Properly following immigration regulations will ensure that you remain in status. This will enable you to successfully accomplish your academic and professional pursuits while you are in the United States. ISS Advisors are here to help you understand and maintain your status. Here is a list of some of the ways to make sure you maintain your status.
- Pursue a full course of study at Saint Joseph’s University, which usually means always carrying at least 12 credits for undergraduates or at least 9 credits for graduate students in the Fall and Spring semesters. You must get approval in advance from ISS to be enrolled less than full time, and can only do so under very limited circumstances. These circumstances are addressed below in the section called Reduced Course Load
- Do not take more than one online course as part of your full-time load AND during your last semester your last course MUST be in person, not online
- Limit on-campus employment to a maximum of 20 hours per week when school is in session
- Refrain from off-campus employment without prior written authorization from ISS
- Notify ISS of a change in your local address within 10 days of moving so we can update your SEVIS record
- Apply for a new I-20 before changing your academic program from one degree level to another or from one major to another
- Maintain a passport valid at least 6 months into the future
- File U.S. tax forms for each year you are present in the United States, even if you have had no U.S. income
- Apply for an Extension at ISS if the Program End Date on your I-20 is insufficient to complete your degree
- Possess proof of health and accident insurance which includes a medical evacuation and repatriation benefit
- Continue to make adequate academic process each semesterDo one of the following within 60 days of completing your academic program or your post-completion optional practical training:
- Leave the United States
- Gain admission to another academic program and transfer your immigration status with the intention of enrolling in the next available term
- Apply for a change of status to another nonimmigrant status
Failure to Remain In Status
An F-1 student is considered to be “out of status” when, intentionally or not, that student has violated the regulations governing the student status. Once a student is out of status he or she loses F-1 benefits, including all types of work permission.
In order to re-gain valid status a student may do one of two things. Submit an application for a Reinstatement to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) while in the United States or exit the country and re-enter in a new student status with a new I-20 form.