Rights & Responsibilities

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It is important to become familiar with your legal rights and responsibilities in the U.S. since norms can vary between cultures. All persons in the United States, including foreign nationals, have certain basic rights that must be respected by authorities, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and local police.

Yale Policies

As a member of the Yale community, you are expected to abide by Yale Policies. Familiarize yourself with these policies, as well as the student code of conduct in your school, to avoid academic, and potentially legal, repercussions. Even innocent violations of the law could have serious consequences for your immigration status. Get to know the Yale's policies governing intellectual property and plagiarism, copyright infringement, the consumption of alcoholic beverages, drug use, sexual harassment, and domestic disputes.

Your Non-Immigrant Status

Each non-immigrant status (F-1, J-1, H-1B, etc.) have certain rights and obligations. Familiarize yourself with these requirements by viewing the 'Maintaining Status' page for your visa status on this website - links to these pages are available to the right (or below on mobile devices) .

Tax Filing Requirements

All international students and scholars are required to file a U.S. tax return. If you receive U.S. source income, including wages, stipend, or scholarship funds, you will have a tax liability for that income. More information on tax filing requirements.

Know Your Rights in the U.S.

Non-immigrants (including F, J, H-1B, O-1 visa holders) do have certain constitutional rights in the U.S. when confronted by local or federal authorities. Any member of the Yale community may contact OISS to speak to an adviser about a specific interaction with local or federal government, or general concerns about rights as a non-citizen. There are a number of resources available, and some of them in several different languages.

American Civil Liberties Union

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has a well-developed site discussing the rights of all who are present in the U.S. Again this information is not intended as legal advice, but is for informational purposes only.

What to do if you are stopped by police, immigration agents, or the FBI

American Immigration Lawyer Association

Know Your Rights (in English, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese)