by a NACES-affiliated international education evaluation service. A course-by-course evaluation is required. UWS recommends the WES iCAP or Spantran for this service.
TOEFL Score of 80 or Above
Prospective students for whom English is not their native language must provide proof of adequate English language skills. UWS expects a minimum score of 80 on the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT). In places where TOEFL iBT testing is not possible, a paper-based version of the test is available. TOEFL scores may be reported directly to UWS using institutional code number 4979.
Learn more about the admissions process at UWS.
Your F-1 Visa / I-20 Documentation
Student Visa/I-20 Documentation
International students, including Canadian students, must meet U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines to enter the United States under F-1 student status. Once you’ve entered the US and have started as a student you will need to maintain your F-1 visa and I-20 documentation. Visit the office of student success for I-20 travel signatures or to talk with a DSO about any questions you might have. You may also email [email protected] with questions.
All international students are responsible for fulfilling the requirements to maintain F-1 VISA status. Failing to maintain these responsibilities jeopardizes your F-1 student status. Specific consequences may include denial of re-entry to the U.S., denial of requests for practical training, denial of requests to change visa status, deportation or possible denial of all future visa applications.
These requirements include but are not limited to:
- Being enrolled full-time each quarter and attend all classes, except during official breaks (e.g., breaks between quarters and summer quarter when optional). Full-time enrollment at UWS is a minimum of nine (9) credits per quarter.
- Completing studies by the end date indicated on the I-20 document. You must apply in advance for an extension of your I-20 if you will not graduate on time.
- Ensuring I-20s have a valid signature once every 10-12 months
- Maintaining a valid passport.
- Reporting a change of address to a DSO within 10 days of moving.
Visit Study in the Sates to review all necessary steps to maintain your status.
Issuing Your I-20 Document
International students who have been offered acceptance into a UWS on-campus program will receive the I-20 forms from the UWS office of admissions. The I-20 is an official document required for all international students in order to apply for an F-1 student visa and to enter into the United States. These forms need to be completed and returned to UWS via express, regular mail or courier along with evidence of financial support equivalent to the cost of one academic year at UWS. This final cost includes tuition, books, fees, housing and miscellaneous costs.
Proof of financial support may be demonstrated through a combination of any of the following:
- Original bank statement or a letter on bank letterhead.
- Original letter from a bank showing a line of credit.
- Original scholarship award letter.
- National government or provincial aid loan and grant award letters.
- Original bank account statement of a parent or sponsor.*
* Students who show the Proof of Funding through a parent or sponsor must include a completed parent or sponsor form with notarization along with their I-20 application.
Upon receipt of the completed I-20 forms, financial documentation and full acceptance to the program, UWS will issue an I-20 for the student and mail it to their home address.
After the I-20 document is issued, all foreign students applying for F-1 status are required to pay a SEVIS fee of $350 USD and print the receipt. This fee is paid directly to the U.S. government, not UWS. Proof of payment is required before going to the U.S. consulate for a visa interview and is also required when crossing the border into the United States. Please note that Canadian citizens do not need to visit a consulate for an interview or to obtain a student visa.
USCIS regulations allow F-1 students to enter the United States with an issued I-20 document and SEVIS payment receipt within 30 days of the first day of classes.
Financial Aid and Making Payments
International students often receive government-funded loans and grants from their countries of origin and may also utilize educational lines of credit and other alternative sources of loans to cover their educational expenses at UWS.
UWS offers institutional subsidies and scholarships that international students may be eligible for. Learn more about available scholarships and the application requirements here.
Find more information about financial aid eligibility, requirements and available options for international students here.
International students have multiple options to make payments. Find more information here or contact the business office to discuss your specific scenario.
The University of Western States main campus is located in a bustling neighborhood, 15 minutes from downtown Portland and close to public transportation at 8000 NE Tillamook Street. On-campus facilities include a gym, library, coffee shop and the Connected Whole Health clinic. UWS does not offer on-campus housing.
Find more about housing opportunities and Portland neighborhoods on our housing page.
Email [email protected] to request a letter of support for housing.
