Office of International Students and Scholars


The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will continue to post updates to this webpage as policies or updates are provided. This information is susceptible to change, with or without notice. If you are unsure of whether or not you are maintaining your status properly, please contact OISS immediately. For additional information regarding enrollment requirements, students can also visit:

  • Maintain a valid passport.
  • Enroll as a full-time student during the academic year (fall and spring semesters) and make normal progress toward your degree. A full course load is 12 credits per semester for undergraduates and 9 credits for graduate students.
  • Update your address, telephone number, and email accounts in Pipeline within 10 days after you move. Your permanent address should be your address outside the U.S. Your SEVIS address is your local address in the U.S. DO NOT touch the mailing address. You must keep a valid permanent and SEVIS address on file.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Permanent address = Foreign address                                                                                                                                                                                                        SEVIS address = U.S address
  • Notify OISS of changes in major or program (e.g. history to political science or bachelor's to master's degree).
  • Request an extension if your program takes longer than the date indicated on your I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Maintain health insurance for yourself and any dependents.
  • Work only with proper authorization. Contact OISS before starting ANY employment.
  • Have your I-20 or DS-2019 signed by OISS before traveling out of the U.S.


On August 9, 2018 USCIS changed their interpretation of "Unlawful presence." Unlawful presence is when there has been a loss of status with no actions to correct it. Loss of status is the direct result of violations for a particular visa. More than ever, it is very important to understand the regulations for your visa. Failing to maintain your status could result in loss of status AND severe immigration consequences including being barred from the U.S. for up to 10 years. For more information regarding the specific details of the changes, we recommend viewing the resources listed below:


Aloha and welcome to Hawai’i Pacific University and the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).  The university is home to more than 600 international students and scholars representing diverse cultures and viewpoints from over 80 countries.  We believe that international students and scholars at HPU are a vital to cross-cultural understanding and our goal is to promote international educational exchange through all our programs and interactions. 

A student’s affiliation with OISS begins immediately after the admission process and continues well beyond graduation. OISS staff can advise international students, scholars and faculty on immigration, cultural, financial, academic and personal concerns, and makes appropriate referrals when necessary.


  • To represent the university to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of State, and other government agencies dealing with international visitors.

  • To provide international students and scholars with advice and documentation necessary to maintain their legal status within the United States.

  • To guide international students and scholars in their adaptation to the American culture and campus life.

  • To maintain university compliance regarding regulations concerning international students and scholars.

Dear HPU International Students and Scholars,

I would like to take this opportunity to address what is currently happening in the United States that is affecting international students and scholars across our nation. 

Most of you are aware that a travel ban was placed on foreign nationals from the countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  We assure you that the Office of International Students and Scholars, along with university administration, will be monitoring, very closely, the news and any changes in immigration law. 

Although this may or may not affect you, we, at OISS, are encouraging all international students and scholars to be extra diligent when travelling outside the United States.   If you plan to travel and return to the United States, please be sure you have a recent travel signature on your I20 or DS2019, be sure your passport is valid for 6 months into the future, and be sure that you carry your immigration documents in your carry on when re-entering the USA.  Following these procedures will help US Customs Officers facilitate your re-entry into the USA.  

The staff at OISS is here to help if you have any questions or concerns about travel or about current immigration laws affecting your visa.  Also, you can always find the most up to date information on our website:   For those of you who may feel overwhelmed or anxious by any of this, HPU’s Office of Counseling and Behavioral Health offers FREE and CONFIDENTIAL counseling services.  To make an appointment call (808) 687-7076 or stop in their office at UB 905.

In addition, OISS is posting on the hashtag #YouAreWelcomeHere, which is being used by universities and colleges across the country, to show support for international students and scholars.  Please follow us on Instagram @hpu_oiss and share your thoughts and photos with this hashtag!

