Maintaining F-1 Status
It is extremely important for an F-1 student to maintain his or her status while in the U.S. Below is a summary of what you should and should not do.
Do's and Don'ts
- Attend the school that issued your I-20 form.
- Become familiar with F-1 immigration regulations.
- Register for 12 credits (full time) each term.
- Attend all classes you are registered for.
- Get an approval from International Student Advisor before dropping below 12 credits.
- Report address changes to the Office of International Education within 10 days.
- Limit on-campus employment to maximum of 20 hours per week while school is in session.
- Keep your immigration documents in a safe place.
- Make photocopies of your immigration documents and carry them with you instead of the originals.
- Check the expiration date on your passport and make sure it is valid at least 6 months into the future.
- Check the program end date on your I-20 form (Item 5). You should complete your studies by that date.
- Apply for OPT before the end of your last term at PCC.
- Get a travel signature on your I-20 form before you travel outside of the US.
- Don’t work off campus without work authorization.
- Don’t work on-campus for more than 20 hours a week while school is in session.
- Don’t stop attending classes under any circumstances. Contact your instructor or an International Student Advisor if you are having problems.
- Don’t drop or withdraw from classes without an approval from an International Student Advisor.
- Don’t let your passport expire.
- Don’t let your I-20 form expire. Contact an International Student Advisor for information about extending the program end date on your I-20.
- Don’t travel outside of the US without a travel signature from an International Student Advisor.
- Don’t get immigration advice from your friends. While your immigration situation may appear to you as being the same as your friends, it may not be.