Maintaining Legal F-1 Status

Maintaining Legal F-1 Status

According to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, you are fully responsible for abiding by the rules of your F-1 student status. Gallaudet University’s 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 to ensure that you remain in F-1 student status.

Gallaudet University is required by federal law to report in SEVIS regarding whether or not you are fulfilling the rules of your F-1 status.

The rules and responsibilities are as follows:

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 ISSS before you withdraw or stop attending any classes. 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 enrolled part time before you drop, withdraw from, or stop attending any classes.
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 (40 hours) during official school breaks. This includes work you do for an assistantship. In order to work off campus, you must get permission from ISSS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Never work without authorization.

4.      Complete your program of study no later than the date specified on your Form I-20.
If you don't think you will be able to finish your program by the date on your Form I-20, 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. college, university, or other school, you must notify 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 this program before you complete your current program of study.

7.      Do not remain in the U.S. for more than 60 days except under certain circumstances.
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-Optional Practical Training with USCIS, requested a SEVIS School Transfer, or obtained a new Form I-20 to begin studies at 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 ISSS within 10 days of making the change.

3.      Get an updated Form I-20 if any information changes.
Notify ISSS 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 to return to the U.S.
When you want to travel outside the U.S., you need a travel endorsement from the ISSS for the current semester in order to re-enter the country. 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.