Immigration Status Is Your Responsibility!
It is your responsibility to know and follow the laws and regulations under which you may study or stay in the U.S. on a temporary or permanent basis. If you do not follow these requirements you could find yourself in serious difficulty with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), even to the point of having to abandon your studies and leave the U.S.
Passports must be kept valid at all times. Be sure to renew six months in advance of the expiration date. Do not allow your passport to expire. Fees will be billed to you personally. If you are sponsored by an organization or even a congregation, you are still billed personally.
If you have questions about maintaining your F-1 status, please visit the U.S. Department of State Website.
While Studying at CTSFW You Must:
- Attend and pass all your classes. If school is too difficult, speak with your DSO immediately.
- If you believe that you will be unable to complete your program by the end date listed on your Form I-20, talk with your DSO about requesting a possible program extension.
- You must take a full course of study each term. If you cannot study full-time, contact your DSO immediately.
- F-1 students must complete at least one full academic year at CTSFW to be eligible for annual vacation. Additionally, students must intend to register for classes in the academic term following their annual vacation.
Talk With Your DSO First
Your DSO should be the first person you talk with if you have any questions regarding the legal requirements of your stay in the United States. Your DSO can assist in answering your questions or help you find someone who can help.
F-1 students should speak with their DSO if you are planning to do any of the following:
- Change your major, program, or degree level;
- Change your education level;
- Drop a course;
- Transfer to a new school or take a leave of absence;
- Take a break from school;
- Travel outside the United States;
- Move to a new address;
- Request a program extension.
How to Maintain Your Legal Status in the U.S.
The consequences of failing to maintain legal status in the U.S. are becoming increasingly severe. It is relatively easy to stay in status if you observe the following rules:
- Keep your passport valid at all times.
- Attend the school you are authorized to attend, as indicated on your SEVIS I-20.
- Pursue a full course of study (full-time course load) each quarter.
- Maintain registration each quarter until graduation or transfer to a new school.
- Do not work off campus without the required authorization.
- Limit on-campus employment to 10 hours per week when classes are in session.
- Contact your DSO to change your address within 10 days of arrival or changing addresses.
If you have any questions about maintaining your status, please contact the International Studies Office.