International Student Services

Degree Seeking Students - Maintaining F-1 Status

What does it mean to be "in status"?
The U.S. federal government considers you to be in valid F-1 status if you fulfill all of the conditions of your F-1 visa. The conditions are:

  • attend the school whose I-20 you used to enter the U.S.
  • maintain the validity of your passport and I-20 form
  • maintain good academic standing enroll each semester as a full-time student
  • work no more than 20 hours per week on-campus while classes are in session
  • work off-campus only with specific write authorization from ISS or USCIS
  • extend your stay in your degree program before the completion date on your I-20
  • complete the change of level procedure when changing from one educational level to another
  • inform the University of your foreign address and keep your U.S. address current with ISS and USCIS 

When would I be considered "out of status"?
You are considered to be "out of status" if you do not fulfill the conditions of your F-1 visa. 

What the consequences of being "out of status"?
If you are out of status, you lose the following privileges and benefits:

  • eligibility for employment, on and off- campus
  • work automatic vise validation for trips to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands except Cuba
  • extension of program through the notification procedure
  • transfer to or from another university in the U.S. through the notification procedure
  • change from one educational level to another though the notification procedure
  • practical training
  • visa stamp may be considered cancelled

How do I get back in status?
To get back in status you must do one of the following things: apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for reinstatement within the U.S. or leave the U.S. and be readmitted with a new I-20. The ability for reinstatement is extremely limited. For more details please consult with ISS. You will not be able to obtain a reinstatement if you have been out of status for five months or more, or if you have worked since being out of status. 

When does my F-1 status end?
Your F-1 status ends either on the dates listed in #5 on your I-20 or when you complete the last requirement for your program of study, whichever comes first. If you are considering reducing your enrollment below full-time, withdrawing from your program, or if you may be dropped from your program, please consult ISS prior to taking these actions as they have serious ramifications on your visa status. 

How long can I stay in the U.S.?
You may stay in the U.S. for 60 days after completion of your program. You may not work during those 60 days. If you withdraw from school, you may stay in the U.S. for 15 days only if you have prior approval from ISS. If you do not request approval from ISS to withdraw, you must depart the U.S. as soon as possible. 

Contact Us

International Student Services
174 Rodli Hall

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