Maintaining F-1 Status
Know the Rules and Regulations
As an F-1 international student you must understand the immigration rules and regulations that affect your stay in the U.S. The Designated School Officials can guide you with the rules, procedures and regulations. If you violate the F-1 regulations, you put your legal status in jeopardy and could possibly be deported.
Maintenance of Status
To maintain F-1 status, students must:
- Attend the school they are authorized to attend. This is indicated on the stamp in the upper-right corner of the I-20 or the school that has processed a transfer with the USCIS.
- Maintain a full course of study (12 hours for undergraduates and 8 hours for graduates) and make normal progress towards the completion of the course of study.
- Keep your passport valid at least six months into the future.
- Apply for extensions of program before the expiration date on the current I-20.
- Follow the USCIS procedures for changing from one program or educational level to another.
- Follow USCIS procedures for transferring from one school to another.
- Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours a week while school is in session (full-time on-campus employment is permitted during vacation periods such as summer as long as you were enrolled full-time the term before and intend to be full-time the following term).
- Obtain authorization for off-campus employment. Limit off-campus employment to 20 hours per week while school is in session.
- Report a change of address to the International Office within 10 days of the change.
Exceptions to full Course of Study Requirements
Always schedule an appointment to talk to an International Student Adviser prior to dropping below full-time for any reason. Some exceptions such as initial difficulties with the English language, medical problems, employment, do exist but must be approved in advance.