• How to Remain Lawful and Legal in the United States

    Although the IP office will provide you various reminders about how to maintain your status, you should not depend on the IP office to warn you before you take an action that could endanger your status as an F-1 student under United States immigration law. It is your responsibility alone to maintain lawful F-1 student status. You must maintain lawful student status if you wish to enjoy the benefits associated with it, such as on-campus employment, practical training, and the ability to re-enter the United States when you travel. You will be considered to be “out of status” if you do not fulfill the conditions of your F-1 visa.

    Guidelines for Maintaining F-1 Student Status


    1. Read the "Instructions to Students" on page two of your I-20 form.
    2. Maintain an unexpired passport valid for at least 6 months into the future.
    3. Attend Mandatory International Student Check-in. Every semester by 12:00 noon on Registration Day, you must come by the International/Honors House IN PERSON to submit your local address, and phone number if you have one and to provide documents.
    4. As an undergraduate, maintain 12 hours enrollment every fall and spring semester with no less than nine of the 12 in lecture-style courses and make normal progress toward your degree. BEFORE you enroll in an online course or BEFORE dropping a course, speak to Dr. Davis.
    5. Obtain authorization in writing on page three of your I-20 from Dr. Davis before dropping below 12 credit hours or withdrawing with a “W” grade.
    6. Attend classes every session and pay your fees on time.
    7. Report changes in your sources of financial support or change in your program of study to  Dr. Davis in a timely manner.
    8. Report any changes in your address in the U.S. or in your home country within ten days to  Dr. Davis.
    9. Report to  Dr. Davis if you change your visa status or file for permanent residency.
    10. Before traveling outside the US, see Dr. Davis to have your I-20 endorsed for travel.
    11. Do not accept any employment from any employer other than UWA without first getting written permission on page three of your I-20 from  Dr. Davis and, when necessary, authorization from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
    12. Request an extended I-20 at least 30 days before your current I-20 expires.
    13. Once you have completed your studies and any practical training that is authorized, you are required within the allowed time, to transfer to another university or college, leave the U.S. or change to another immigration status.
    14. Carry with you at all times a copy of your passport with the I-94 stamp.

    When traveling anywhere, you should carry your I-20, passport and visa.