Rules and Regulations of F-1 Status


Rule 1: Valid Passport. Hold a valid passport at all times
Rule 2: Full Course of Study. Maintain a full course of study. This is a minimum of 12 credit hours per fall and spring semester. Only 3 credit hours of inline classes may be counted toward full-time enrollment. Exceptions for medical and other circumstances may be possible with approval from a DSO. Pre-approval from a DSO is always required prior to making any schedule changes. 
Rule 3: Successful Completion. A minimum grade point average of 2.0. must be maintained and a full-time schedule must be successfully completed each fall and spring semester. All academic policies must be followed. No unauthorized breaks may be taken from school. Students must work toward the degree listed on their Form I-20. It is illegal for international students to make a change of major without prior approval from a DSO. 
Rule 4: Change of Address: International students must notify their DSO of any change of address within 10 days of a move. 
Rule 5. No Unauthorized Employment. Illegal work is a violation of non-immigrant status. Illegal work cannot be rectified and DSO's are obligated to report illegal work disclosed to them. Wages need not be received for an activity to be considered illegal work. International students should meet with a DSO prior to taking part in any activity that is compensated in any with wages, reduced fees, meals, living situations, or gift cards. There are four legal types of employment for international students. All are highly regulated and require DSO preapproval.  Volunteer opportunities should be cleared with a DSO. Experiential learning opportunities such as internships, practica, and clinical education requirements also require practical training authorization before participation.


Following these rules will keep students in-status to receive F-1 benefits. Breaking the rules of F-1 status can make you ineligible for F-1 benefits and may prevent you from remaining in the United States.