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Maintaining Valid F-1 Status

Maintaining Valid F-1 Status

When you are admitted to the U.S. in F-1 status, you are authorized to stay for Duration of Status (D/S). This means you may remain in the U.S. as long as you are fulfilling all requirements of the F-1 status as outlined below. You are ultimately responsible for knowing the rules and regulations of your status while in the United States. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Kristi Campbell at kcampbell1@walsh.edu.  

Maintain a full course of study. Undergraduates must be enrolled in 12 credits each fall and spring semester, and graduate students must be enrolled in 9 credits each semester. Below Full Time - There are several academic and medical reasons for which you may be permitted to drop below the full course load. You MUST discuss this with the Director of International Student Services and receive permission BEFORE dropping below full time.

Keep Your I-20 valid at all times. If any of the information on your I-20 changes (name, major, program level, funding source, etc.) you must request a new I-20 by completing the Extension. Your I-20 lists a program end date (item # 5). If you need more time to complete your academic program, you must request a new I-20 before your current I-20 expires.

Keep your passport valid at all times. For information about passport renewal, contact your country's embassy or consulate.

Attend the school listed on your most recent I-20. If you plan to transfer to another university, you must discuss this with the Director of International Student Services.

Work only with authorization. As an F-1 student, you are authorized to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, and full time during summer or winter break. You may not work off-campus without authorization from International Student Services or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (Optional Practical Training and Economic Hardship Employment Authorization).

Report any change of address. You are required to report a new change of address within 10 days of moving. This means your physical address (residence hall room number), not just your campus mailbox. To report a new address, add any new information to the Critical Information Form, sign it at the bottom, and submit the form to International Programs and Services.

If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., your I-20 must be signed by the Director of International Student Services BEFORE traveling. The travel endorsement is located on page 3 of your I-20 and is valid for one year from the date of signature. For more information about documents needed for travel, click here.

Maintain health insurance during your entire course of study. Walsh University requires all international students to have health coverage meeting minimum requirements.

File Tax Forms by the deadline each year. Even if you did not have any income, you must complete Form 8843. If you did receive income, you must file additional tax return forms. You will receive information about taxes during the spring semester.

Obey all U.S. laws. You must also follow all Walsh University policies and regulations.

Do not accept federal, state, or local aid. You may not accept Medicaid, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or other forms of government financial assistance. If you are unsure about whether or not you can accept the aid, check with International  Student Services.

Grace Period. Students in F-1 status have a 60-day grace period following either the completion of the academic program or the completion of Optional Practical Training. During this 60-day grace period, you may either:

  • Start a new academic program at Walsh University. (You should receive an I-20 for your new academic program within your grace period)
  • Transfer to another university.
  • Apply for Post-Completion OPT if you just completed your academic program and are eligible.
  • Change to another non-immigration visa status.
  • Depart the U.S.

F-1 students who remain in the U.S. past the end of the 60-day grace period without taking one of the steps listed above are in violation of their immigration status and are "overstaying" their visa