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How to Maintain Your F-1 Student Status

An F-1 non-immigrant student studying here in the US must:

  • Be registered as a full-time student – Undergraduate (12 credits); Graduate (6 credits); SACM-sponsored Graduate (9 credits). 
    • Any below full-time registration must be approved by an academic advisor and ISS BEFORE dropping or withdrawing from a class.
    • A SEVIS record may be terminated if the student drops below full-time registration without approval. 
    • Only one online course can count toward a full-time enrollment each term. Ex. 9 credits of on-campus class and 3 credits of online class meets the full-time enrollment requirement 
  • Immediately report any change to address, name, immigration status, or off-campus work to ISS so that their SEVIS record can be updated. 
  • Follow the F-1 federal regulations about employment. This means only working on-campus 20 hours/week during the academic year and 40 hours/week during breaks.
    • Off-campus CPT and OPT require prior approval in SEVIS BEFORE the student may start working.
  • Keep current immigration documents including passport valid for 6 months into the future and valid I-20 with correct dates. 
    • Contact an F-1 advisor (DSO) at ISS for an extension to the program dates on an I-20. 
  • Receive a new travel signature from an F1 advisor (DSO) at ISS BEFORE traveling. The travel signature is valid for 1 year but can be updated every 6 months. 
  • File US tax paperwork each April even without any earned income (i.e. I have not worked) in the US. 
  • Have a valid health insurance plan for the entire time as a student. A list of insurance companies is available in the student portal on CSP Connect or from ISS. 
  • Pay all tuition, fees, loans, and other bills on their student account. If you do not pay, a hold may be placed on your account.