Maintaining F1 Status

In order to be eligible for F-1 status benefits such as Optional Practical Training (OPT), on-campus employment, program transfer, change of status, etc; you must maintain your immigration status. The key to maintaining status is PLAN AHEAD be aware of important end dates and read emails from the International Services Office.  In order to maintain your status, you must:

1. Maintain a full course of study: as defined by your program. No more than one 3 credit hour online class or distance learning class per semester towards your full-time enrollment. We monitor your enrollment to make sure you are in compliance throughout the semester.

2. Refrain from unauthorized employment and do not work more than 20 hours per week in your on-campus employment position.  All off-campus employment during your program of study must first receive permission from the International Services Office.  You will need to contact Mayra Garcia (Mayra or Stephanie Hernandez ( for approval *BEFORE* you begin employment.

3. Have your I-20 signed by International Services Office  *BEFORE* you travel outside the US.

4. Attend the school you are authorized to attend on your I-20. You must follow both USCIS and university transfer procedures to attend a new school.

5. Complete your program by the anticipated completion date on your I-20. If you cannot finish your program requirements by your I-20 completion date, follow extension procedures with International Services Office I-20 *BEFORE* the end date listed on your I-20.

6. Receive a new I-20 when transferring from one level to another or from one degree to another at the same university.

7. Have a valid, unexpired passport at least 6 months into the future.  Passports can be renewed at your countries embassy in the U.S.  You need to make sure you have a valid passport *BEFORE* you apply for OPT.

8. Notify the International Services Office and the Office of the Registrar of any change in residence or mailing address within 10 days of the change.  Keep your MyHSC updated with your current address and phone number.

If at any time you have questions, contact International Services Office. Any change could have serious consequences on your immigration status.