OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SERVICES
Human Resource Building, Room 52
One University Plaza, MS HRB 52
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407
Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
MAINTAINING F1-VISA STATUS
It is very important for all non-immigrants to maintain their status for the full time that they are in the United States. Maintaining your status means that you are following all the rules. If you fail to follow the rules, even once, you may be considered by the U. S. government to be out of status. Failure to maintain status may result in loss of all benefits and possible removal from the United States (deportation) under government regulations. Maintaining status is the responsibility of the non-immigrant, not of the school or its officials.
These are the requirements for maintaining your status according to your visa category:
- Report to the Office of International Student Services to have your SEVIS record Registered in a timely fashion: no later than 30 days after the Program start date (new students in Initial SEVIS status); and each semester thereafter, no later than 30 days after each next Session start date (continuing students).
- For the first entry for initial school attendance, the school listed on the visa and on the I-20 must be the same, and that is the school that the student must attend (unless accepted by and transferred to another school within 30 days of entry).
- Pursue a “full course of study” at the school listed on the currently valid Form I-20 during every academic session or semester except during official school breaks, or unless approved under a specific exception, in advance, by the Office of International Student Services. A full course of study for undergraduate students is at least 12 hours per semester. For graduate students the full course of study consists of 8 to 12 hours (depending upon the program of study and whether the student is participating in either a Graduate Assistantship or a Graduate Public Service Internship). English Language Program students must take all courses offered at their level.
- Make normal progress towards completing the course of study, by completing studies before the expiration of the program completion date on Form I-20.
- Keep Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures for extension of stay.
- Keep Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures for change in educational levels or programs of study.
- Keep Form I-20 valid by following proper procedures for transfer of schools.
- Abide by the F-1 grace period rules.
- Report a change of address to the Office of International Student Services within 10 days of the change, so that SEVIS can be updated.
- Abide by rules requiring disclosure of information and prohibition on criminal activity.
- Abide by any special requirements, such as Special Registration requirements.
- Not work, either on or off-campus, unless specifically authorized under the regulations. Part-time, on-campus employment is authorized for all undergraduate and graduate F-1 students during the school year. Full-time, on-campus employment is authorized during breaks.
If you fall out of status in spite of fulfilling all the above requirements, have not been out of status for more than 5 months, do not have a record of repeated violations, are currently pursuing or will pursue in the next available term a full course of study, have not engaged in unauthorized employment, are not deportable on any other grounds, and have clear and compelling evidence that this was due to circumstances beyond your control, it may be possible for you to apply for reinstatement of status. If you believe that all of these are true in your case, please contact the Office of International Student Services immediately.
MAKING AN APPOINTMENT
In most situations where international students and scholars need the assistance of an advisor, the staff urges that you first schedule an appointment rather than just appear unexpectedly. Often, advisors already have meetings scheduled in advance with others, and if no one is available to assist you, you may experience a long wait or you may have to make an appointment to return at a later time.
If you are coming to submit a request or application, please be advised that you will find almost all of the necessary materials on our Information and Forms page. For most of your needs, you should review the web site and download the necessary forms before meeting with an advisor because they explain the process and list all the required documents students/scholars must bring in order to submit their application or request.
You may not need to schedule an appointment to submit requests for such things as the issuance or revalidation of an I-20 or DS-2019. If, however, you wish to add a dependent to your I-20 or DS-2019, to file for Practical Training, or to request other actions that may require advising or close review of your documents, please call ahead to schedule an appointment with your advisor.
Always review carefully the web site to insure that you are bringing all of the necessary documentation to support your request or application. In almost all circumstances, this will mean at least bringing your passport, I-94 card, and Form I-20 or DS-2019.
Appointments may be made by calling or emailing our office.
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