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How To Maintain Your F-1 Status


The following are the most important immigration regulations that you will need to follow in order to maintain your F-1 student visa status. For any questions please contact your International Student Advisor.
 
  1. Contact the International Programs Office (IPO), located at Plant Hall 300, or at international@ut.edu, for any student visa and immigration status questions/issues/concerns.
     
  2. Enroll in the fall and spring semesters. Failure to enroll will result in falling "out of status" and your F-1 visa status and SEVIS I-20 will be terminated.
     
  3. Register for a full-time course load every fall and spring semester. 12 credits/hour for undergraduate students and 8 credits/hour for graduate students (per semester). Failure to register full-time will result in falling "out of status" and your F-1 visa status and SEVIS I-20 will be terminated. *NOTE: If the summer is your first semester at UT, you must also be registered full-time for that summer semester.
     
  4. Do not drop below full-time during the semester and not meet the full-time requirement without prior permission from the Office of International Programs. This will result in falling "out of status" and your F-1 visa status and SEVIS I-20 will be terminated. Students who qualify for a reduced course load must complete the Reduced Course Load request. You can submit this request online by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page.
     
  5. Do not drop out of school and stay in the US. If you drop out of school you will be "out of status".
     
  6. If you decide to leave the school to go back home, contact the International Programs Office to file a proper SEVIS Leave of Absence/Withdrawal request. You can submit this request online by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page.
     
  7. Inform the school of any change of address within 10 days of the move.
     
  8. Do not accept any off-campus employment or internship (paid or unpaid) without applying for and receiving proper authorization through the International Programs Office. By doing so, you are jeopardizing your F-1 visa status. You can apply for authorization for CPT and OPT employment authorization by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page.
     
  9. If you decide to transfer to another school, contact the International Programs Office to file a proper SEVIS Transfer Out request. You can submit this request online by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page.
     
  10. It is your responsibility to have a valid SEVIS I-20 at all times and if your SEVIS I-20 expires you will be automatically "out of status".
     
  11. If you need more time to finish your degree, contact the International Programs Office to file a proper I-20 Program Extension request. You can submit this request online by clicking on "Forms/Requests" link on the left side panel of this page.
     
  12. You cannot remain in the USA beyond the 60 days (grace period) allowed after completion of a program.
     
  13. Contact the International Programs Office to request a new SEVIS I-20 if you change your major.
     
  14. Print out the I-94 electronic version and give it to the International Student Advisors. Click here for instructions how: I-94 Resource Guide.
     
  15. Only attend the school authorized on your SEVIS I-20.

Failure to Maintain Status and Unlawful Presence

‚ÄčIt is extremely important for a nonimmigrant to maintain his or her status while in the United States. Failure to maintain the terms and conditions of nonimmigrant status is a ground for removal from the United States (deportation) under INA § 237(a)(1)(C)(i).

Failure to maintain status in the U.S. could result in Unlawful Presence which carries 3 and 10 year bars for re-entry to the U.S. Read USCIS's August 9, 2018 Accrual of Unlawful Presence memo.