Maintaining Status

Maintaining status means F-1 students are following the regulations set forth by the U.S. government in order to keep their legal immigration status active. 

It is critical that all F-1 students stay in active legal status. If an F-1 student falls out of status, they will no longer have legal immigration status. If this happens, they could have serious problems with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and could compromise their ability to obtain another visa or enter the U.S. in the future. It is important to note that if F-1 students do not maintain their status, they will not receive employment authorization. 

Adrian College DSOs can provide guidance on how to maintain F-1 status; however, knowing and following all F-1 visa regulations is the responsibility of the student. 

It is important for students to check their Adrian College email regularly. If they do not, they could miss communications that are vital to maintaining their F-1 status.

Ways to Maintain F-1 Status

1. Maintain an Updated/Valid I-20

F-1 students should always be aware of information listed on their I-20. The I-20 must be endorsed each academic year, regardless of whether the student intends to travel. 

F-1 students must keep the following information updated at all times:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • School address
  • Major
  • Program end date
  • Financial information
  • Dependent information

Changes in any of the above information MUST be reported to the PDSO/DSOs within 10 days of the change. A new I-20 will be issued showing the change.

2. Enroll at Full-Time Status

To stay in active F-1 visa status, students must enroll in a full course load. For undergraduate students at Adrian College, this is 12 undergraduate credit hours. For graduate students at Adrian College, this is 9 graduate credit hours. 

3. Only Work with Authorization

F-1 students must obtain either PDSO/DSO and/or USCIS authorization before they begin working. They also must work no more than 20 hours per week while school is in session. 

4. Keep a Valid Passport and Visa

F-1 students need to ensure their passport and visa are valid. If their passport or visa will expire while they are in the U.S., they will need to contact the U.S. Embassy in their home country for instructions on how to renew it. 

5. Abide by Grace Periods

F-1 students have 60 days after the completion of their program or OPT to leave the U.S. 

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