Maintaining your F-1 status

Like all nations, the United States has laws governing foreign students. When you entered the United States, an immigration inspector asked you to read and sign a statement on your Form I-20. Your signature there signifies your agreement to abide by the conditions of F-1 student status while you are in the United States. The Office of International Student Development is here to help you avoid violating your F-1 status.

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Always have a valid passport.
  • Attend the school you were authorized to attend.
  • Always carry a full course of study (at least 12 credits each semester for undergraduate students, or 9 credits for graduate students).
  • Do not work off campus unless you have U.S. Immigration authorization.
  • Do not work for more than 20 hours per week in total while school is in session.  (This includes both on campus and authorized off campus work. See special details for total authorized hours for CPT and Community Assistants (C.A.'s).
  • Leave the United States by the "complete studies not later than" date shown on your Form I-20 (item #5), or, before that date, apply to the Designated School Official (DSO) for a program extension.
  • Report any change of major to the DSO.
  • Report a change of residence to the DSO within 10 days of change.
  • Report any change in your funding to the DSO.
  • Have your I-20 signed for re-entry each time that you leave the United States. 

In addition, the College of Saint Elizabeth has the following requirements for international students:

  • Always report to the Office of International and Multicultural Affairs (IMA) your mailing address and telephone number.
  • Bring you passport, visa, and I-20 to the IMA at the following times:
    • Before you leave the country for any reason
    • At the start of your first semester here
    • Any time there is a change in any of these documents

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to know and follow the regulations that affect you. You can get into legal trouble if you choose to bend, break, or ignore the rules. Please come to the Office of International and Multicultural Affairs with all your questions and concerns regarding U.S. Immigration regulations.