Maintaining F-1 Status

Driving, Working, Forms, etc.

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Change of Address

If you change your residential address (the location where you live), you are required by SEVIS to update your address within 10 days of the change.

Update your personal information

Log in using your internetID ID and password

When the Personal Information screen appears, use the menu at the top of the screen to go to Personal Addresses

Choose Current Mailing Address; SEVIS only recognizes the current mailing address in One Stop.

Update your residential address in current mailing address:

  • You must use a United States address, do not use a foreign address.
  • Do not use a Post Office box, you must use the street address where you reside.
  • Do not use your office or department address.
  • A zip code is required by SEVIS.

Click on the submit bar.

E-mail the international student adviser your change of address. She/he will update the change in SEVIS.

Driver's License and State ID

Obtaining a Driver's Licence

Every Minnesota resident who operates any motor vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, ATV) must have a driver’s license. The operation of an automobile without a valid operator’s license is illegal, punishable by fine and sometimes by jail sentence. It is also illegal to permit another person who has no valid license to drive an automobile. Every driver must become familiar with the Minnesota Driver’s Manual. This covers traffic and safety rules, laws, rules of the road, allowable speed limits, and road signs and symbols.

Operator’s Licenses may be obtained by passing a written examination on Minnesota driving laws and a driving test on the road. Application for a new driver’s license or a renewal of a driver’s license can be made at a Minnesota state office location.

Instruction Permit

Before you can secure a Minnesota driver’s license, you must first obtain an Instruction Permit which is valid for one year from the date of application. Please see Instruction Permit Frequently Asked Questions.

  • If you are 19 years of age or older, you must apply for and have a permit for at least three months before taking a road test. This includes applicants who can’t show proof of previously having a license or instruction permit.
  • If you are 18 years of age or under, you must apply for and hold a Minnesota instruction permit for at least six months before taking a road test.
  • When practicing with a permit, you must be accompanied by a licensed adult driver. If you are under 18, the supervising driver must be 21 years of age or older. If you are 18 or older, the supervising driver must be an adult of 18 years of age or older.
  • You must carry your permit whenever you practice driving.
  • Permits are renewable.

To obtain the Instruction Permit you must successfully pass the Written Exam. A fee of $15.50 will be charged once you pass your written test in order to send you an instruction permit.

Driver's Ed Instructors

Students can get private behind the wheel drivers ed instruction from professionals at the Morris Area High School. It is $75 per hour, and the instructor provides the vehicle and prepares you for the driving test. To reserve a lesson with a private Driver's Ed instructor call the Morris High School at (320) 589-4400 and dial extension 2223 to speak to Jeannie who can arrange the payment and reservation with an instructor.

Written Exam

To take the Minnesota Class D knowledge exam, you need to schedule an appointment or take the test online at Appointments can be made at a Minnesota state office location.

Please bring with you the following:

More detailed list of proper identification as identified by the state

Road Test

Before you take the road test, make sure you practice driving with someone who has a valid driver's license. Take the road test only when you and your instructor feel comfortable with your driving abilities.

The fee for your driver's license is ​$46.00.

Schedule a road test.

Once scheduled, in Morris the driver’s written and behind-the-wheel tests are given at the Morris Community Center, 603 Oregon Ave., Morris MN 56267. The tests are given the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month.

Obtaining a State Identification Card

As an international student, you have at least two forms of picture identification: your passport and your University of Minnesota, Morris student I.D. card. We recommend that you also get a Minnesota I.D. card or a Minnesota Driver's License. These two, which look identical except for the title, are the standard forms of identification here and are usually required when making financial transactions, especially when writing checks, and at some other times, such as when an age check is necessary (i.e. purchase of cigarettes and alcohol, restricted movies at the cinema).

To get a Minnesota I.D. card, schedule an appointment at a Minnesota state office location. Bring the following:

On-Campus Employment

Students with an I-20 authorizing them to attend the University of Minnesota, Morris are eligible to work Institutional Student Employment positions on the campus.

