F-1 Student Enrollment Requirements & Form I-20
- You must be enrolled full time
- Your I-20 must be current at all times
According to US immigration regulations, the primary purpose of the F-1 classification is for full-time study in pursuit of an educational objective. F-1 students should expect to be enrolled full-time for the duration of their program of study. If you have completed your program of study, you have 60 days to legally remain in the US beyond the expiration date of your I-20, (or beyond the completion date of your program, whichever is earlier). This 60-day period is known as your "grace period." During the grace period, you can change to a new degree program, transfer to a new school, or prepare to depart the US.
Note: Your I-20 and your visa are two entirely different documents. While your I-20 needs to remain valid while studying in the United States, your visa does not. Your visa is an entry document to the US and does not need to be renewed as long as you remain in the US. For more information, visit the F-1 students page or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources for F-1 Students
Note for J-1 and F-1 students:
The Office for International Programs (OIP) is required to report to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the status of our F-1 and J-1 international students. Among other things, we will be required to report on an ongoing basis whether international students are enrolled full-time. If students are enrolled less than full-time we will need to indicate the reason for the less than full-time enrollment. If a student drops below full-time without prior approval, they will be considered out of status by USCIS and we are required to report them as such. While re-instatement may be possible, it is time consuming and costly.