All students holding F or J visas are required by law to do the following in order to maintain valid status:
- Notify the Office of International Programs within 10 days if your address changes
- Always carry a full load of courses
- Never work illegally
- Always be sure your passport is valid and the end date on your I-20/DS-2019 has not passed
Always carry a full credit load of courses. This means 6 credits minimum for graduate students and 12 credits minimum for undergraduate students each semester. You are not required to enroll in summer courses.
- A special note about online courses: International students are only allowed to count 1 (ONE) online course toward their full-time enrollment. If you have questions about this regulation please talk with the International Office before you finalize your course registration.
- Do not withdraw from courses or drop below full time enrollment without speaking to either Kaoru or Kimberly in the International Office first.
Never work illegally. This is a serious violation of the F and J immigration status. Anytime you have a work opportunity, be sure to discuss it in advance with Kimberly in the in the International Office to request proper authorization.
- ESOL and J-1 exchange students are not eligible to work on campus or off at USM.
- Degree candidates are eligible to work on campus in “departmentally funded jobs” 20 hours per week or less.
- Off campus internships known as Curricular Practical Training (CPT) are possible for degree candidates after being in F-1 status for at least one year.
- Degree candidates are eligible to apply for one year of work permission known as Optional Practical Training or OPT. OPT is typically completed post graduation.
Always be sure that your passport is valid, and the date in Item #5 of your I-20 (completion date of students) or ending date on your DS-2019 has not passed.