Staying In Status

There are basic requirements for maintaining F-1 status in the United States. If you are an international student it is very important to follow the guidelines below to ensure that you remain in good standing with U.S. Immigration Services (USCIS):

  • Keep your passport valid at all times.
  • Attend the school noted on your I-20.
  • Maintain fulltime enrollment every fall and spring semester.
  • Studies should be completed by the completion-of-studies date on the I-20. However, if more time is needed, obtain a program extension from the Office of International Programs before the completion date has passed. Documents cannot be extended after they expire.
  • Notify the Office of International Programs of any breaks or interruptions in your studies, such as taking a semester absence from Lander University. Breaks in study can impact your ability to apply for immigration benefits in the future.
  • Do not engage in any employment without legal authorization from the Office of International Programs or USCIS.
  • Do not engage in any illegal activities.
  • Report a change of address or phone number to the Office of International Programs.
  • Report other changes directly to the Office of International Programs.
  • If you have changed your major or degree level, request a new I-20 document from the Office of International Programs.

Students must maintain legal status throughout their program while studying under an F-1 visa. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 emphasized the need for students to take responsibility for maintaining F-1 student status.