Maintaining Status

Maintaining F-1 status means maintaining compliance with the law. Each F-1 international student bears ultimate responsibility for maintaining status, from initial entry to the United States in F-1 status until final departure. The Office of International Services can advise and assist students, but only if students follow the regulations and request assistance in a timely manner. For detailed information about studying in the United States as an F-1 international student, visit F-1 students must comply with the following requirements in order to maintain lawful status:

  • Report to the Office of International Services within 30 days of the program start date that appears on the I-20 Form.
  • Be registered full-time for at least two semesters each year (except in cases of authorized Reduced Course Loads). Failure to maintain the requisite course load could result in severe consequences.
  • Follow transfer procedures if applicable.
  • Obtain a new I-20 Form for a change in educational level of study.
  • Abide by the F-1 grace period regulations (see below).
  • Report any change of personal or employment information to the Office of International Services within 10 days of the change.
  • Maintain a valid passport.
  • Refrain from engaging in unauthorized employment.
  • Make satisfactory progress in a program of study.
  • Apply for a timely extension of studies if applicable.
  • Depart the United States, transfer programs, or change status in a timely manner.

Grace Period

A student who has completed a program and any authorized post-completion optional practical training has 60 days to depart the United States, transfer programs, or file for a change of status. A student who has been authorized for withdrawal from the College by the Office of International Services has 15 days to depart the United States. A student who is terminated or who withdraws from a program without authorization by the Office of International Services is not granted a grace period and must immediately depart the United States.

Dropping Below Full-Time Studies

F-1 students must obtain prior authorization from the Office of International Services before undertaking to drop below a full-time course load. Failure to obtain such authorization is a violation of the Federal F-1 regulations and will result in the immediate loss of F-1 status and possibly other sanctions.

International Students  ›  Maintaining Status