Important F-1 Regulations

In order to maintain nonimmigrant status, please follow the regulations listed below: 

1. Report to Yasushi Onodera, Director of International and Multicultural Student Services/Primary Designated School Official (PDSO), for Initial Registration in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) upon arriving at the school and for each subsequent semester. This must be completed within 30 days after the start date of each semester.

2. Pursue a “full course of study” at the school listed on the currently valid I-20 during every academic session or semester except during official school breaks, or unless approved under a specific exception, in advance, by Yasushi Onodera, PDSO. For undergraduate students, you must maintain 12 credit hours. For graduate students, you must maintain 9 credit hours. If you have a graduate assistantship, you are allowed to take 6 credit hours. You must notify me of your graduate assistantship. Do not drop any courses without visiting with the IMSSO prior to dropping below 12 hours or 9 hours respectively.

3. Make normal progress towards completing the course of study, by completing studies before the expiration date on the program completion date on Form I-20.

4. Do not allow your I-20 to expire.

5. Keep I-20 valid by following proper procedures for change in educational levels or programs of study.

6. Keep I-20 valid by following proper procedures for transfer of schools.

7. Abide by the F-1 grace period rules, including remaining in the U.S. for no longer than 60 days after completing a full course of study, unless prior to completing the course of study the student has followed procedures for applying for practical training, moving education levels or school transfer. There is no grace period following an unauthorized withdrawal or termination of studies or status violation.

8. Report a change of residence to the IMSSO within 10 days of the change. You may use an online International Student Information Update Form.

9. Abide by rules requiring disclosure of information and prohibition on criminal activity.

10. Abide by any special requirements, such as Special Registration requirements.

11. Not work, either on or off-campus, unless specifically authorized under the regulations at 8 C.F.R. §214.2(f)(9) or §214.2(f)(10).

12. Abide by the aggregate unemployment rules while on post-completion OPT.

13. Students taking on-line or distance learning courses may only count one of those, 3 credit hours, toward the total required to maintain a full course of study. Other courses must be traditional, campus-based courses. Note: You are not limited to one distance learning course, but no matter how many you take, only 1 (3 credit hours) counts toward a full course of study.

14. Make sure your passport is valid and has not expired.

An F-1 student is admitted to the United States for “duration of status”, defined in the regulations as the period during which the student is “pursuing a full course of study at an educational institution approved by USCIS for attendance by foreign students, or engaging in authorized practical training following completion of studies, plus 60 days to prepare for departure from the United States.  The student is considered to be maintaining status if he or she is making normal progress toward completing a “full” course of study.”  [8CFR 214.2(f)(5)(1)]

Taken from the Advisor’s Manual of Federal Regulations Affecting Foreign Students and Scholars, 2008 Edition, NAFSA:  Association of International Educators.