Maintaining F-1 Status

Report to the school.

Your F-1 status is granted by the Customs and Border Protection agent at the port of entry (when you first enter the US), but in order to maintain that status, your first obligation is to report to the school that you will attend. At Emory, you will complete that process via ISSS Link.

Attend the school you are authorized to attend.

Although you may have received admission to a number of different schools and may have multiple forms I-20, you must attend the school that issued the form I-20 that you presented at the port of entry at the time you were granted your F-1 status (or follow the transfer process after reporting to the school, if you have changed your mind about which school you will attend follwing your entrance to the U.S.).

Pursue a full course of study (or engage in authorized practical training).

You must enroll in a full course load each semester until you complete your program of study, except when you need less than a full course load to complete your program requirements during your final term of study. You are not required to register for the summer session unless it will be the first term of your program.

You may enroll less than full time only if you obtain approval from an ISSS advisor beforehand. See: reduced courseload authorization.

Upon completion of your program of study, you may remain in the US beyond the 60-day grace period in F-1 status only if you have been authorized for and are engaged in post-completion Optional Practical Training.

Make normal progress toward completing your program of study.

Although it is understandable that you, like all students, may struggle with some of your classes, you must make continual and normal progress toward the completion of your educational objective. Failure to do so could result in suspension from the program and termination of your non-immigrant status.

Apply for an extension of stay (if needed) in a timely manner.

If you will not complete your program of study by the program end date on your current form I-20 for unexpected reasons, you must request an extension prior to that date. See: extending your program.

Obtain a new form I-20 for a change in academic program, level of studies, or funding.

You must request a new form I-20 if there is any change in your major field of study, your academic program, the level of your studies, or the level of your funding.

Follow transfer procedures (if applicable).

If you decide to leave Emory and continue your studies at another institution, you must complete specific steps to transfer your immigration record. See: transfering from Emory.

Abide by F-1 grace period regulations.

Following the completion of your program of study, you have a 60-day "grace period" within which you should either leave the U.S. or do one of the following:

Report a change in your address within 10 days.

You must ensure that your U.S. phone number(s) and local U.S. and permanent home country addresses are always accurate in Emory's records. You must update your address within 10 days of any change. See: updating address changes at Emory.

Maintain a valid passport.

Your passoprt must be valid for 6 months into the future at all times. Approximately 8 months before your passport expires, you should request a new passport from the consulate or embassy of your home country within the U.S. or while you are at home during a break between terms.

Do not engage in unauthorized employment.

You are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full time during official university breaks and vacations. Prior to beginning employment, you must apply for a Social Security number. You are not allowed to work off campus unless specifically authorized to do so. See: employment.

Depart the U.S. at the right time.

By the end of the 60-day grace period following completion of your program of study or any authorized Optional Practical Training, you must leave the U.S., unless you have received a new form I-20 for a new program of study or have applied for a change of status. If your SEVIS record and non-imigrant status are terminated early, the grace period does not apply, and you are expected to leave the U.S. immediately.