Off-Campus Employment Authorization

All off-campus work requires work authorization. This includes:

Please Note

Receiving a benefit in exchange for services rendered (i.e., free room/board for babysitting or free rent for being a caretaker of an apartment building) is considered to be employment and would require work permission. This type of work is only authorized by Off Campus Work Permission Based on Unforeseen Financial Change or Special Student Relief.


See the information below for Curricular Practical Training and make an appointment with an International Student Advisor.

  • Required, paid internships off the campus
  • Summer off-campus employment

Off-Campus Employment Based on Unforeseen Financial Change

Off-campus work permission is authorized by USCIS and is based on a student's unforeseen change in financial circumstances, his or her ability to demonstrate economic hardship, and his or her ability to document that she or he was unable to obtain on-campus employment or that such employment is insufficient.

  • Authorization covers a period of one year or less, depending on the student's completion date of his/her program.
  • Authorization allows a student to work up to 20 hours per week on or off the campus and full-time during the semester breaks and the summer vacation period.
  • Employment under this type of authorization does not need to be related to a student's field of study.
  • An extension of off-campus work permission is possible if the student is still pursuing the same program of study at the same school and can document that the financial situation still exists.


  • Student must have been in legal F-1 status at Morris for at least one academic year.
  • Student must be able to document the unforeseen change in financial circumstances.
  • Student must be able to document economic hardship.
  • Student must be able to document his/her inability to obtain on-campus employment and/or salary of on-campus employment is insufficient.
  • Student must have a valid passport.

Set up an appointment with International Student Program adviser if you would like to apply for economic hardship.

  • The International Student Program must process a recommendation on the application before it can be mailed to USCIS.
  • It may take USCIS up to 120 days to process an application.
  • The application fee is $410 and is not refundable if the application is denied.

Curricular Practical Training

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is work authorization that allows a student to work in a job related to his/her field of study.

General Information

  • A student may not begin employment until they havve the CPT authorization in hand.
  • CPT authorization must be based on the academic program reflected on the student's current I-20.
  • International Student Program authorizes CPT; authorization is noted on new I-20 issued.
  • Authorization for CPT is employer specific and reflects a start and end date.
  • CPT authorization cannot be voided if a student terminates employment.
  • CPT is used while a student is pursuing a degree.
  • USCIS regulations state that a student is not able to deliberately prolong his/her date of completion to take advantage of CPT.
  • CPT authorization cannot exceed the period of one year per application.
  • CPT authorization may be part-time or full-time depending on eligibility requirements.
  • Non-degree seeking students are eligible to apply for CPT.
  • Students who have received one year or more of full-time CPT are not eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training and/or a Program Extension.
  • Students who have been granted a Program Extension are not eligible to pursue full-time CPT.

Types of CPT Training F-1 Students

CPT - Internship (paid) Required by Program
  • Internship must be required for the completion of the degree program.
  • Authorization may be part-time or full-time depending on the internship requirement.
  • Students are required to document the program’s internship requirement.
CPT - Elective Internship/Employment
  • Available to students who want to gain practical work experience related to their field of study.
  • Must be based on the student receiving course credit to participate in the employment. Some established curriculums have courses that would meet this requirement or a student can arrange a Directed Study or Independent Study course. It is important that the course requires the employment with a specified begin and end date.
  • Student must receive an Incomplete in the course until the period of CPT has been satisfied.

Optional Practical Training

Additional Information about applying for Pre or Post Optional Practical Training


Optional Practical Training (OPT) is permission for off-campus employment granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). OPT enables students to gain work experience in their field of study. 12 months of OPT is available for F-1 students. OPT may be used before or after completion of a program. Students with certain majors in science, technology, engineering, or math may be eligible for a 24-month extension of post-completion OPT (for more information about the 24-month extension). International Student Programs must recommend, to USCIS, OPT for a student. USCIS then provides final approval and issues an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Individuals must have an EAD before they can begin OPT employment. OPT authorization granted by USCIS cannot be changed, voided, or canceled.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Completed one academic year of full-time study
  • Valid F-1 status
  • Good academic standing
  • Employment must be in the student's major field of study

OPT Categories

Academic Year

During fall and /or spring semesters and student has not completed required coursework. On and off campus work combined may not exceed a total of 20 hours per week.

