|Maintaining Your F-1 Status|
As an F-1 visa holder, it is your responsibility to know, understand and comply with the immigration regulations. Failure to comply with any of the following will mean that you will be jeopardizing your status. OISSS will be more than happy to answer any of your questions/concerns regarding the following:
Enroll and complete a full course load for student.
For undergraduates: 12 credit hours; for graduates: nine credit hours.
If at any time you feel like you may have to drop a course, you are advised to see an international student advisor before taking any action. Students beginning in the summer semester are required to take six credit hours, which is considered full time, regardless of educational level.
Off-campus employment must be authorized and noted on your I-20.
Per immigration regulations, F-1 visa holders are required to complete one academic year in good status in order to be eligible for off-campus employment. The job you obtain must be directly related to your degree program and authorized by your academic advisor before it is reviewed by OISSS. Even one day of work without authorization from an international student advisor is considered a direct violation.
On the other hand, on-campus work does not require specific authorization, but you must maintain your full-time student status. On-campus work is limited to no more than 20 hours per week during the fall and spring and may be full time, 40 hours per week, during school breaks, such as summer.
OISSS will have a specific workshop every semester to discuss the various off-campus employment opportunities for F-1 visa holders.
Maintain a valid passport.
Your passport should be valid for at least six months into the future. OISSS will be able to assist you with the process of renewing your passport.
Know when your I-20 expires. It is very important to know the end date of your I-20 and to have it extended before it expires. You and your academic advisor must complete and submit an I-20 Extension Form to our office. Per immigration regulations, there must be a valid academic reason to extend the end date of your I-20 in order for us to process it.
Only attend the school listed on your I-20.
If you are a transfer student, it is imperative that you receive a UST I-20 from OISSS in order to maintain your status. You may not continue to use your previous school’s I-20 for any reason.
Obtain a travel signature on your I-20 before you leave the U.S.
Report your change of address within 10 days.
OISSS advises you to have your I-20 endorsed at least two weeks before your departure date. Be sure your passport and visa are both valid.
Any change of residence, including the same apartment complex, but different apartment, must be reported. We also advise that you update the Office of Registrar with your new address.