Maintaining Status

Maintaining status is the responsibility of each student and scholar. As a student or visiting scholar, you must maintain lawful F-1 or J-1 status during your time in the U.S. because if you do not, then you could have serious short-term and long-term consequences.  When you sign your I-20  or DS-2019 and enter the United States, you are indicating that:

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

Important Reminders

  • Maintain a valid passport at all times. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months into the future.
  • Keep Form I-20 or DS-2019 current. Do not let it expire. Make sure all the information on your form is accurate and valid. Obtain a new Form whenever any information has changed.
  • Be enrolled full-time during the academic year unless you have permission from ISSS.  Full-time enrollment normally means 12 credit hours for undergraduate students and 9 credit hours for graduate students.
  • Apply for an extension if you cannot complete your program before the completion date on your I-20 or DS-2019. No extension is allowed past the expiration date on the form.
  • Make certain that you have a valid travel endorsement on your I-20 (valid for one year) or DS-2019 (valid for 6 months) from the Center for Global Engagement 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 in BearWeb within 10 days of the change by updating your address and contacting our office to let us know that you have moved.
  • Make sure your I-94 is always marked F-1 for those with F visas and J-1 for those with J visas.  It should also be marked as "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 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.

Additional Requirements for J-1 Students

  • Maintain required health insurance coverage
  • Observe the 30-Day Grace Period for J-1 Visas - You are allowed to remain in the U.S. for an additional 30 days after your Program End Date on your DS-2019. However, if you leave the U.S. during the Grace Period, you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. in J-1 status.