U.S. financial institutions are required to verify the identity of every individual who opens a bank account. In compliance with federal regulations, all banks operating in the U.S. have established Customer Identification Programs (CIP) for anyone who seeks to open an account. Please contact your bank or the bank where you’d like to open an account for more information about the requirements and documents needed to open an account.
We recommend contacting your bank in your home country to see if they have affiliate or partner banks in the U.S., which may streamline your banking experience.
Email [email protected] to request a letter of support for banking purposes.
All University of Western States students can receive free chiropractic care and discounted health care services including diagnostic imaging, labs and more from the Connected Whole Health Clinic. The International Association of Student Insurance Services (IASIS) can be a useful resource for identifying potential insurance companies.
Canadian students often secure health coverage through each province, and you may wish to talk with your current insurance carrier about a rider. For those seeking coverage outside of current plans, it may be possible to purchase travel insurance through auto insurance plans.
UWS does not require students to carry health insurance and does not provide health insurance to students.
The State of Oregon provides on-demand health care clinics that offer fixed rate services regardless of insurance coverage and some locations offer emergency room services. Refer to the Multnomah county list of primary care locations for additional information.
Driving in the U.S.
A current Canadian driver’s license is valid in the United States. International students from other countries can learn more about obtaining a driver’s license on the Study in the States Driving in the United States webpage.
All drivers must purchase car insurance that meets the requirements of the state where they live while studying at UWS. International students should keep the following documents with them while they drive: a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance listing the insurance company and policy number, and vehicle registration information.
International students under F-1 visa status are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week.
On-campus positions that are open to international students are indicated on the Student Jobs at UWS webpage.
Upon being offered an on-campus position, students will need to apply for a US Social Security Number (SSN). Your new supervisor will work with the office of human resources to initiate the process for you to receive a SSN. It may take up to three months for you to receive your SSN.
University of Western States partners with Sprintax to provide non-resident tax prep software. Sprintax will guide you through the tax preparation process and arrange the necessary documents. As an UWS international student, you will receive an email with the UWS Sprintax access code. If you have not received this email by the end of January, please email [email protected] .
Get started at the UWS Sprintax page. You will be prompted to enter your code to cover the cost federal tax preparation costs after you login and complete the questionnaire.
- 2023 International Student Tax Requirements and Filing Instructions
- Upcoming Sprintax Webinars
- Sprintax YouTube Channel
All international students must file IRS form 8843
U.S. tax forms are required to be filed prior to April 15 each year for the prior calendar year. If students begin studies at UWS in January, but enter the U.S. on F-1 status in December of the prior year, they must fill out form 8843 to ‘exclude days of presence’ so to not be considered U.S. residents for tax purposes. For a printable version of IRS form 8843, please visit the IRS website. Directions for completing the form are located on the last page.
If you have earned income in the U.S. in the last year, you must file a U.S. federal tax return.
The majority of American states also impose a state income tax. The tax imposed by the state is in addition to the tax imposed by the U.S. federal government. International students who have lived in the United States for five years or less will file tax returns with both the U.S. and state of residence as a nonresident. The proper forms for a nonresident have the letters NR at the end of the form number (ex. IRS form 1040NR). The deadline for submission is April 15 each year. Instructions and forms can be found on the Internal Revenue Service website and State of Oregon.
Please see the Internal Revenue Service website for Non-Resident tax instructions and forms.
Canadian students should also complete form TL11A Tuition, Education, and Textbook Amounts Certificate – University Outside Canada.
You may request the form TL11A from the registrar’s office at [email protected]. The registrar will send a SignNow link to complete the required information. As soon as the form is fully completed, you will receive a form TL11A via email.
For more information, visit the Canadian Revenue Agency website.
Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) provides students an opportunity to work in the United States for up to 12 months after graduation. Refer to the Optional Practice Training and STEM OPT Extension webpage for more information.
Licensure exams are administered by the jurisdictional board of examiners associated with your profession. Students should take the appropriate board exam for the location in which they wish to practice after graduation.
Chiropractic Board Exams:
Naturopathic Board Exams: