International Student Services
Maintaining Full-time Status
International Student Services >Student Immigration
MAINTAINING F-1 VISA STATUS
Below are guidelines that international students should follow to make sure their F-1 status remains valid. Although other situations not mentioned here may lead to the loss of status, following these guidelines will help you to avoid many unnecessary problems.
1) Enrollment. Must be full-time each semester. Full-time enrollment is to enroll and complete 12 units each semester for undergraduate and 8 hours for graduate students. For immigration purposes, students may not drop below 12 units per semester (W’s do not count towards the 12 units). No more than the equivalent of one online course per semester may be taken. An online course is defined as 100% technology based. BGSU courses that are considered online courses for the purposed of this regulation are defined in the Instruction Mode of the course catalog as 100% online are listed as "Distance Learning".
(a) If you do need to enroll for less than full-time, there are some limited situations in which you may. Please fill out the Petition for Authorization to Drop Below a Full Course Load at this link
2) I-20 Document expiration and validity. Request an “Extension of Stay” of your I-20 if your completion date will expire, 60 days prior to expiration. The completion date can be found in item #5 of your I-20 form.
3) Keep your address up-to-date at all time
4) On campus employment. Limit employment to 20 hours per week during the academic year while maintaining I-20 full-time status.
5) Off campus employment. Do not work off campus without permission. Work permission for F-1 is difficult to obtain unless authorized by USCIS.
6) Attend the school noted on I-20. You must have a current, valid I-20 from the school you are attending. If you transfer to or from another school, see below.
7) Transferring schools. If you transfer to another school, you must obtain an I-20 from that school.
8) Passport. Keep it valid at all times. If your passport will expire within the next six months, call your home country’s embassy in the U.S. to find out how to extend the validity.
9) Keep an updated address at BGSU Admissions and the CIP.
10) Keep updated health insurance.
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