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Maintaining Your F-1 Status
- Students are required to attend the educational institution designated on the SEVIS I-20 and are expected to complete at least one semester at the institution prior to requesting transfer to any other educational institution.
- Students are required to enroll and complete a minimum of 12 semester credits in the Fall and Spring terms. Students who fail to maintain full-time enrollment will be considered out of status and will need to apply for reinstatement with USCIS. If you cannot enroll in or complete 12 credit hours at HCC for any reason, you must consult with an International Student Advisor.
- Students must not accept employment off campus. On campus employment is permitted for no more than 20 hours per week. Unfortunately, there are limited working opportunities for international students.
- All fees are due on the day you register; otherwise your classes will be dropped.
- Students can take no more than the equivalent of one online/distance education class or three credit hours per semester towards the full course of study requirement.
- Make normal progress toward completing a degree. If you decide to change your major, you must contact your International Student Advisor prior to changing it.
- Students must keep their passports valid at all times. Passports must be valid for at least six months.
- Report a change of address or name to the Center for International Education within 10 days of the change.
- Students must not leave the United States, even for a short time, without making sure that all travel documents are valid and in their possession, and that the Center for International Education signs their I-20. Please allow 5-7 days for processing time.
- Students must have a valid I-20. If students must remain at HCC past their I-20 expiration date, they must apply for a program extension prior to the expiration date on the I-20. There are specific procedures that need to be followed to request an extension; therefore, students must see the International Student Advisor.
- All international students on visas must file income tax returns even if they do not have any taxable income. Please visit http://www.irs.gov/ for more information and to download Form 1040 NR, Form1040 NR-EZ, Form 8843, and the Publication 519. If you need help, HCC offers students free tax assistance.
- Students on F-1 visas, who wish to transfer to another school in the United States, must be accepted by another SEVP-certified school and work with their International Student Advisor to choose a transfer release date. On the transfer release date, the responsibility for the student’s SEVIS record transfers to the transfer-in school. Transferring students must contact the DSO at their new school, who will be able to create a Form I-20. It is important to note that you can only transfer if you have been maintaining valid status.
- Within 60 days of completing the course of study, you must transfer to another school, apply for a change of status, Optional Practical Training (OPT), or depart the U.S.
- Please be advised that failure to comply with USCIS regulations will result in the loss of your F-1 status and will require reinstatement by USCIS.