Your immigration status is just that: yours. Take ownership of this responsibility.
It’s important that you understand your responsibilities as an international student on a nonimmigrant visa. Upon initial arrival to campus, you must check in with the Global Engagement Office (Moody 102) in person so we may register your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 and activate your immigration record. Thereafter, we encourage students to stop by the office or email us to check in at least once per year. Here are a few other basic requirements to maintain your immigration status:
It’s important that you keep proper documentation of your immigration status. Here are the documents you should always have on-hand:
It’s your responsibility to monitor expiration dates on your immigration documents. Take note of the program end date listed on your Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, and the expiration date listed on your visa, and set calendar reminders. Ask GEO how to renew or extend your documents before the expiration date, or you will go out of status.
You are required to be enrolled full time (undergraduate = 12 hrs/semester and graduate = 9 hrs/semester)during the academic year. All students may take a one-semester vacation after two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment, usually enrolled fall/spring with a vacation during the summer.
Exceptions to the full-time enrollment rule may be granted for the following reasons:
All of the above require advanced approval from GEO. If you need to drop below full time, schedule an appointment with a GEO immigration advisor to discuss your options.
Do not begin any type of employment — job, internship, volunteer work or otherwise — without first checking with GEO and receiving authorization. Violating this rule will jeopardize your ability to legally stay in the U.S. and continue your studies. Learn more about employment opportunities available to international students on the work authorization page.
F-1 students have a 60-day grace period to depart the U.S. upon program completion; whereas J-1 students have a 30-day grace period. Other options to extend your stay include, but are not limited to:
Plan ahead and contact GEO if you wish to pursue any of these options.
With immigration, it’s important to remember that many decisions are outside of our control. If a DSO learns you have violated your immigration status in any way, they must take appropriate action, which may include the termination of your Form I-20. Common termination reasons include:
If you go “out of status,” inform GEO immediately to discuss your options for regaining status. We will do everything we can to support you, but please help us by always reading and responding to emails! Most issues can be resolved easily with your cooperation.