Vacation Period

Authorization may be part-time or full-time.


When to Apply

  • Pre-completion Applications: Can be submitted to International Student Program 90 days before your requested employment starting date.
  • Post-completion Applications: Can be submitted to International Student Program 90 days before your expected date of completion.
Step 1: Request an OPT recommendation from International Student Program.

International Student Program must process a recommendation for your OPT request. We will prepare a new I-20. 

Step 2: Meet with ISP advisor to complete the online form I-765

Needed documentation in digital format includes: 

  • Photocopy of I-20 page 1 with your signature and page two with the OPT recommendation. 
  • If you had CPT approval, photocopies of previous I-20s with the CPT approval 
  • Form I-94 number 
  • Passport color photo. 
  • Photocopies of the identity page of your passport, entry visa stamp with a photo, and any previously issued EAD. 
  • Unofficial UMM transcript. 
Step 3: Wait for EAD to be mailed from USCIS
  • It takes approximately two to four months for USCIS to process your request and mail your EAD to the address on Form I-765. See the current processing times for I-765 (OPT) applications
  • Several weeks after you apply, you should receive a receipt notice (Form I-797) in the mail from USCIS.
  • You may not begin OPT employment until you have received your EAD, even if your requested start date has passed.
  • You may not continue student employment (including assistantships) after the completion date in block five of your OPT I-20, even if you have not yet completed your degree. Any on or off-campus employment after this completion date must be with OPT authorization.
  • The EAD will reflect the dates of your employment authorization.
Requirements while you are on OPT
  • During OPT you are still in F-1 status at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Official admission to a new degree program or transfer to a new school during OPT will void any remaining time on your EAD. This time cannot be re-captured at a later date.
  • You must continue to update your Current Mailing address and phone number through MyU.
  • If you change your address while your OPT application is still pending, go to USCIS website to submit the changes online. Be sure to also include your current phone number.
  • International Student Program (ISP) is required to have a copy of your EAD.  Upon receipt of the EAD, scan and email or mail a copy of it to ISP. Include your U of M student ID number.
  • You must report employment information to ISP within 10 days of starting or ending a job.  Include the following information:
    • U of M Student ID #
    • SEVIS ID #
    • Employer's name and address including city, state, and zip code
    • Start/End date of employment
    • If your employment is full-time (more than 20 per week) or part-time (20 hours or less per week).
    • Explain how the employment is related to your major(s) (No more than 1-3 sentences)
  • You may not accumulate more than 90 days of unemployment during the 12-month period of initial post-completion OPT.  Employment must be more than 20 hours per week. Employment may include paid employment, multiple employers, contractual relationship, self-employed business owner, employment through an agency or consulting firm, unpaid internship and volunteer work in your field. Keep written documentation of all employment. For more information about employment allowed while on OPT, check out SEVP Policy Guidance.
  • If you have accumulated 90 days of unemployment, you will no longer be in F-1 status. If you contact ISSS to report this information before your status expires, you will have a 60 day grace period to depart the U.S. or gain another status. Once your F-1 status expires, you are required to leave the U.S. immediately. You will not be granted a 60 day grace period if you do not report to ISSS.
  • Notify ISP if you decide to permanently depart the U.S. or have changed your visa status while still on OPT.

Study During Post-Completion OPT

F-1 regulations clearly indicate that OPT authorization is automatically terminated (a) when a student's SEVIS record is transferred to another school or (b) when a student begins study at another educational level. Beyond this, U.S. government guidance regarding the study while on OPT is limited, therefore, the interpretation of the regulations associated with study during OPT can vary from school to school. The U of M believes that a student working full-time with post-completion OPT authorization is eligible to attend school part-time. To be clear, this is the U of M's interpretation of OPT regulations. It is possible that the U.S. government or other U.S. schools might interpret OPT regulations differently.

