All foreign individuals that enter the U.S. are given an immigration status, such as F-1, H-1, or J-1. There are specified benefits and responsibilities connected to each classification. The United States Constitution guarantees certain rights to all individuals who are living within its boarders. While non-immigrants in the US may enjoy the same constitutional protections as citizens do, they are subject to immigration laws that do not apply to citizens.
It is very important that students are aware of their immigration responsibilities and follow them accurately. Consequences of failing to maintain legal status have become increasingly severe. The following guidelines will assist you in maintaining valid student status.
All international students need to:
- Keep your I-20 Form valid at all times (if any information on your I-20 changes, you must notify office)
- Follow all immigration rules and regulations listed on page 2 of your I-20 Form
- Keep your passport valid at all times (if you need to extend your passport, contact the nearest consulate)
- Complete your online SEVIS Registration at the beginning of each semester
- Pursue continuous full-time enrollment (12 credits for undergraduates and 9 credits for graduate students)
- Maintain the required level of health insurance
- Attend only the school indicated on your I-20 Form
- Follow all employment regulations which prohibits off-campus work among other things
- Request a program extension if your I-20 will expire before you complete your program of studies
- Follow required procedures for changing educational levels or transferring schools
You may remain legally in the U.S. as long as you maintain your status and are engaged in a valid full course of study, plus any authorized practical training