Maintaining F-1 Status

As an international student, you have certain responsibilities, benefits and restrictions that must be kept in mind to safeguard your status. When you lose your status because you fail to abide by immigration rules, you lose your F-1 student benefits including on-campus employment and work authorizations. Even more important, you could possibly become subject to arrest and deportation, and future visa applications might be compromised. Depending on the type of violation, you could even be barred from coming back to the U.S. for a number of years.

In order to enjoy your stay in the United States and have a great experience as an international student, take the time to learn about your immigration status and closely follow immigration regulations.

  • Register full time every semester
  • Maintain a current passport (valid for at least 6 months into the future at all times)
  • Be aware of grace periods
  • Request authorization from ISSS before dropping below a full course load
  • Report all changes in address via PAWS within 10 days
  • Report all changes in name, dependents and status through ISSS
  • Request my transfer to another school in a timely manner
  • Report a change in my program of study (such as moving from one degree level to another or a change in major) to ISSS and request a new I-20
  • Request travel signatures before traveling
  • Request an I-20 Extension at least two weeks before my document expires
  • Provide ISSS with any updates regarding passport extensions and visa renewals
  • Become familiar with immigration rules
  • Check my Georgia State email account and the ISSS newsletter regularly for communication from ISSS & the university

  • I cannot work off-campus without previous authorization from ISSS or U.S. immigration, whichever is applicable.
  • I cannot be under-enrolled or not enrolled at all unless previously authorized (Please see enrollment requirements.)
  • I cannot work more than 20 hours/week while school is in session unless required by my program of study and authorized by ISSS.
  • I cannot maintain status with an expired I-20.

  • I can work on campus without authorization.
  • I am eligible to apply for 12 months of Optional Practical Training(OPT) per degree level.
  • I am eligible for Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
  • I can maintain my F-1 status as long I follow immigration regulations, because my status has no fixed expiration date.