It is very important to remain in-status (in good standing/in compliance) with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To remain in-status, make sure your documents have not expired, you do not work illegally, or fall below the minimum number of academic hours each term. If you fall out-of-status (out of compliance), you will not be eligible to request certain F-1 student benefits such as Curricular Practical Training, Optional Practical Training, or travel endorsements. Therefore, be sure to comply with USCIS rules. Remember that the International Admissions Office (IAO) is here to assist you in these matters. If you have questions, please make an appointment with one of our staff and we will advise you accordingly. Remember, it is much easier to remain in-status with USCIS than to regain status once it has been lost.
Make sure your Passport is valid for the duration of the entire program of study. If you lose your documents, inform the IAO as soon as possible. We can assist in replacing certain documents and refer you to your embassy in the event your Passport is lost.
- Keep your I-20 valid. It must be updated when there is a significant change in your circumstances such as funding, major, name, address, etc.
- No unauthorized employment.
- Take a full course of study. The regulations define a full course of study as completing twelve semester hours of instruction per academic term for undergraduates. Graduate student hours vary.
- Students in-status with USCIS are eligible to remain in the US during summer break.
- If you plan to transfer to another school, you should inquire about the transfer procedures there. Remember that you have limited time to request your documents be sent.
If you are transferring, USCIS requires schools to have the following photocopied information in the student’s file to complete the transfer:
- Valid Passport
- Most current I-94
- All I-20s from previous schools and the CU issued I-20
Please ensure these documents are available/on file at the time of the transfer request. In addition, your file must include the returned, completed, and signed Visa Clearance form directly from your most recent school. You should call or email Campbell University to confirm we have received the Visa Clearance form before you set up an appointment.
Campbell University will release the I-20 to the new institution if the student complies with the above and has a zero balance with the Bursar’s Office.
Deviations from the Full Course of Study
- Vacation: An F-1 student at an academic institution is considered to be in-status during the annual or summer vacation if the student is eligible and intends to register for the next term.
- Medical Problems: A student who is affected by illness or another medical condition that interrupts or reduces a full course of study is considered to be in-status during the illness or medical condition. The student must resume a full course of study upon recovery. The student must submit a recommendation from the health care practitioner stating that a reduced course of study is required for medical reasons. The DSO must approve the request and submit it to the USCIS.
- Final Term: Students completing their degree during the current term will not be required to maintain the full course of study regulation.
- Practical Training: Students engaging in full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT)/ Optional Practical Training (OPT) are considered to be taking a full course of study.
Any student who fails to maintain F-1 nonimmigrant status must apply for reinstatement. A student may need to file for reinstatement if the student was enrolled less than full time, failed to complete a timely transfer, failed to apply for a timely extension, or has in some other way violated F-1 status. To apply for reinstatement, a student must make an appointment with the IAO.