Maintaining F-1 Status

Maintaining status is the responsibility of the student. You must take care during your stay in the U.S. to maintain lawful F-1 status as failure to do so can have serious short-term and long-term consequences.

When you sign your immigration documents and enter the United States, you are indicating:

  • You agree to comply with the terms and conditions of your admission and any extensions of stay.
  • All information provided on your immigration documents is true and correct to the best of your knowledge.
  • You seek to enter or remain in the United States temporarily solely for the purpose of completing the program at the institution indicated on your immigration documents.

Important Things to Remember

  • Maintain a valid passport at all times. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months into the future.
  • Keep Form I-20 current. Do not let it expire. Make sure all the information on your I-20 is accurate and valid. Obtain a new I-20 whenever any information has changed.
  • Apply for an extension if you cannot complete your program before the completion date on your I-20. No extension is allowed past the expiration date of the I-20. You will have to apply for reinstatement with the Department of Homeland Security if you stay beyond the expiration date without an extension granted on time.
  • Obtain a travel endorsement on your I-20 from the Office of International Students and Scholars (ISSS) before traveling. The endorsement for travel must be obtained during the current semester. It is not necessary if you are returning home permanently.
  • Report a change of address within 10 days of the change by updating your address and submit your AR-11 to the address indicated on the form.
  • Make sure your I-94 card is always marked "F-1" and "D/S". It is much harder to correct errors once you leave the immigration inspection site (airport). If your I-94 card contains errors, immediately contact ISSS.
  • Report any life event that may affect your immigration status such as birth of a child, marriage, change of legal name or divorce.
  • NEVER work off-campus unless you have current work authorization from an ISSS advisor or DHS (Department of Homeland Security).
  • Report your program completion so that ISSS may close your SEVIS record.
  • Do not engage in criminal activity.