Travel during Post-completion OPT

  • Under normal circumstances, a student who has both (1) an EAD for post-completion OPT or receipt notice [Form I-797] and (2) a job or job offer, should not experience difficulty reentering the US. If either of these two conditions is missing, then the student is assuming risk.
  • Travel signatures on page 2 of the I-20 are only valid for 12 months from the date of the most recent signature. If your travel signature has expired or will expire when you are out of the US, come to ISP to request a new signature.

Full Course Load of Study Requirement

Immigration regulations require that all F-1 students register for and complete a full course of study every term. At the University of Minnesota, Morris, 12 credit hours is a full course load for fall and spring semesters. Read below for general rules about registration. If you plan to enroll for less than a full course of study, you must have approval from the International Student Program before the semester begins.

  • Summer Session Enrollment: Continuing students are not required to enroll during summer session. Students admitted to begin a program in the summer MUST enroll full-time during the summer of admission.
  • Distance Learning or online courses are limited for F-1 students. Students with F-1 status may count a maximum of 1 course OR 3 credits of Distance Learning toward their full course requirement.
  • Audited courses do NOT count toward your full course requirement. The audit grade basis for courses means you do not earn credit for the course.
  • Enroll for all of your credits at the beginning of the term. If you plan to split your enrollment between the first and second half of the semester, you must enroll for ALL courses at the beginning of the term. You may not wait until mid-term to enroll for second half courses.
  • You are responsible for your enrollment.

Acceptable reasons for a reduced course load (F-1 Students)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizes that circumstances exist that prohibit a student from enrolling full time. Consequently, the DHS has declared the following to be acceptable reasons for carrying less than a full course load.

Academic Difficulties

An F-1 student may reduce his/her course load only once per program level due to academic difficulties. To maintain legal status, an F-1 student who is authorized to reduce his/her course load due to this reason must still be enrolled for at least 6 credits (at least one half the full-time credit load) and must enroll full time the next available semester. The International Student Program must approve the request to cancel/withdraw from a class before any changes to a student’s enrollment are made. Students may fill out the Reduced Course Load Form and make an appointment with the international student adviser.

The DHS accepts the following academic difficulties as reasons for a reduction of a student‘s course load:

  • Must cancel or withdraw due to improper course level placement (support from the academic adviser required).
  • Initial difficulty with the English language and/or with reading requirements (support from academic adviser required).
  • Unfamiliarity with United States (U.S.) teaching methods or reading requirements (support academic adviser required).
Medical Reason

A letter from a licensed medical doctor, doctor of osteopathy, or licensed clinical psychologist is required clearly states that the student is unable to maintain full-time enrollment.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations limit to 12 months per program level the period of time an F-1 student may enroll for less than a full course load due to a medical condition. An F-1 student whose medical condition does not permit full-time enrollment after a 12-month period must either leave the U.S. and recuperate in the home country or apply for a change of visa status to allow for continued medical treatment in the U.S.

  • The International Student Program advises students who are ill and unable to attend classes to see a doctor regarding their illness. If the illness is such that the doctor recommends that the student withdraw from classes or not enroll, the student may file a Reduced Course Load Form with a supporting letter from the physician. The supporting documentation must clearly state that request for a reduction in the student’s course load is based on medical considerations.
  • Illness of family members is not a reason recognized by the DHS for failure to enroll for a full course of study.

Final semester: A student must be completing a program of study by the end of the semester.

Participating in a Full-time Required Internship or Full-Time Co-Op: Prior approval of the Reduced Course Load Form for internship or co-op is required. ISSS will need evidence of the internship requirement or the approval to participate in a bona fide co-op program.

