Current International Students
Maintaining F-1 Student Status
As an F-1 student, you are admitted into the United States for “Duration of Status” (D/S is found on the I-94). This means you are permitted to stay in the United States as long as you maintain your status by fulfilling the requirements of being an F-1 student. You can lose your legal status if you do not comply with immigration laws regulating your stay in the United States. A violation of your student status may require reinstatement.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Regulations you must follow:
- Passport – Maintain a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from passport requirements.
- School Attendance – Attend the University that Immigration and Custom Enforcement has authorized you to attend (I-20 Form). You must attend school every fall and spring semester while in the United States under F-1 status. Summers are optional unless you start your degree program in a summer session.
- Full Course of Study – Register, maintain and complete a full course of study during the fall and spring semesters (12 hours-undergraduate; 9 hours-graduate).
- Program Extension – Apply for an extension of your program if you cannot complete your degree by the ending date listed on item 5 of your I-20. The extension must be granted prior to the expiration date on your I-20.
- New I-20 – Obtain a new I-20 whenever you make a change in degree levels or major.
- Employment – All employment must be approved by the designated school official (international student advisor) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On-campus employment is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session.
- Travel – When traveling outside of the United States request a travel endorsement on your I-20 from international student advisor – before leaving the United States.
- Change of Address/Name – Report a change of address to your international student advisor on a AR-11 form within 10 days of the change.
- Co-Enrollment & School Transfer – Co-enrollment and school transfers must be approved by the International Student Advisor. Prior approval is required.
- Reduce Course Load – Permission to drop below a full course of study requires prior approval from the International Student Advisor. Prior approval is required.
- Distance Learning Classes – No more than one class or three credit hours per semester may be counted toward the full course of study requirement, if the class is taken through distance learning.
The student should notify his/her current international student advisor that he/she is interested in transferring to another school. The student should discuss a release date for the SEVIS file. The SEVIS file has to be released to the transfer school in order to be issued an I-20.
Traveling Outside the United States
International students traveling outside of the United State should review all immigration documents prior to departure. Valid documents will be required for reentry into the United States.
Passport – The passport should be valid or the student will need to apply for a passport prior to attempting to reenter the United States.
Visa – The visa should be current and the visa stamp should state the current immigration category that the student is studying under, such as F-1. Students traveling on expired visas will need to visit the embassy and apply for a new visa prior to attempting to reenter the United States. Students who have a change of status approved and are traveling outside the United States will need to apply for a student visa prior to attempting to reenter the U.S.
Form I-20 – Page 3 of the I-20 must be endorsed for travel in order to reenter the United States. Once the I-20 is endorsed, the signature is good for one year.
I-94 Document (Arrival & Departure Record) – The student should always travel with their most current I-94 document.