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Maintaining Status

If you have questions about maintaining your immigration status contact the Center for International Studies. Our International Student Advisor is here to answer all of your questions on maintaining status.

In order for you to stay temporarily in the U.S. as a lawful F-1 student, you must comply with specific regulations of Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which are listed below. (This is not an exhaustive list.) This is referred to as "maintaining status" or "being in status". In addition to making normal progress toward completing a course of study at PC, you must:

  • Enroll full-time (12 semester credits for undergraduate; 10 semester credits for graduate students) during fall and spring semesters at PC. Classes taken for ‘audit’ do not count toward the full course of study.
  • Do not enroll for more than the equivalent of one on-line/distance education class (or 3 credits) per semester towards the “full-time” course load requirement.
  • Keep your passport valid at all times.
  • Complete your degree or request a program extension prior to the program end date specified on your I-20.
  • Comply with required procedures for a school transfer.
  • Obtain a new I-20 for change in educational level, major or source of funding.
  • Obtain an appropriate employment authorization for any work and do not be employed on-campus for more than 20 hrs/week while school is in session.
  • Update your current residential U.S. address with the CIS within 10 days of any change.
  • Depart the U.S. within the 60-day period following completion of your program; depart the U.S. within 15 days if you cancel enrollment in the middle of a semester or depart without completing your program of study.
  • Disclose fully and truthfully all information requested by DHS.
  • Obey all federal and state laws that prohibit the commission of crimes of violence.
    If you fail to comply with any of the above regulations, you will be considered out of status. Subsequently, your status violation will be reported to DHS via SEVIS, and you will be ineligible for any immigration benefits.
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