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Maintaining F-1 Status

713-525-3503
isss@stthom.edu

F-1 Visa Holders

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 regulations will jeopardize your status. OISSS is here to assist you and answer any questions.

  • Enroll and complete a full course load for a student.
    • Undergraduates require 12 credit hours; graduates require nine credit hours. Summer students require six credit hours, regardless of educational level. Before you drop a class, you should meet with an international student advisor.
  • Off-campus employment must be authorized and noted on your I-20.
  • Maintain a valid passport.
    • Your passport must be valid for at least six months into the future.
  • Know when your I-20 expires.
    • If needed, you must extend your I-20 before it expires. You must have a valid academic reason to extend your I-20 and your academic advisor can help you with this process.
  • Obtain a travel signature on your I-20 before you leave the U.S.
    • OISSS advises you have your I-20 endorsed at least two weeks before your departure date.
  • Report a change of address within 10 days.
    • Any change of residence, including the same apartment complex but a different apartment, must be reported. You should also update the Office of the Registrar with your new address.

J-1 Visa Holders

The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) holds you responsible for maintaining your immigration status. If you need any clarifications or guidance, please visit with the Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO).

The most important rules for you to know in order to maintain legal status:

  • Only engage in the activity that is on your DS-2019.
  • Maintain a valid passport; this must be valid for at least six months into the future.
  • Keep your DS-2019 valid. You are responsible for having the end date extended if you do not plan on completing your program in the time allotted.
  • Obtain a travel signature on the travel validation section of your DS-2019 prior to your departure.
  • Please plan to see us at least two weeks before your departure date.
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University of St. Thomas - Houston, TX - Educating Leaders of Faith and Character
University of St. Thomas
The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947.

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