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Tips & Responsibilities to Maintaining Status

In this Section

It is important that as an International Student you understand your immigration ‘status’ and responsibilities to maintain that ‘status’. These regulations are set forth by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), the Department of State (DOS) and the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). 

Following are 'TIPS' to maintain your F-1 student 'status' - 

MAINTAIN a valid passport at all times AND a valid I-20/DS-2019 (DO NOT LET THEM EXPIRE)

Carry your documents at all times - this will ensure that your citizenship and 'status' can be verified

REPORT to the International Office each semester indicating you are here and enrolled at Clarkson University.  Upon initial entry this will require a face-to-face visit with the ISSO. Returning students will complete this online through normal ‘check-in’ procedures with Student Administrative Services).

PURSUE a “full course of study” every academic semester except during official school breaks or unless approved in advance by the ISSO.

Undergraduate – 12 credits per semester

Graduate – 9 credits per semester (or 1 credit hour once all degree requirements have been met)

Note – Financial aid awards may require enrollment in more than the regulatory minimum
Note – Never drop below full time without proper authorization from ISSO – failure to comply will result in termination of your immigration status!
Note – all students are only allowed to take3 credits online towards your full time requirement each semester!
MAKE ‘normal progress’ towards completing a course of study

and maintain a valid I20/DS-2019 by -      

Following procedures to apply for extension of stay – must be a compelling academic reason and must be processed prior to the program end date on your I20/DS-2019.
Obtain updated documents when there are changes in major or education level

Follow procedures for transfer of schools – you must provide a copy of your letter of acceptance and request to have your SEVIS records released to the other school
REPORT change of address to the ISSO (by email) within 10 days of the change – this includes dorm room changes

by grace period rules (Duration of Status)     

F1 – you have a 60 day grace period from the program end date on your I20. During this time you can make arrangements to return home – move to another immigration status – apply for ‘post-completion Optional Practical Training’ or transfer to a new degree/program/University

J1 – you have a 30 day grace period to prepare for departure

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

Those in F-1 status may work up to 20 hours/week while school is in session and may work full-time during vacations/breaks. No further authorization is required

- Off campus work is only allowed with authorization – and can only be authorized after completion of one full academic year

Those in J-1 status may work up to 20 hours/week while school is in session but must receive authorization prior to working on or off campus