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Tips to Maintain F-1 Status

In this Section

Maintain a valid passport & I-20 at all times – do not let them expire

  • You are strongly encouraged to carry your immigration documents at all times. This will ensure that your citizenship and ‘status’ can be verified to anyone requesting this information.

  • Visa Stamp – a visa stamp is entered in your passport to allow you entry into the United States in F-1 student status. You do not need to maintain a valid visa while remaining in the U.S. Please review the travel section for more information on travel guidelines.

  • Passport - you must have a valid passport at all times and if you are travelling, the expiration must be at least 6-months in the future of your return trip.

  • I-20 – keep your I-20 current and have this form signed every year to ensure program validation.

Report to International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) each semester indicating that you are here and enrolled at Clarkson University (this is completed through normal ‘check-in’ procedures with Student Administrative Services - SAS)

Maintain ‘full-time enrollment’ every academic semester except during official school breaks or unless approved in advance by ISSS

  • Undergraduate – minimum 12 credits per semester

  • Graduate – minimum 9 credits per semester

    • Exception – once the 30/90 credits are met you will only need to enroll in 1 credit hour to maintain full-time enrollment

  • Enrollment Notes –

    • Financial aid awards may require enrollment in more than the regulatory minimum

    • Never drop below ‘full-time’ without proper authorization from ISSS – failure to comply will result in termination of your immigration status!

    • All international students are only allowed to take 3-credits online towards your ‘full-time’ enrollment requirement each semester

  • Make ‘normal progress’ towards degree completion by completing studies by the program completion date on your I-20

  • Abide by the F-1 grace period rules (Duration of Status)

    • You have a 60-day grace period from the program end date on your I-20. During this time you can –

      • Make arrangements to return home

      • Move to another immigration status

      • Apply for optional practical training (OPT) – or –

      • Transfer to a new degree – program – or – University

  • Report changes of address to ISSS within 10 days of the change – this includes dorm changes

  • Do NOT work on or off campus unless specifically authorized to do so