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Maintaining Your F-1 Status

Last updated July 07, 2020

The U.S. Department of State issues an F-1 visa based on your academic program.

It is your responsibility to maintain your F-1 status:

  • Change of address: All international students MUST inform the DSO of any change of address within 10 days of moving. This includes changing rooms in any residence halls and changing residence halls. This is a requirement of the Department of Homeland Security. 

          Note: Failure to comply with reporting your change of address may affect your ability to remain in the United States and your ability to re-enter the United States after travel abroad. 

  • Noncompliance may also be criminally punishable as a misdemeanor with a fine not to exceed $200 and/or imprisonment of no more than 30 days. 
  • Unless you can prove that your failure to report was "reasonably excusable or was not willful," the law directs the Attorney General to take you into custody and deport you from the United States.                                                                                                                                       
  • Academic standing: Be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Make normal progress toward completing your course of study. 
  • Changes in graduation date: Students must contact the DSO if they need an extension or shortening of their visa due to a change in graduation date. 
  • Do not work illegally: Do not work without authorization. This most commonly applies to off-campus jobs and internships (both with or without pay). Working in a restaurant, a bubble tea shop, or a friends' restaurant, etc. are not acceptable. Please contact the DSO if you are interested in obtaining a work authorization.
  • Traveling outside the United States: Students must have a valid signature on the second page of their I-20 before leaving the United States. This signature is valid for 12 months. 
  • Follow the United States and Iowa laws:  International students are expected to follow laws and policies that govern a variety of daily life and academic activities. There are different levels of law in the United States including federal, state, and local community laws. Violating a United States law can have serious consequences for international students including negatively impacting their immigration status in the United States. For example, an arrest for "driving under the influence" of alcohol (known as a DUI) could lead to the State Department revoking their United States visa. Likewise, a violation of the college's policies could impact their immigration status. The college's alcohol and illegal drug use policies can be found in the most updated Student Handbook. 

For more and most revised information regarding your F-1 status visa---review the Department of Homeland Security website.