Reasons Not Acceptable for Reduced Course Load:Financial difficulties

  • Financial difficulties
  • Medical illness of family member
  • Study for the GMAT, GRE, CPA, or other similar exam(s)
  • Suspension from academic program
  • Working on incompletes from a previous quarter/semester
Reduced Course Load Form

The Reduced Course Load Form must be completed for each semester that a student fails to enroll full time. It is imperative that the Reduced Course Load Form be submitted to the International Student Program and approved prior to enrollment for less than a full course of study or prior to a cancel/withdrawal that results in less than a full course of study. Failure to obtain prior approval for a reduced course load will result in the loss of legal status. The international student adviser will make the final decision on the acceptability of the Reduced Course Load Form.

Reduced Course Load Form


OPT 24-Month Stem Extension

The 12-month period of post-completion OPT can be extended by 24 months for certain science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree holders. Check out the STEM Designated Degree Program List to determine if your field and CIP Code are included in the list.

How to Apply if you are currently on 12-month of post-completion OPT:

To apply you must complete the following forms, and submit them to an ISP adviser.

Work directly with the ISP advisor to complete the form I-765 online. Needed documentation in digital format includes:

  • Photocopy of I-20 page 1 with your signature and page two with the OPT recommendation.
  • Form I-94 number
  • Passport color photo
  • Photocopies of the identity page of your passport, entry visa stamp with a photo
  • Previously issued EAD (front and back)
  • Official UMM transcript and diploma

OPT applications must be received by USCIS no later than 60 days after your expected date of program completion that is listed on your I-20. 

24-Month STEM OPT Extension Student Request

International Student Program must process a recommendation for your OPT request. We will prepare a new I-20. 


Requirements While on STEM OPT

Students who file a timely application can continue employment while the extension application is pending, until a final decision on the Form I-765 or for 180 days, whichever comes first.

Students are responsible for meeting all reporting requirements listed. Failure to report any of these changes may result in the termination of your F-1 status.

Requirements while on 24-month STEM OPT extension

  • Update your U.S. mailing address and phone number in MyU within 10 days of any change.
  • You must provide a copy of your EAD to ISP. Upon receipt of the EAD, submit a scanned copy to the ISP.
Six-Month Reporting

You must report to ISP the following information every six months starting from the date your 24-Month STEM OPT begins.

  1. U of M Student ID #
  2. SEVIS ID #
  3. Your name
  4. Your address
  5. Employer’s name
  6. Employer’s address
  7. Status of your current employment

Send the report no earlier than 15 days before and no later than 30 days after the 6, 12, and 18-month dates from the start date of your 24-Month STEM OPT.

Annual Self-Evaluations

You must complete two self-evaluations on the Form I-983 Training Plan. The first evaluation must be completed 12 months after the 24-Month STEM OPT start date on your EAD. The final evaluation must be completed at the end of the 24 month STEM OPT.  Submit evaluations via email an ISP advisor. NOTE: You are responsible for keeping track of these dates.

Reporting Changes

You must report to ISP within 10 days of the following changes:

  1. Adding, changing, or ending employment (you must also complete a new Form I-983 Training Plan each time you change employers.)
  2. Changes in employer’s name or address
  3. Material changes to an existing Form I-983
  4. Legal name changes

Notify ISP if you decide to permanently depart the U.S. or change your visa status during your 24-Month STEM OPT.

Employment Limitations
  • You may accumulate up to 90 days of unemployment during the initial 12-month period of OPT. You are allowed an additional 60 days of unemployment (150 days total). If you fail to report employment to ISP, this time may be counted as unemployment.
  • Employment must be more than 20 hours per week.
  • Employment must be paid.
  • Employer must be enrolled in E-Verify.
  • Employment may include multiple employers. Employment through contractual relationship, self-employment, an agency, or consulting firm may not be allowed for the 24-Month STEM OPT.
  • Keep written documentation of all employment for your records.
Travel during 24-month STEM OPT
  • Under normal circumstances, a student who has both (1) an EAD for 24-Month STEM OPT and (2) a job or job offer should not experience difficulty reentering the US. If either of these two conditions is missing, then the student is assuming risk.
  • Travel signatures are only valid for 6 months. Be sure you have a current and valid signature on your I-20.
  • Per SEVP guidance, overseas travel is not recommended when your STEM OPT application is pending and your initial post-completion OPT EAD has expired.

