Maintaining F-1 Status

There are basic requirements for maintaining F-1 status in the United States.  If you are an international student it is very important to follow the guidelines below to ensure that you remain in good standing with Immigration Services (USCIS).

  • Keep your passport valid at all times.
  • Attend the school noted on your I-20 or DS-2019.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment every fall and spring semester.  Full-time enrollment is required in the summer term only if you are a new student, beginning a new program of study or a transferring student beginning studies at Missouri State.
    • Full-time enrollment is 12 credit hours minimum for undergraduates and 9 credit hours minimum for graduates.
    • Only 3 hours of internet based courses count towards your full-time enrollment requirement.  The rest of the hours must come from traditional courses.
  • Studies should be completed by the completion of studies date on the I-20.  However, if more time is needed, a program extension may be obtained from the International Services before the completion date has passed.  Documents cannot be extended after they expire.
  • Notify the International Services of any breaks or interruptions in your studies, such as taking a semester absence from the University. Breaks in study can impact your ability to apply for immigration benefits in the future.
  • Do not engage in any employment without legal authorization from the International Services or USCIS.
  • Do not engage in any illegal activities.

Report a change of address or phone number to the Office of International Services

  • Report other changes directly to the International Services.
  • If you have changed your major or degree level, request a new I-20 document from the International Services.
  • Maintain adequate health insurance coverage at all times for the whole academic year.

Students must maintain legal status throughout their program while studying under an F-1 visa.  The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 emphasizes the need for students to take responsibility for maintaining F-1 student status.