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F-1 Regulations & Requirements

Maintaining F-1 Status

F-1 nonimmigrant students who follow the rules governing their stay are maintaining status. Status ends at the end of the authorized period of stay, abandonment of the nonimmigrant’s authorized status, or when the nonimmigrant violates a rule governing status. F-1 students can consult with a Designated School Official (DSO), international advisor, at the International Office for many reasons but should always follow the following guidelines to maintain status:

  • Enroll in a full course of study at the beginning of every fall or spring session (excluding authorized break periods); full-time in summer is only required for students who's first semester starts in summer.
  • Consult with DSO before dropping below a full course of study for any reason (see Reduced Course Load)
  • Report address changes to DSO within 10 days of the change (see Change of Address Update)
  • Seek the approval of the DSO before engaging in Curricular Practice Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Report any changes in program of study (change of major, adding a minor/concentration, etc.)
  • Report any change in academic status (i.e. probation or suspension)
  • Traveling outside the US (bring your I-20 to the International Office for a travel signature)
  • Applying for change of nonimmigrant status (Change of Status to a non F-1 status)
  • Notify their DSO upon approval of an adjustment of status to an immigrant
  • Request a program extension (before I-20 end date)
  • Request a SEVIS transfer to a new SEVIS-certified institution (see SEVIS Transfer-out)

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