Permanent Departure from UMN Morris

The University of Minnesota, Morris is required to notify Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) when a student is no longer enrolled at the institution. Whenever a student‘s record is terminated, SEVIS must be notified of the correct reason for departure(i.e., departed the U.S., changed status, etc.) be provided. The reason remains a permanent part of the record and may have an affect on a student‘s future eligibility to enter the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations state that an absence from the U.S. of five months or longer constitutes a permanent departure, even if the student has maintained enrollment. Please inform the International Student Program of your situation as it pertains to your permanent departure from Morris.

Note: Departures of less than five months from the U.S. over the break periods or the summer vacation period do not need to be reported to the International Student Program.

Withdrawal from Program

  • A student who has elected to permanently withdraw from the program of study should consult with an International Student Program adviser before cancelling classes. Regulations require that a student obtain prior approval from the International Student Program before withdrawing. This will allow the student to be considered legally present in the U.S. for a period of 15 days from the date of withdrawal. It also insures that the student‘s SEVIS record is terminated with the correct termination reason.
  • Students may be able to arrange a Leave of Absence with Morris if they plan to resume the program of study in the future.
  • The I-20 will not be valid for entry into the U.S. after a student has permanently withdrawn from the program. Students who elect to resume the program of study at a later date will need to request a new I-20 from the International Student Program.

Suspension from Program

  • Suspension will be reported to SEVIS.
  • The I-20 will be cancelled as a result of the suspension and cannot be used for reentry into the U.S.
  • Consult with an International Student Program adviser regarding your options.

Completion of the Porgram of Study

  • SEVIS requires that students notify the International Student Program of their completion date and the date of their departure from the U.S.
  • This insures that a student’s departure from the U.S. is properly recorded on their SEVIS record.
  • Students who have completed a program of study have a 60-day grace period in which to depart the U.S.

Transfer to a new School

  • A student's SEVIS record must be electronically transferred to the new school before the new school can create an I-20.
  • Consult with an International Student Program adviser regarding intent to transfer and to determine a SEVIS “transfer release date”.
  • Students who have applications pending at multiple schools should not request a SEVIS transfer until the student has decided which school she/he will attend.

Change in Visa Status

  • F-1 students who change their visa status (i.e., to H-1B, F-2, J-1, Permanent Resident, etc.) and who may or may not continue their program of study should notify the International Student Program immediately. The International Student Program will ask for a faxed copy of the new status.
  • The International Student Program will terminate the individual‘s SEVIS record based on the change in status.

Program Extension

General Information

  • A program extension is required if a student is unable to complete all degree requirements by the date noted in Item five of the SEVIS I-20.
  • A program extension request must be made to the ISP before the I-20 expiration date.
  • Failure to process a program extension before the expiration of the I-20 results in the loss of legal status and the ability to work on the campus.
  • Students are not eligible for full-time Curricular Practical Training after a program extension has been processed.
  • A student who has entered a new degree program but failed to obtain a new I-20 reflecting the new program should have a new I-20 processed at the International Student Program; this is generally not considered a program extension.


  • Student must be in a legal F–1 status.
  • I-20 must reflect student‘s current program of study.
  • Student must possess valid passport.
  • Delays in completion must be caused by compelling academic or medical reasons, such as:
  • changes of major
  • documented illness
  • Delays caused by academic probation or suspension are not acceptable reasons for a program extension.

A student who has been authorized 12 months or more of full-time Curricular Practical Training and/or Optional Practical Training is not eligible for a program extension.

