Most international students at USI enter the United States on F-1 student visas. Some enter on Exchange Visitor, or J-1, visas. The information regarding immigration regulations is directed at students in F or J status. An international student holding another visa status has rights and restrictions different from the F-1 and J-1 students and should consult us for special information regarding that status.
Heidi Gregori-Gahan and Nicole Vernon
in the Center for International Programs are the Designated School Officials for F-1 students, as well as the Responsible Officers for J-1 exchange visitors. Please consult with
one of them regarding immigration regulations and benefits. Please DO NOT submit I-102, I-539, I-765 forms to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) without consulting Heidi or Nicole in the Center for International Programs.
Note: We send all announcements about immigration rules/policy to you through your USI e-mail account. Please be sure to activate your e-mail account and check it weekly.
Your F-1 visa status is valid for the duration of your program (the program end date is listed on your I-20 form, item # 5), plus 60 days after your program completion, as long as you maintain your status (see below). During the 60-day grace period, you can transfer your SEVIS record to another institution to pursue another degree, you can apply for Optional Practical Training, or you can prepare to leave the US.
Maintaining F-1 Status
- Attend the school you were authorized to attend. Enroll in and complete a full course of study during the academic year (12 credit hours for undergraduate and 9 credit yours for graduate students.) Always consult with the Center for International Programs before you drop course load to part-time or withdraw from all of your courses.
- Maintain a valid passport at all times.
- Do not accept employment off campus without authorization from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. With authorized work permission, students may work off-campus up to 20 hours per week when classes are in session and full-time during the break periods.
- Report any change of address to the Center for International Programs within 10 days of moving.
- Leave the U.S. by the anticipated completion date on Form I-20. If studies are not completed within the allotted period of time, apply for an extension of stay to the Center for International Programs before the program end date on Form I-20.
- Apply to CIP to continue from one educational level to another (for example, from BA to Masters) at USI.
Fact Sheet from SEVIS
(Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)
J-1 Visas – Student Category
Your J-1 visa status is valid for the duration of your program (the program end date is listed on your DS-2019 form, item # 3), plus 30 days after your program completion. During the 30-day grace period, you can apply for Academic Training, or you can prepare to leave the US.