Maintain F-1 Eligibility

Read the following rules very carefully. Following these regulations will help you maintain your legal F-1 visa status and avoid any future difficulties.

Keep documents current

Keep your passport valid at all times. Contact your Embassy in the U.S. to request renewal at least six months before it expire.

Also, review the I-20 on a regular basis and notify the International Student Office immediately about any changes in your major, degree level, or financial support. Also notify International Programs about any name changes, errors, or misspellings on the I-20.

Carry full courseload

Register for at least 12 credits of courses each spring and fall semester.  Of this courseload, only 3 credits per semester can be online classes. If it becomes necessary for you to take less than a full courseload because of academic difficulties, illness, or other medical reason, you must speak with an academic advisor before dropping below the 12-credits requirement.

Update your address

If you move to another address, you must notify International Student Office within 10 days of the move. The change will be effected in SEVIS.

Travel

Be sure before you leave the United States that the F-1 visa is valid. If your visa has expired, you will have to apply for a new one overseas before you will be able to re-enter the U.S. Also be sure to have your I-20 endorsed for travel by International Student Office. Travel outside the U.S.

Employment

You are permitted to work on campus part time (no more than 20 hours a week) during the semester and full time during vacation periods. Off-campus employment is prohibited without prior authorization. See employment guidelines.

I-20 end date & extensions

You must complete your degree by the date listed on your I-20 or apply for an extension through UCIS at least 30-60 days before your completion date. See I-20 extension information.

Regain F-1 status

If you fail to maintain your F-1 visa eligibility, you may apply to regain your F-1 visa status through UCIS. Submit your application for reinstatement within five months of the status violation.