Social Security Number

Applying for a United States (U.S.) Social Security Number (SSN)

A Social Security number (SSN) is a permanent nine-digit identification number/card issued by the United States government. It is used primarily for taxing income in order to provide retirement and medical benefits. For tax purposes, anyone receiving income must provide their US employer with a SSN.

F–1 Studentsmust have a job offer and be currently working in order to apply for a SSN.

How to apply for a U.S. SSN

Social Security Number (SSN) Checklist

To obtain a SSN, you must apply in person at the local Social Security Administration office. The closest office to Morris is 45 miles away in Alexandria, Minnesota. The International Student Program will schedule a trip to the Social Security office for international students at the beginning of each semester.

The name you put on your Social Security application needs to match the name you have on your I-20, your passport, your I-94 record, and your University of Minnesota, Morris records.

Social Security Administration Office

Office Hours:

  • Monday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

Phone: 1-888-224-8869Website

You must show the following documents to complete an application.

  • Valid passport
  • Valid I-94 record
  • I-20
  • One other piece of identification: student ID card, driver’s license, etc.
  • proof of a job or a job offer (from the hiring department)
  • Letter verifying employment from an International Student Program Office

Traveling as an F-1

Travel Within the United States

Travel within the United States (U.S.) and to United States territories is not restricted and no special documents are required. However, it is extremely important that you and your dependents carry your passport and visa documents with you when traveling in the U.S. in the event you need to present them to law enforcement officials.

Travel Outside the United States

Students should have a valid passport, F-1 entry visa, I-20 document, re-entry signature on page three of I-20, Documentary Evidence of Funding, and evidence of full-time enrollment at the University (transcripts and if applicable, Reduced Course Load Forms).

Violation of Legal Status

Violation of F-1 visa regulations results in the loss of legal status in the U.S. consequences include, but are not limited to:

  • ineligible to work on the campus;
  • ineligible to apply for or pursue curricular or optional practical training;
  • ineligible to receive a Transfer Recommendation to attend a new school;
  • ineligible to apply to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a change of visa status.

Regaining F-1 Legal Status

It is important that students discuss legal status issues with an International Student Program Adviser. There are two ways in which a student may be able to regain legal F-1 status:

  • Submit a Reinstatement of Legal Status Application to DHS;
  • Reentry into the United States (U.S.) with a new “initial admit” I-20.

Students who are reinstated by DHS or who reenter with an “initial admit” I-20 will be required to enroll as a full-time student for at least one academic year before becoming eligible to apply for curricular or optional practical training.

Visa Overstay

Visa Overstay occurs in the following situations

  • A student has failed to complete a program of study and has allowed his/her I-20 to expire;
  • A student interrupts/ceases a program of study and fails to depart the U.S. immediately (break periods and summer vacation are not considered to be an interruption of studies;
  • A student has allowed the 60-day grace period to expire without having received a new I-20 to begin a new program of study or having submitted an application to DHS for a change of visa status.

Consequences of Visa Overstay

  • Student is considered to have violated legal status
  • The F–1 entry visa stamp is automatically void
  • All future U.S. entry visa applications must be made in the individual‘s home country
  • It may be extremely difficult to obtain future entry visas to enter the U.S.

Regaining F-1 Legal Status

It is important that students discuss legal status issues with an ISPAdviser. There are two ways in which a student may be able to regain legal F–1 status:

  • Reinstatement of Legal Status Application to DHS;
  • Reentry into the U.S. with a new “initial admit” I-20.

DHS Declaration of Unlawful Presence

If a DHS official or an immigration judge declares an individual to be unlawfully present in the United States as a result of the visa overstay, the unlawful presence will begin on the date of the DHS decision – not the date the individual violated his/her status.

Unlawful presence will have an effect on future eligibility for entry into the United States.

Individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 continuous days but less than one year are barred from admission to the U.S. (under any visa type) for a period of three years from the date of departure;

Individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for one year or longer are barred from admission to the U.S. (under any visa type) for a period of 10 years.