Maintaining F-1 Status

It is essential to remember that you must take full responsibility for maintaining your status with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). That is, you are responsible for finding out, knowing, and following pertinent regulations.

Students in F-1 Status must do the following to maintain status:

  • Have a valid, unexpired passport.
    Do you know when your passport expires? Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your entry date into the US.
  • Attend the school that you are authorized to attend.
    If you plan to take classes at another college during the summer breaks make sure to see the international student adviser before registering for classes.
  • Pursue a full course of study or engage in authorized practical training following completion of studies.
    You should be enrolled in 12 undergraduate units (3 courses). If you need to drop below that, you must see the international student adviser for approval.
  • Do not accept employment of any kind, either on or off campus, without written permission from the International Student Office and, if necessary, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    **Please see International Student Adviser before working.
  • Make normal progress towards completing a course of study.
    This means being enrolled in at least 12 undergraduate units (usually in the form of 3 classes), attending regularly, and doing well in them.
  • Have a valid I-20 and apply for timely extensions.
    It is your responsibility to know when your visa and I-20 expire.
    Visa expiration: Please see Todd in the International Student Office (West Hall, Q100), 6 months before your visa expires.
    I-20 expiration: Please see Todd 2 months before your I-20 expires.
  • Have medical insurance at all times.
    While you are on an F-1 Visa, you are required to have medical insurance. You may provide proof of medical insurance from your home country that is valid in the United States
  • Follow transfer procedures
    Once you have completed your studies and any practical training that is authorized, you must leave the U.S., transfer your I-20 to another school, or change to another immigration status within the appropriate time allowed.
    Students in F-1 student immigration status are allowed to stay in the U.S. for 60 days beyond their completion date.
  • If you are planning to travel outside of the United States.
    If a student is planning to make a trip outside the U.S., the student must have the travel page of his/her I-20 form endorsed (signed) by Todd Sasaki, Michael Ballagh, Jamie Francis in the International Programs Office or Eva Peters in the Office of the Registrar at least 2 weeks before you plan to travel.