Maintaining your Immigration Status

F1 Immigration Responsibilities

It is essential to remember that you must take full responsibility for maintaining your status with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).   That is, you are responsible for finding out, knowing, and following pertinent regulations.

The best resource to assist you in maintaining status is the staff of International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS). Every effort has been made to provide reliable and accurate information on rules that govern student immigration classifications. When regulations change - as is frequently the case - ISSS will have current information. It is important for students to check their email  accounts, as the staff will send out important messages.

  • Possess a passport that is valid at all times. It is recommended that you keep your passport valid at least six months into the future.
  • Attend the school/institution you were authorized to attend.
  • Be registered full-time for each academic semester.   For undergraduate students, this means registration for, and completion of, at least 12 credits per academic semester (fall and spring semesters), and for graduate students, this means registration for, and completion of, at least 9 graduate-level credits per academic semester. NOTE: You are not required to be registered for classes during the summer unless you have been admitted to Florida Techfor the summer term or completing degree by end of summer term.
  • Register for no more than three (3) fully on-line credits as part of your required full time enrollment.  Undergraduate students may enroll for no more than 3 of their required 12 credits each term.  Graduate students may enroll for no more than 3 of their required 9 credits each term. 
  • Maintain good academic and make normal progress towards completing your degree.
  • Follow appropriate procedures to notify USCIS if you transfer schools or if you change from one educational level to another. Transfer procedure must be completed within 15 days from start of term.
  • File for a Program Extension prior to the expiration date of your I-20 if you need additional time to complete your program
  • Check your documents to be sure they are in order before leaving the U.S., even for a brief trip, and be sure to have the proper documents to re-enter the U.S.
  • Engage in employment only with proper authorization. Working without proper authorization constitutes illegal employment, which is a serious violation of your immigration status.
  • If you are out of status, file for reinstatement in a timely manner and refrain from any employment if you are out-of-status.
  • Notify ISSS if you change your address, name, program of study, source of funding, or any other information listed on your form I-20.

Important Note
This information may change without notice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your legal status in the United States, please come to  ISSS and meet with an advisor. Remember to always check your Florida Tech email account for periodic updates and reminders from ISSS.