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Maintain Immigration Status

It is extremely important to maintain your immigration status while you are in the United States. Visa holders are responsible for complying with the terms and conditions of their visa status. Also, in order to be eligible for status benefits, such as on-campus employment, travel endorsements, program extensions, practical training, etc., you must maintain your status. Failure to maintain the terms and conditions of your immigration status is grounds for deportation. It is ultimately your responsibility to maintain your status, but your International Student and Scholar Advisor is here to help!

How do I maintain my status?

  • Pursue a full course of study every semester.
    • Undergraduate students: 12 credit hours/semester
    • Graduate students: 9 credit hours/semester
  • Do not drop a class and become less than a full-time student without talking to and receiving prior approval from your international student and scholar advisor.
    • There are very limited circumstances where pursuing less than full-time enrollment is allowed.
  • Make normal progress toward completing your degree before the program end date on your I-20/DS-2019.
  • Notify your international student and scholar advisor if you will complete your program earlier than the end date on your I-20/DS-2019.
  • If you need additional time to complete your program, request and receive approval for a program extension before the program end date on your I-20/DS-2019.
  • Make sure that your documents stay valid! You should always keep a valid and unexpired passport, I-94, and I-20/DS-2019. Passports should be valid for six months into the future at all times.
  • Obtain authorization from your international student advisor before taking a leave of absence or medical leave.
  • Apply for a new I-20/DS-2019 when you change your major or transition degrees.
  • Do not engage in unauthorized employment.
  • Abide by the grace period rules for remaining in the U.S. after your program ends
    • F Visa Holders: 60 days
    • J Visa Holders: 30 days

Tell your advisor if you:

  • move and change your physical/mailing address
  • change your major
  • transition degrees (example: change from Associates to Bachelors)
  • obtain permanent residency
  • change your name
  • are not returning to the university
  • are graduating
  • are doing an internship

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