In closing, I would like to remind everyone that HPU welcomes all international students and scholars, regardless of country of origin.  As part of our community you become part of the HPU Ohana.  Our Ohana embraces the values of Pono, Kuleana, and Aloha, meaning we treat everyone with respect and kindness and because of this we have an amazing diverse student body.

Please feel free to reach out to me or the staff of OISS, should you have any questions or concerns.


Warm Mahalo,



Bernard Chong


Office of International Students and Scholars

Hawai’i Pacific University


  • Travel Signature: If you are planning to travel outside of the U.S, make sure that you have a valid travel signature from OISS prior to departure.

  • Reduce Course Load: If next semester is your final semester and you will not be registering as a full-time student, you will need to submit a Reduced Course Load Form for us to approve.

  • Program Extension: If you have decided/need to stay an extra semester to finish your program, please submit a Program Extension Form for us to approve. 

OISS would like to remind everyone that HPU welcomes all international students and scholars, regardless of country of origin. Click below for a full statement from the Director of OISS.

OPT Workshop Dates for Fall 2018

If you are graduating in Fall 2018 and would like to apply for OPT, it is mandatory to attend the OPT Workshop before applying for OPT. OPT application forms are not available on the OISS website and will be given to you when you attend the workshop.




Tuesday, September 4

10:00 - 11:00 am

FS Conference Room, 2nd floor

Wednesday, September 19

10:00 - 11:00 am

Pioneer Plaza (PL11)

Wednesday, October 10

10:00 - 11:00 am

FS Conference Room, 2nd floor

Tuesday, October 23

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Pioneer Plaza (PL14)

Tuesday, November 6

2:00 - 3:00 pm

FS Conference Room, 2nd floor

Wednesday, November 28

10:00 - 11:00 am

Pioneer Plaza (PL11)


Workshops that take place in the FS Conference Room will be a discussion based presentation regarding the timeline, process, and regulations affecting students on OPT. Hard copy application forms will be provided for students to use for notes.

Workshops that take place in PL 11 (Pioneer Plaza) are based in a computer lab. While we will review OPT timeline, process, and regulations, these sessions will provide a more hands-on approach to completing the OPT application, allowing students to type forms with assistance if necessary. Students attending these sessions must confirm they can access on-campus computers.

If you would like to attend a workshop, please send an email to with the following information:

  • Your full legal name
  • HPU student ID number
  • Which semester you intend to complete your degree
  • Date of workshop that you would like to attend

An email confirmation will be sent to you confirming your registration to attend an OPT Workshop has been processed.

Get Started

Learn more about Visa requirements, pre- and post- arrival procedures, and more.

Resources for current students, including immigration information, travel, and more.

Information on legally working in the United States.


International Students are not permitted to enroll in any class during the 8A/8B session

Exceptions for 8A/8B courses will be made for extraordinary circumstances with a clearly stated rationale. For undergraduate students, these exceptions are approved by Academic Advising and Graduate student exceptions are approved by graduate coordinators and faculty advisors.

Immigration regulations limit the number of online courses a student can count towards full time status.  Students are able to register for online classes if they follow the online vs. in-class combo chart below:

*Key: number of online classes - total classes registered



1 – 4

1 – 3

2 – 5

2 – 4

3 – 6

3 – 5

International Students are not permitted to enroll in 8A/8B courses.

Exceptions for online courses will be made for extraordinary circumstances with a clearly stated rationale. For undergraduate students, these exceptions are approved by Academic Advising and Graduate student exceptions are approved by graduate coordinators and faculty advisors.


Immigration regulations require international students in F-1 status to register as a full-time student for fall and spring semester.  Students are required to enroll in a full-time course load throughout the semester.

For immigration purposes, full-time enrollment is defined as (fall and spring semesters):





Twelve (12)

Three (3)


Nine (9)

Three (3)

*Note: International students are able to take classes during summer and winter semester as they choose, considering that they are in current legal status of their respective F-1 or J-1 status.


OPT Video Tutorial

Travel Signature

Working Off Campus