Maintaining Legal F-1 Status

According to Department of Homeland Security regulations, you are fully responsible for abiding by the rules governing your F-1 student status. International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will try to help you understand these rules but, ultimately, it is up to you to make sure you are in compliance with the Rules and Responsibilities to ensure that you remain in F-1 Student Status. These rules and responsibilities are explained below:

Rules of F-1 Status

  1. Always maintain full-time status.
    Enroll for and complete a full course of study every fall and spring semester. If you do not believe you will be able to fulfill this requirement for any reason, contact the ISSS before you withdraw or stop attending class. There are a few limited exceptions to the full-time requirement that you might qualify for if you obtain permission in advance.
  2. Seek permission to be less than full time before you drop, withdraw from, or stop attending a class.
    If you do not believe you will be able to be full time for any reason, contact the ISSS before you drop, withdraw from, or stop attending class. There are a few limited exceptions to the full-time requirement for which you might qualify if you obtain permission in advance.
  3. Only work as authorized.
    F-1 students may work on campus for up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and full time during official school breaks. This includes work you do for an assistantship, if you have one. In order to work off campus, you must get permission from the ISSS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Never work without authorization.
  4. Complete your program of study no later than the completion date specified on your Form I-20.
    You are required to complete your program of study by the completion date on your Form I-20. If you don't think you will be able to complete your program by this date, you must apply for a program extension before reaching the completion date, and get an updated Form 1-20. If you expect to complete your program earlier than the program completion date, you must get an updated Form I-20 with a new date before you complete the program.
  5. Obtain a SEVIS transfer to attend another U.S. school.
    If you plan to attend another U.S. school, college, or university, you must notify the ISSS and be "Transferred Out" in SEVIS before your F-1 status ends.
  6. Obtain a Change of Education Level to begin a new program of study.
    If you have been admitted to a new, additional program of study at Gallaudet University, you must obtain a Form I-20 for the new program before you complete your current program of study.
  7. Obtain a Change of Education Level to begin a new program of study.
    If you have been admitted to a new program of study at Gallaudet University, you must obtain a Form I-20 for your new program before you complete your current program of study.
  8. Do not remain in the U.S. more than 60 days after completing your program of study unless you have applied for Post-Optional Practical Training (OPT), School Transfer, or a Change of Education Level.
    If you have completed your program of study, you must depart the U.S. within 60 days. The exception to this rule is if you have filed an application for Post-OPT with USCIS, requested a SEVIS School Transfer, or obtained a new Form I-20 to begin studies in a new education level or program


Other Responsibilities of F-1 Students

  1. Keep your passport valid.
    Your passport must be valid at all times. If your passport is due to expire in the near future, contact your country's embassy or consulate in the United States to renew it.
  2. Report any address or name change to the ISSS within 10 days of making the change.
  3. Get an updated Form I-20 if any information changes.
    Notify the ISS if there are any changes in the information on your Form I-20, such as name, citizenship, degree level, major or funding, and get an updated I-20.
  4. Get a travel endorsement on your Form I-20 every semester (in April and November) to return the U.S.
    When you want to travel outside the U.S., you need a travel endorsement from the ISSS for the current semester to re-enter. Be sure your request is made at least two weeks in advance of your trip.
  5. File a federal income tax form for every year you are in the U.S., even if you did not receive any income.

I understand that it is my legal responsibility to comply with the rules and responsibilities of my F-1 student status. I also understand that Gallaudet University is required by federal law to report in SEVIS regarding whether or not I am fulfilling the rules of my F-1 status as explained above.

Signature: ________________________________________________Date: ____________________________

Print Name: ________________________________________________________________________________

Personal Email address: ______________________________________________________________________

Note: You will be required to sign a form with this information at the beginning of every semester.