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Office of International Programs

Explanation of F-1 Status

This information is not exhaustive and may change without notice. If you have any questions regarding your legal status in the United States, please make an appointment with OIP. For more infromation, please review our Maintaining the F-1 Status (PDF).  

What does it mean to be "in status"?

The U.S. federal government considers you to be in valid F-1 status if you fulfill all of the conditions of your F-1 visa.

These conditions are:

  • Attend the school listed on your I-20
  • Keep your passport and I-20 form from expiring
  • Maintain good academic standing by attending classes, completing coursework, and making normal progress toward degree
  • Maintain sufficient financial resources 
  • Enroll each semester as a full-time student.  For undergraduates= 12 credits, for graduates= 9 credits, and for ESL students, must be enrolled in 4 classes.  
  • Not Eligible to work on campus more than 20 hours during the academic semester (Fall & Spring.  Can work mroe than 20 hours during official university break including summer break.
  • Not eligble to work off-campus without prior authorization from OIP or USCIS. Unauthorized employment will result in automatic termination of status.  
  • Extend your I-20 before the program end date on your I-20, if you need more time to graduate
  • Inform OIP with any changes to your foreign address, US address, phone number, academic program, visa status,  program end date, and any other relevant information within 10 days of the change.
Failure to maintain your F-1 status will result in termination of your status which can result in departing the U.S. and may not be able to complete your studies. If you are no longer able to maintain your F-1 status or have violated your F-1 status, please contact OIP immediately for guidance.  

If your F-1 status is terminated for any reason, there are ways to request to regain your status. For more details, please contact OIP for guidance.  

I am graduating this semester, what are my options?  

You have 60 days from your program end date (typically end of the semester) to do the following.  
  1. Leave the United States  
  2. Apply for post completion OPT  
  3.  Apply for a Change of Degree Level if you are starting a new program at Seton Hall  
  4. Transfer your SEVIS record (your I-20) to another school within the United States 
  5. Apply for Change of Status to a different status in the US  
As an F1 student, it is your responsibility to notify the Office of International Programs of your plans after graduation and take appropriate steps for your immigration status. 
What happens if I withdraw from the program?  
 If you withdraw from school, you may stay in the U.S. for 15 days, only if you have prior approval from OIP. If you do not request approval from OIP to withdraw, then you must depart the U.S. as soon as possible.