Blowing Bubbles

Maintaining Your Visa Status

Maintaining your F-1 Status

You should be fully aware of all F-1 regulations and it is your responsibility to maintain your F-1 nonimmigrant status while you are in the U.S. Please carefully read page 3 of your I-20; note that violation of any of these conditions could lead to serious consequences. ISS is here and available to help you understand the various F-1 regulations that affect you. If you have any questions about your visa or status, please make an appointment with an international student adviser.

  • You must be a full-time student.
  • You must report any address change (permanent, overseas and/or U.S.) to us within 10 days.
  • If you are transferring from another school, you must complete the transfer procedure within 15 days of the program start date noted on your Form I-20.
  • You are not permitted to accept employment off campus without prior authorization.
  • You must leave the U.S. or take action before the end of your 60-day grace period.


Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) gathers all travelers' arrival/departure information.

The I-94 is an online record of your arrival/departure to/from the U.S. and indicates on which visa you were admitted to the U.S. You can find your most recent I-94 after you arrive in the U.S. from the CBP I-94 website. The I-94 is used to verify immigration status, report your arrival to your school, apply for a driver's license and other uses.


Duration of Status (D/S)

An F-1 student is admitted to the U.S. for a period known as "Duration of Status," which is recorded on your entry documents I-94 and I-20 with the notation "D/S." Duration of Status refers to the period a student is pursuing a full course of study, plus any authorized practical training following completion.


Can I stay in the U.S. after my program end date?

As an F-1 student, you are granted a 60-day grace period after your program end date, during which you are allowed to remain in the U.S. During your grace period, you may do any one of the following options:

  • Travel within the U.S.
  • Transfer to another U.S. school
  • Prepare for departure from the U.S.

If you are unable to depart the U.S. within your 60-day grace period, please contact your international student adviser.

Extending your studies

An F-1 student who is unable to complete their program before the program completion date on the Form I-20 may apply for an extension. Students must have continually maintained status, have the approval of their academic department, and be making normal progress toward their academic goals.

Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for program extensions. Students must apply for an extension before the program end date noted on the Form I-20.

An F-1 student who is unable to complete the educational program within the time listed on Form I-20 and who is ineligible for program extension is considered out of status.