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Maintenance of Status F-1

  1. Maintain a valid passport.
  2. Attend the school you are authorized to attend.
  3. Enroll in a full course of study (undergraduate - 12 credit hours, graduate students - nine credit hrs).
  4. Apply for extension of program 30 days before the expiration date on your current I-20.
  5. Follow USCIS procedures for changing from one program or educational level to another.
  6. Follow USCIS procedures for transferring from one school to another.
  7. Limit on-campus employment to 20 hours per week, while school is in session.
  8. Do not engage in off-campus employment without authorization.
  9. Report a change of your name, address or phone number to the Office of International Student Services (ISS) and to the USCIS using the form AR11.
  10. Report to the  Office of ISS within the first 10 days of every semester to be registered in SEVIS.
  11. Make normal progress towards completing the course of study.
  12. If you plan to graduate before the end date specified on your I-20 you must inform the office of ISS so that this information is updated in SEVIS.


  1. It is your responsibility to maintain legal F-1 status. If you fail to maintain status for any reason, it is your responsibility to report to the Office of ISS, so that you may be assisted with filing for reinstatement.
  2. If you have a medical reason permitting you to be enrolled in less than a full course load or if you are attending your last semester, you must see the ISS director for permission to be enrolled in less than a full load. This must be done prior to the beginning of the semester.
  3. No more than one online course or three credit hours per semester can be counted towards a full course of study requirements.
  4. If you plan to visit another country while you are a student at MSU, you need to make sure you obtain a visitor's visa for that country or make sure your country is exempt from the nonimmigrant visa requirement.
  5. If you plan to leave the United States and return while you are a student here, you must have your I-20 endorsed by the International Student Services director before you leave. A signed I-20 is the only way you will be allowed to return to the United States.
  6. Make sure that you follow the proper procedures before engaging in specific activities that are governed by specific federal and in-house regulations/policies.  Some of these activities are, but are not limited to engaging in: 
    1. Curriculum Practical Training (CPT)
    2. Optional Practical Training (OPT)
    3. Study Abroad Programs
    4. Off-campus employment

If you are unsure of the regulations governing any of the activities for which you intend to participate, please call the Office of ISS at 606-783-2096 before engaging in any of these activities.

Questions concerning immigration regulations should be addressed to Erica Haddix, director of International Student Services/SEVIS. Students should make an appointment by calling 606-783-2000.

If you would like to read more about the United States Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services regulations, you may visit