LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES RELATED TO F-1 STATUS
There are essential things that you are responsible for doing with respect to immigration laws and regulations:
- Your PASSPORT MUST be valid at all times. You MUST extend your passport at least six months before it expires.
- You must maintain FULL TIME ENROLLMENT during the academic year. Enrollment in the summer session is not required. The U.S. Government allows full-time students one vacation term per year.
- F-1 students must file a PROGRAM EXTENSION if they need more time than allowed on the I-20 ID to complete the program of study for which the I-20 is issued.
- You must not accept EMPLOYMENT unless the employment is officially authorized off-campus
- You must not TRAVEL outside the United States, even briefly, without the proper documents and signatures on these documents. Your I-20 form must be signed by Lurline Brotherson in the International Student Services Office.
- You must report your ADDRESS CHANGE to the Bureau of Citizen and Immigration Services within ten days of the change. Please pick up the Change of Address Form 11 at the Office of International Student Services. Report any address change to the International Student Office and Registrar Office as well.
- You must pay your INCOME TAX, if you are required to do so. Fill out the forms appropriate to your tax status.
- You must give TRUTHFUL answers to any questions that an INS officer may ask about your student status.
You should MAKE PHOTOCOPIES of your travel documents and keep the copies in a safe place. Do not keep them with the originals
- The passport pages that have your picture and personal information
- The passport page with visa on it.
- Both sides of your Form I-94
- Both sides of your I-20 ID (If you are an F-1 student)
The VISA STAMP put in your passport by the U.S. consul abroad was needed to ENTER the United States. It DOES NOT show how long you can STAY.
RENEWING YOUR VISA
It is necessary to renew your Visa at your home country if you plan to go home and re-enter the U.S. after your Visa has expired.
FORM I-94, DEPARTURE RECORD
The I-94 shows that you have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. The I-94 is usually stapled near the U.S. visa page of your passport. It contains an eleven-digit identifying number (called your admission number). The INS uses it to keep track of your arrival and departure from the United States. This admission number is also often hand-written on the visa page of the passport.
There may be a date written in the upper right hand corner of your I-94. You must leave the country by that date or apply to extend your stay. If there is no date, but there is an inscription "D/S" (duration of status), you are admitted for the length of your program as indicated on Form I-20 for as long as you maintain your full-time nonimmigrant student status according to the regulations governing your status.
EXTENDING YOUR STAY
If your permission to stay is going to expire and you need to remain in the U.S. beyond its expiration in order to continue your program, you are responsible for extending your stay. You should apply at least 30 days before the expiration date on your I-20. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, see Ms. Lurline Brotherson.
REGULATIONS FOR MAINTAINING F-1 STATUS
Keep your passport valid
Maintain full-time enrollment and normal full-time progress toward your degree/program
Limit employment on campus to 20 hours per week while school in session
Do not work off-campus without authorization
Follow procedures for change of educational level, transfer to a new school, etc
DURATION OF STATUS
F-1 students have permission to remain in the country for what is known as "duration of status," noted on the I-20 ID and Form I-94 as "D/S." Duration of Status is defined as the period during which the student is pursuing a full course of studies in any educational program and for any period of authorized practical training, plus sixty days within which to depart from the U.S.
Item #5 on your I-20 ID shows the date by which you are expected to complete the program of study for which your I-20 ID was issued. The date is based on an estimate of the length of time it takes a student to complete that particular program of study.
LEVEL OF STUDY
The various levels of study are indicated on the I-20 ID. When an F-1 student changes from one level to another (e.g. from ALA to the BW programs), you must obtain a new I-20 form from the admission office.
TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE U.S.
- YOUR PASSPORT MUST BE VALID FOR AT LEAST SIX MORE MONTHS WHEN YOU PLAN TO RE-ENTER THE U.S.
- YOUR VISA MUST BE VALID FOR "MULTIPLE" ENTRIES INTO THE U.S. AND MUST BE VALID BEYOND THE PROPOSED RE-ENTRY DATE. Exceptions to this rule are for short visits to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands. For such trips, you will need only your passport, your ENDORSED I-20 ID and a current Form I-94. In addition, any person who would need a Canadian non-immigrant visa to enter Canada from his/her own country needs a Canadian visa to enter from the U.S. If you have any questions about Canadian Visa, call the Canadian Consulate at (313) 567-2340 (Detroit) or (716) 852-1252 (Buffalo).
- YOUR I-20 ID MUST BE ENDORSED BY Ms. Lurline Brotherson in the International Student Services Office.
Employment opportunities for foreign students are restricted by law. The law makes it illegal for employers to knowingly hire foreign nationals who have non- immigration status that does not permit them to work.
No BCIS permission to work is required when an F-1 student who is maintaining his or her status is employed under the terms of a scholarship, fellowship, or assistantship or at a part-time, on-campus job. You have to see Ms. Lurline Brotherson for required paperwork, and you can look for an on-campus job from the STUDENT EMPLOYMENT CENTER, second floor, Room 213, Bonds Administration. Ask for the on-campus job directory, where you will see job opportunities. Write them down and talk to the supervisor as soon as possible. F-1 students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week on campus when school is in session and up to 40 hours per week on campus during a school vacation.
OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING and CURRICULAR PRACTICAL TRAINING
For information about OPT and CPT, please contact Ms. Lurline Brotherson in the International Student Services Office, at 440-826-2134.