F1 students are responsible for ensuring they are “in status”. It is their responsibility to read the regulations on the second page of the I-20. It is also the student’s responsibility to report any changes to their I-20 to their Designated School Official (DSO).
How to maintain F1 Status?
- You must enroll in, and complete, 12 or more (Grauate students 6 or more) credits in fall and spring semesters.
- You need your DSO’s permission BEFORE you stop attending, withdraw, or drop below full-time.
- You can only work on campus, and under 20 hours per week during the semester.
- You need your DSO’s authorization BEFORE starting an internship.
- You must report any change to your local address within 10 days.
- Inform your DSO of changes to the information on your Form I-20.
- Before you travel, be sure to obtain a travel endorsement (signature) every 6 months, and discuss your travel plans with your DSO.
- Complete your studies no later than the program end date on your Form I-20.
- You have a 60 day grace period after your completion of study, in which you need to either leave the country, apply for OPT, or find a new program.
- You need to obtain a SEVIS transfer BEFORE transferring to another US school.
- Ensure your passport is valid.
- You must have appropriate health insurance for the entire length of your program.
- You have to file a federal income tax form every year you are in the U.S., even if you did not work.