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Maintaining Legal Status

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1) Attend the school you are authorized to attend by USCIS. (You are authorized to attend the school whose name appears on your I-20.)

2) Provide OIP and USCIS with an updated local address within 10 days of any change.

3) Maintain registration as a full-time student throughout every fall and spring semester

  • undergraduate students: 12 credit hours
  • graduate students: 9 credits 
NO STUDENT may drop below the required number of credits in fall and spring except under extremely limited circumstances that must be authorized in advance by the international student advisor!  

Summer is considered your annual vacation, unless you are beginning your studies in summer, otherwise you are not required to enroll for classes during the summer session.

4) Ensure that you do not drop below the minimum face-to-face registration requirements every fall and spring semester

  • undergraduate students 9 credit hours 
  • graduate students 6 credit hours 
Students beginning studies in the summer term (undergraduate and graduate) must be enrolled in at least 3 face-to-face credit hours. Too many online classes will result in termination of your SEVIS record.

5) Keep your “Certificate of Eligibility” (I-20) correct and valid at all times and apply for extensions of stay at least one month before the document expires; see an advisor for a new I-20 if any information changes.

6) Maintain a valid passport throughout your stay in the US; your passport must be valid for six months into the future and you must bring updated passports to OIP immediately so that we can report the new information to immigration when required.

7) Complete necessary “immigration transfer procedures” when changing from one school to another in the US.

You must meet with the international advisor before you can transfer to a new school.

Ensure that you never enroll in more than one online class as part of your full-time enrollment.

8)  Inform OIP and then do one of the following within 60 days of completion of the program of study:

  •   Leave the US
  •  Get a new Certificate of Eligibility” (I-20) for a new program or school and enroll in the next possible semester (consult the advisor for details)
  •  Apply for a change of status to another immigration status with the USCIS
  •  Request OPT (if eligible).  Your application must be received by the USCIS before you graduate.

1) WORK OFF CAMPUS unless you have the necessary written authorization from the international advisor in advance.

consult the international advisor for details – for F1 students the work authorizationmust be written on page 3 of  your I-20

2) WORK ON CAMPUS more than 20 hours per week while school is in session;

3) Take a leave of absence, withdraw from classes, or drop below the required number of credits without FIRST checking with an international advisor in OIP

authorization will appear on page 3 of your I-20 as well as your SEVIS record

Students who terminate their program or otherwise fall out of legal status before completing or requesting prior permission from the OIP do not have a 60-day grace period to leave the US and  must leave immediately!

4) Drop below full-time status requirements for the fall and spring semesters

  • undergraduate 12 credit hours, 9 of which MUST be face-to-face 
  • graduate 9 credit hours, 6 of which MUST be face-to-face