It is extremely important for an F-1 student to maintain his or her status while in the U.S. Failure to maintain the terms and conditions of your F-1 student visa is a ground for removal from the U.S. (deportation).
To maintain F-1 status, students must:
- Follow procedures for Initial Registration in SEVIS. This is done at the new student orientation which is required of all international students.
- Attend the school that you are authorized to attend (school that has issued your current SEVIS Form I-20).
- Pursue a full course of study (12 credits) for 3 consecutive terms before taking a vacation term.
- Make normal progress towards completing the course of study, by completing studies before the expiration of the program completion date on Form I-20.
- Obtain approval from a DSO prior to dropping below 12 credits. Only one part-time approval is allowed while at PCC. Keep Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures for extension of stay.
- Keep Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures for change in educational levels or programs of study. Keep Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures for transfer of schools.
- Abide by the F-1 grace period rules, including remaining in the U.S. for no longer than 60 days after completing a full course of study, unless prior to completing the course of study the student has followed procedures for applying for practical training, moving educational levels, or school transfer.
- Report a change of address to the DSO within 10 days of the change, so that SEVIS can be updated.
- Abide by rules requiring disclosure of information and prohibition on criminal activity.
- Abide by any special requirements, such as Special Registration requirements.
- Limit on campus work to 20 hours a week while school is in session. Employment can be full-time during official school breaks.
- Do not work off-campus without work authorization. Limit off-campus employment to 20 hours a week while school is in session.
If you have not maintained your F-1 status, see, Reinstatement To F-1 Status After A Status Violation.