Maintaining f-1 status

To maintain your F-1 student status:

1.  Keep passport valid – these can be renewed at your consulate or embassy while you are studying in the USA. 

2.  Attend the school you are authorized to attend on the I-20.

3.  Maintain a full course of study each semester (minimum of 12 credit hours)

4.  Depart from the USA by the end of the grace period after the completion date on your I-20, or apply for a program extension before that date.

5.  Follow correct process to transfer from one education level to another

6.  Limit employment to a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session.

7.  Do not work off campus without prior authorization from the DSO.

8.  Report a change of residence to the DSO within ten days of the change.

Change of Major

Students are issued an I-20 and VISA for a specific course of study at a specific school.

Students may change majors, after visiting with the DSO to obtain a new I-20 which reflects the new program of study.

If the change of major requires an extension of time, this must be requested through USCIS and adjudicated.

Dropping Classes

To prevent an unauthorized drop below a full course load, students should obtain approval from the DSO prior to dropping any classes.

Failing to Maintain Status

A student who fails to maintain the F-1 status is subject to immediate termination.  A terminated student has two options:

1.  Depart from the USA immediately – there is no grace period

2.  Apply for Reinstatement –  This will cost $410.00

Student must maintain full time enrollment while the reinstatement petition is pending.  Student may not work (on or off campus) while the petition is pending.  If the petition is denied, the student must depart from the USA immediately upon notification of reinstatement denial, regardless of the status of the coursework in which he/she is currently enrolled.

Reasons Students Fail to Maintain Status

1.  Dropping below a full course load without prior authorization

2.  Failing to make normal progress toward degree completion

3.  Working without authorization

4.  Failing to observe the required reporting requirements for OPT, CPT, and other  authorized employment.

5.  Changing majors without obtaining a new I-20

6.  Failing to maintain a valid passport