Maintaining your Legal Status

International students need to maintain status while they are in U.S. The following are points that students need to keep in mind :

General Guidelines

  • Do not let your I-20 expire.
  • Keep your passport valid and un-expired at all times.
  • Report to the Office of International Program to have your SEVIS record registered in SEVIS immediately upon your arrival to VU.
  • If you are a transfer student from another U.S. institution, you must complete the transfer procedures within 15 days from the start date of your VU I-20.  You may do so by seeing an International Student Advisor at OIP.  A new I-20 will be issued to you replacing the notation “transfer pending” to “continued attendance” on item #3.
  • If you are transferring to another U.S. institution, you need to inform OIP.
  • Report a new address within 10 days of the change.
  • Never work off-campus without authorization from our office and USCIS.
  • Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours during the semester.  On-campus employment includes assistantship, working for VU departments, bookstores, cafeteria, etc.  On-campus employment means your employer is VU and your pay check must be issued by VU.

Course of Study

  • Enroll full-time and pursue a full course of study during fall and spring semesters.
  • Undergraduate: 12 credit hours
  • Graduate:  9 credit hours
  • MBA/MEM: 8 credit hours
  • LLM/SJD: 8 credit hours
  • J.D.: 12 credit hours
  • If for any reason you need to drop below full time, you must see an advisor at the Office of International Programs (OIP) before dropping your class. There are a few exceptions to the full time requirement but it must be approved by an advisor at OIP in advance.
  • Notify OIP if there is a change in your major or level of study.  We will update your I-20 accordingly.
  • Only one online course may be counted towards the full course of study requirement each semester. If there is only one course left to complete the degree requirements, that course may not be an online or distance learning course.

If you violate any of the above, you will be OUT OF STATUS.  You may lose immigration benefits such as CPT, OPT, H1-B and Permanent Residency.  You may be denied a future visa and face deportation.