Explanation of F-1 Student Status
What does it mean to be â€śin statusâ€ť?
The US federal government considers you to be in valid F-1 status if you fulfill all of the conditions of your F-1 visa. The conditions are as follows:
- attend the school whose I-20 you used to enter the US
- maintain the validity of your passport and I-20 form
- maintain good academic standing
- maintain sufficient financial resources to avoid becoming a â€śpublic chargeâ€ť
- enroll each semester as a full-time student
- work no more than 20 hours per week on-campus while classes are in session
- work off-campus only with specific written authorization from ISS or USCIS
- extend your stay in your degree program before the completion date on your I-20
- complete the change of level procedure when changing from one educational degree level to another
- inform the university of your foreign address and US address
When does the US federal government consider me to be â€śout of statusâ€ť?
You are considered to be â€śout of statusâ€ť if you do not fulfill the conditions of your F-1 visa.
What are the consequences of being â€śout of statusâ€ť?
If you are out of status, you lose the following privileges and benefits:
- eligibility for employment, on- and off-campus work
- automatic visa revalidation for trips to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands except Cuba
- extension of program through the notification procedure
- transfer to or from another university in the US through the notification procedure
- change from one educational level to another through the notification procedure
- practical training
- visa stamp may be considered cancelled
If you fall out of status, you may have to depart the US and may not be able to complete your studies.
How do I get back in status?
To get back in status you must do one of two things: apply to the United State Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for reinstatement within the US or leave the US and re-enter with a new I-20. The ability to apply for a reinstatement is extremely limited. For more details, please consult with ISS. You will not be able to obtain a reinstatement if you have been out of status for five months or more, or if you have worked since becoming out of status.
When does my F-1 status end?
Your F-1 status ends either on the date listed in #5 on your I-20, or when you complete the last requirement for your program of study, whichever comes first. If you are considering reducing your enrollment below full-time, withdrawing from your program, or if you may be dropped from your program, please consult an ISS advisor prior to taking these actions as they have serious ramifications on your visa status.
How long can I stay in the US?
You may stay in the US for 60 days after completion of your program. You may not work during those 60 days. If you withdraw from school, you may stay in the US for 15 days only if you have prior approval from ISS. If you do not request approval from ISS to withdraw, you must depart the US as soon as possible.