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- I-20 and Visa Regulations
I-20 and Visa Regulations
The following are rules to maintaining proper status on your F-1 visa. Should you have questions regarding these rules please feel free to make an appointment with me to discuss. I can be reached at 617-333-2210 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Providing the International Student Advisor with timely information in order to maintain an up-to-date SEVIS record is extremely important and applies to each of the rules listed below.
- Enrollment at the beginning of every session (excluding authorized break periods)
- Address changes within 10 days of the change
- Change in program of study
- Change in academic status
- Intent to travel outside the United States
- Need to extend program
In order to maintain F-1 student visa status you need to be enrolled in full time studies at Curry College. Definition of full-time studies is a minimum of 4 classes 12 credits. Should unforeseen circumstances arise which force you to decrease course load, or drop a class, you first should discuss the change with the International Student Advisor to learn of the impact the change in class load would have on your legal status of foreign student. Each term you need to ensure that you are registered for classes in your school, so that the International Student Advisor will re-register you in SEVIS. Should you fail to register at the beginning of each term with your International Student Advisor you will immediately lose your legal status regardless of the expiration date on your I-20 form.
Length of Study
You may stay legally in the United States as long as you are a full time student. However, your F-1 needs to be issued for "Duration of Status" (abbreviated on the I-20 card as "D/S"). At the time when your F-1 Visa is extended beyond the original expiration date, you should obtain a new Form I-20 with the new expiration date from your school's ISA. This will help you keep track of your new expiration date and insure that your information is properly updated in the SEVIS database. However, if you depart the U.S. with an expired visa page in your passport or without an F-1 visa page (in case you changed status to F-1 while in the U.S.) you will need to obtain a new F-1 Visa before returning to America and resuming your studies. A student visa to enter the U.S. can be issued only at an Embassy or Consulate abroad.
An F-1 student can only work on campus for no more than 20 hours a week. In the summer you may work full time. No off campus employment is allowed. Unpaid internships are allowed but you must notify the International Student Advisor for approval first. After the completion of a program a student can apply for OPT (optional practical training). OPT is paid employment for 12 months. Students who wished to do OPT must come to my office 60 days before the date of their graduation.
An F-1 student at an academic institution is considered to be in status during the annual (or summer) vacation if the student is eligible and intends to register for the next term.
MLOA (Medical Leave of Absence)
In circumstances where a medical condition requires absence from classes you will need to fill out the required paperwork.
Travel Outside the U.S.
When you enter the U.S. on a student visa you can legally reside in the U.S. as long as you are a full time student at Curry College. If you plan on traveling outside the U.S. make sure you are aware of the following:
- You need a Form I-20 with current information that is signed by the PDSO on pages one and three allowing travel outside of the United States
- Your visa and passport need to still be valid at the time you reenter the U.S. (this means that the expiration date on your visa has not passed at the time of reentry)
- You cannot reenter the U.S. during the grace period granted after completing a program of study (unless the student has traveled to Canada, Mexico, or a contiguous island).
- An authorized travel abroad period, in which you stay in contact with school, is the most common vacation period. A five month travel period abroad applies to those who have serious reasons (medical condition, surgery, etc.)
Change of Address
If you move and change your mailing address while awaiting Curry College approval of your application to change status to F-1 foreign student, you must notify the International Student Advisor and Curry College within ten days of filing the Change of Address form. This is essential, even after you have received F-1 foreign student status. Failing to do so may result in academic problems and potentially lead to a loss of F-1 legal status.
Completion of Studies
A foreign student who has completed a course of study and any authorized practical training following completion of studies is allowed an additional 60-day period to prepare for departure from the United States or to transfer to a different academic institution approved by Curry College. A foreign student authorized by the International Student Advisors to withdraw from classes will be allowed 15-day period for departure from the United States. However, an F-1 student who fails to maintain a full course of study without the approval of the International Student Advisor or otherwise fails to maintain status is not eligible for an additional period for departure. Even if the foreign student overstays his departure period and falls out of status, under certain circumstances he may still apply for reinstatement of F-1 status.
Lack of attendance, academic failure or other types of academic, disciplinary and other violations of the school's policies may jeopardize your standing as a student in a school and result in expulsion. You need to be familiar with the policies of the school you are attending to insure that you are always in compliance with them. Expulsion from the school which has issued you the most current Form I-20 would cause you to lose the status of Foreign Student and the right to legally remain in the United States. Under such circumstances, the student is expected to depart the United States immediately. Under certain circumstances student may apply for reinstatement of F-1 status.