Office of International Students and Scholars

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Maintaining F Status

It is extremely important for an F-1 student to maintain his or her status while in the U.S. Failure to maintain status is a ground for removal from the U.S. (deportation) under I.N.A. Section 237(a)(1)(C)(i).

  • Checklist for maintaining F status
  • Pursue a "full course of study" (12 units for undergraduates and 9 units for graduates) every academic semester except during official school breaks, or unless approved in advance by our office.
  • Report a change of address to our office within 10 days of the change, so that SEVIS can be updated.
  • Apply for an extension of your program if you cannot complete your degree by the ending date listed on page 1, item five on your I-20. You can apply for a program extension at any time.
  • Maintain a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from passport requirements.
  • Work off-campus ONLY if you have first received authorization from our office. Check with the Office of International Students and Scholars prior to commencing on-campus or off-campus work. More information can be found on this website under F-1 Students: Working in the U.S.
  • Obtain a new I-20 whenever you make a change in degree levels or programs of study (your major).
  • Abide by any special requirements, such as Special Registration requirements.
  • Complete an official immigration transfer (must be completed within 15 days of the beginning of classes of your first semester at the new school) whenever you change educational institutions.