Continuing Students: Maintaining F-1 Status
The United States welcomes international students and exchange visitors who come to study in the U.S. While you're enjoying your time in the U.S., it is very important that you understand and comply with the requirements governing your stay to ensure that you don't jeopardize your immigration status.
To maintain your F-1 status you must
- Enroll as a full-time student every semester (see below for full-time enrollment requirements).
- Check In with ISS at the beginning of every semester and within 10 days of returning from travel abroad.
- Make sure ISS always has photocopies of your current passport (must be valid within six months at all times), visa, and I-94 card.
- Notify ISS within 10 days if you move or change your address or contact information by updating it through my.newschool.edu.
- Obtain work authorization for any off-campus employment before you start working.
- Read all ISS communication sent to your New School email account.
- Ensure that all the information on your I-20 is correct; submit requests for changes in program completion date before the I-20 expiration date and changes in major and education level before the start of the next semester.
- Inform ISS if you take a Leave of Absence.
- Obtain a valid travel signature from ISS every academic year (Spring and Fall).
- Notify ISS of any accompanying dependents.
- Obey all U.S. laws.
- File taxes each spring during your stay in the U.S.
- Complete the official transfer process if you intend to transfer to another school.
- Leave the U.S., apply for OPT, or change to a different immigration status by the end of your 60-day grace period after you complete your studies.
Full-time enrollment requirements
- Undergraduate = 12 credits
- Graduate at Parsons = 12 credits (several programs are 9 credits; check with ISS for details)
- Graduate at Mannes = 12 credits (exception: Professional Studies Diploma = 9 credits)
- All other New School graduate programs = 9 credits
- Film Production Certificate = 3 courses
- Documentary Media Certificate = 9 credits
- ESL = 18 hours of class weekly
You must have official permission from an ISS advisor to
- Drop below full-time course load
- Withdraw from your program of study
- Take a leave of absence
- Work off-campus (internship or practical training)
- Extend your program of study
Most Common Immigration Violations
Any of the following will cause an international to be in violation of their non-immigrant status. Pay close attention and make sure that none of these happen to you.
- Enrolling less than full time
- Unauthorized employment
- Allowing I-20 to become outdated
- Allowing a passport to become outdated
- Changing your program without updating your I-20
Who is responsible to know the rules? You are! It is your responsibility to know the rules that affect your status. Please contact ISS if you need more information. You may also need to contact the institution that helped you gain your status. The U.S. government will hold you accountable to know the rules, to understand them, and to follow them. ISS can help by making the information available to you through this website and through publications, but only you can educate yourself about the regulations and seek advice as needed. Help us to help you. If at any time you are unsure about the rules, ask questions and keep asking until you understand your rights and responsibilities. ISS is here to help.