How to Maintain Visa Status

International students needs to maintain F-1 status when they are in U.S. The following points students need to keep in mind :

  • Do not let your I-20 expire.
  • Keep your passport valid and un-expired at all time.
  • Enroll and complete a full-time course of study during the fall and spring semesters.
    • Undergraduate: 12 credit hours
    • Graduate:
      • 9 credit hours without assistantship (TA/RA)
      • 6 credit hours with assistantship (TA/RA)
    • MBA/MEM: 8 credit hours
    • Law:      LLM/SJD: 8 credit hours        JD: 12 credit hours
  • Only one online course (per semester) may be counted towards the full course of study requirement.
  • If there is only one course left to complete the degree requirement, that course may not be an online or distant learning course.

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 the class. There are a few exceptions to the full time requirement but it must be approved by an advisor at OIP IN ADVANCE.

  • If you plan on dropping ALL the classes or you are not returning to VU the following semester, you must contact an advisor at OIP immediately.
  • 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 you 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 itme #3.
  • If you are transferring to another U.S. institution, you need to inform Office of International Program (OIP).
  • Notify OIP if there is a change in your major or level of study.  We will update your I-20 accordingly.
  • Report new address within 10 days of the change.
  • Never work off-campus without authorization from our office or from USCIS.
  • Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours during the semester.  On- campus employment include assistantship, working for VU     departments, bookstores, cafeteria, etc.  On-campus employment means your employer is VU and your pay check should be issued by VU.
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 visa or face deportation.